Hygiene Hypothesis: How Germs Promote Health

Do sterile environments negatively impact health positively or negatively?
A new study co-authored by researchers from the University of Ulm in Germany and CU Boulder, adds to mounting evidence supporting the “hygiene hypothesis,” which posits that overly sterile environments can breed health problems.
In the study:
Adult men who had grown up in the country with pets had a healthier immune response to stress than those who grew up pet-free in the city, a new study shows.
The study is the first in humans to suggest the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ applies to mental health too.
Exposure to beneficial microorganisms in childhood may lead to better mental health in adulthood.
Why? My theory is that your gut must have these beneficial microorganisms throughout your life, but especially in childhood, to develop and sustain a healthy gut. A healthy gut is required for consistent production of 90% of Serotonin (happy hormone) and proper endocrine function that regulates mood.
Should you give up being happy if you didn’t grow up on a farm or around pets? No! But it means that you may need to do more to boost and support your immune through your gut health now.
A few tips:
1. Take Natural Pro-Biotics via Home Made Fermented Foods. Sauerkraut is easy to make, and one of the best solutions.
2. Detox and eat clean regularly. Organically grown is best. Check into community supported agriculture if you can’t grow your own.  Community Supported Agriculture
3. Build Resilience, Manage Stress. Chronically high stress levels use up or kill off healthy microbiome by keeping blood sugar and cortisol levels artificially high.  Help Now Strategies
4. Get off drugs and medications as much as possible. Synthetically produced substances tend to kill healthy microbiome. Reduce all that you can through clean eating.  Clean Eating Course + Detox
5. Stop smoking to protect your lung microbiota.
6. Get a little exercise. Stretching and walking for a minimum of 20 minutes per day is good.
7. Associate with people who have positive mental health. Turns out their “germs” transferred to you can have a positive impact on your too.
8. Get in Touch with Nature. Nature is rich in microorganisms that can benefit and harm. On the whole, exposure to natural organisms help the body boost immune. Get out there.
9. Eliminate mold and harmful environmental exposure. Not all natural substances build immune. Mold exposure is important to reduce or eliminate as it tends to unbalance your microbiome.
10. Get a dog and don’t be afraid to let your dog lick your face. Turns out that bacterial communities associated with dogs benefit humans most.
11. Extra support: fecal implants and liquid dieting can help in more serious cases when all else fails to produce a return to health.
As with all health related matters, prevention is worth a pound of cure. Consistent clean eating is key, and quality is much more important than counting calories or focusing on quantity alone. Feed your body what it was designed to eat, and live. Clean it out with a regular cleanse. Let food be thy medicine.
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Business, Burnout and Depression

Are you a small business owner suffering from depression? You’re not alone.
Depression comes in many forms; simple to complex, situational to chronic. For business owners, work-to-life ratio, brain productivity breaks, and nutrition are key. Most business owners I work with are highly stressed, take little or no time away from work, and eat poor quality food regularly (even if at restaurants). Depression is simply a natural byproduct of burning out the body physically and mentally.
​What to do? Here are a few simple steps I recommend to my busy clients:

Step 1: ​​Step Away From Work Every Hour

Optimal brain health demands regular rest for short periods. It’s literally like hitting the reset button. Some studies suggest that highest productivity is achieved by walking away from your computer and work for 17 minutes after every 52 minutes of work.
One simple way to increase happiness is to take up space…..as much space as possible….as if you also matter.  Taking up space sends a number of messages to your inner psyche that you are big, powerful, worthy,  and ready.  This simple technique relieves stress in as little as two minutes.  Sit in a chair and stretch out in all directions, or whatever works in your work environment.

​Step 2: Engage in Resilience Building Activities Daily

​Exercise, go to museums, knit, meditate, and learn practical tools that help decrease stress in the moment. Best yet, learn how to act instead of react in response to every day stress.

​Step 3: Clean up your daily nutrition

You are what you eat. There’s plenty of evidence showing that the food you eat every day can contribute or take away from your ability to think and feel your way through life.  
If you’re eating a Standard American Diet, take immediate action to reverse course.  The SAD diet is loaded with sugar and processed foods, all of which diminish productivity, slow metabolism, and directly impact your ability to think (or not).  Sugar mounts a direct assault on the endocrine system starting in the gut.  90% of the hormone Serotonin that regulate sleep and positive mood is created in your stomach; sugar and chemicals in processed foods literally destroy the environment needed to guard against depression.  On the flip side, eating clean greens promote a healthy stomach microbiome necessary for Serotonin development, endocrine function, sleep, mood, staying alert and aware, and focusing to your highest capacity.
​Best to address sooner than later, before chronic burnout becomes a serious mental health condition or worse.
More about how Sugar + Stress = Sick
Work with a Coach to Maximize Productivity: Coaching
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PTSD: The Enemy with Outposts in Your Head and How to Fight Back

For almost as long as I have memory, there’s been an internal drive to heal from trauma.  I am a survivor of child sexual assault….multiple instances that occurred over several years.  I received no therapy and was discouraged from saying anything about what happened.  No one was held responsible.  I was simply forbidden to go to “that house” anymore.  Yet, I was alive.  I survived.  And as far as anyone else could tell, I was a healthy, tomboyish girl.

I went numb, compartmentalized and buried both the emotions and memories, had an out-of-body experience upon becoming sexual active as a teen, and was nearly admitted to a hospital mental health ward shortly after.  I began a 25 year talk therapy odyssey that included diagnosis’ of depression, general anxiety disorder (GAD), and complex post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Considering the amount of personal experience I’ve had with a variety of talk therapy approaches, I should be awarded an honorary psychology degree.


Trauma does something to a psyche that is hard to address.

There’s this saying by Sally Kempton, “It’s hard to fight an enemy that has outposts in your head.” Once a trauma occurs, a memory capsule is formed of bundled nerve cells.  Every sensory experience you had in that moment is bundled and stored in the amygdala so you can recognize and respond to similar danger in the future.  A typical a traumatic memory can trigger hypersensitivity in response to any portion of those bundled traumatic memories; attacker had big hands becomes generalized to fear of anyone with big hands….this was one of mine.

Anxiety, depression and PTSD result from prolonged remembering of fear and anxiety triggered by ANY stored portion of that memory bundle.  It’s common for PTSD attacks to include physical body responses like heightened heartbeat, an adrenalin surge, pinpoint vision, etc.  When PTSD is triggered, I would feel like a caged animal with no way out, terrified, hair on end, wanting to strike back, frustrated, and ultimately depressed.  It’s hard to fight an enemy that has outposts in your head.  And, it’s hard to live a normal life if your energy is used to fight an enemy with outposts in your head daily.


Clean Eating in Combination with Personalized Resilience Tools is Key

By my early thirties, I became determined to find solutions that helped me face daily challenges naturally and simply.  Talk therapy was fine as far as it went, but I found there to be diminishing returns; after a while I’d said everything there was to say about my memories and bringing them up constantly was just re-traumatizing.  So I spent the rest of my life unraveling the impact on my physical and mental health on my own, looking for anything I could make use of beyond alcohol and drugs to actually address the root cause…..those triggered memories.  I strengthened my mind and body and became a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.  I learned to practice meditation and mindfulness.  I tried other means of redirecting attention using body and mind based techniques; tapping, sensory redirection, nature walks, etc.  I worked on strengthening social connections….this was the hardest for me and had some disastrous results, but I persisted.  Everything provided some relief, but ultimately not an underlying foundation of calm I was searching for desperately.

It wasn’t until I stumbled on clean eating that real change started to occur.  I had filled my tool bag with tons of practical, easy-to-use tools for returning to calm and building resilience in response to traumas large and small, but was still plagued by huge mood swings, fear and depression.  Little did I know that the answer to these problems was in my kitchen.  It turned out that sugar and processed foods was constantly stimulating my nerves, hormones and organs to the point where anxiety, depression and severe mood swings was the norm.


I started eating clean

Within weeks I noticed that mood swings were different.  Yes, there were still many difficult emotions, but the impact of PTSD episodes was diminishing, and I was thinking and feeling my way out of them better.  I learned all I could about clean eating, it’s impact on emotion, and ultimately became a health coach and behavior therapist.  It took a few more years of hard work with and without coaches to gain a greater sense of balance.  But, I now live and work in highly stressful circumstances with greater resilience, calm, focus, and balance than ever.

I am uniquely qualified to serve and encourage trauma survivors.  It is part of my life mission to share these truths with other survivors.  The other part of my life is reserved for living life itself, to the fullest extent possible, each and every day.  I want that for the survivors I come in contact with.  Too many of us feel that we don’t matter…that everyone else deserves to be happy while we remain stuck in a trauma prison.  I say NO MORE.  WE ALSO MATTER!


If you’re a survivor, or know someone who is, watch this video on tips to start healing naturally from the inside out….Heal After Trauma



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Retrain Your Brain: Harnessing Quantum Physics and Clean Eating for Optimal Health

Any positive change requires retraining the brain.  Today, there are programs to help rewire thinking for better focus, appropriate behaviors for special needs kids, sleep, walking, lose cravings, quit smoking, and about everything in between.  With few exceptions, most of these programs focus on either the specific behavior modification methods OR nutrition for brain health, but not both.  In my experience, retraining has better long term results when whole brain health and whole life possibility is taken into account.  What would that look like?

Mood and Food = Brain Health

Physiology and Physics both have an impact on Brain health.  What you eat feeds or toxifies the brain, helping or hurting physical brain function.  How you think in the moment – positively or negatively – also impacts short and long-term physical brain health.  But How you Imagine Life Will Be ALSO creates tendencies for health or disease over time.

Retraining the brain requires a combination of Whole Thinking and Whole Foods.  Whole thinking takes the totality of your non-food life into account; your primary food.  It asks the question: what are you feeding your existence now in terms of community, hobbies, people, home, work, finances…..everything.  When primary food, one of these areas, is out of whack, stress results and the brain and body are impacted negatively.

Eating whole foods as nature made them is generally what is referred to as clean eating; making sure you eat whole, unprocessed foods that were meant to keep your body/brain in balance.  Both Wholesome thoughts and wholesome foods contribute to brain health, and ultimately to training your brain in a positive direction.

Given life contains many opportunities to eat fast foods and fast thoughts, a simple strategy for brain health just makes sense, and is necessary to get through life feeling alive.

A Healthy Gut is a Healthy Brain

The health of the body plays a huge role in brain health because – the brain exists WITHIN THE BODY.  As I state in Sugar + Stress = Sick, the body and mind are NOT separate.  The body contains the brain.  Whatever impacts one, impacts the other.  It’s curious that people imagine the body separate from the brain, isn’t it?

Clean nutrition in whole food helps remove toxins, promotes balance in the body, which again….includes the brain, and actually feeds and supports brain cells.  Simply put, your environment and the food you eat either nourishes and cleans, or toxifies the body/brain.

Focusing on food for the moment, there’s plenty of evidence showing a direct connection between toxins in food and reactions in the brain.  As joint study conducted by University of California at Davis and Los Angeles1 points out, “Contaminants get into our food in a variety of ways….They can be chemicals that have nothing to do with the food or byproducts from processing.” “Even relatively low exposures can greatly increase the risk of cancer or neurological impairment.”

According to an article in Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health Blog2, Multiple studies have found a correlation between a diet high in refined sugars and impaired brain function — and even a worsening of symptoms of mood disorders, such as depression.  The article goes on to say that, “If your brain is deprived of good-quality nutrition, or if free radicals or damaging inflammatory cells are circulating within the brain’s enclosed space, further contributing to brain tissue injury, consequences are to be expected.”

Eating clean means eating whole foods as nature made them, leaving out processed foods like sugar, most dairy, and even much of our current toxic fertilizer-laden grain supply.  It also means cooking them in clean healthy fats and in ways that don’t kill all the nutrients in the food (grilling instead of deep frying).  Consistently eating clean food and pure water helps remove toxins, restore or maintain brain balance, clear thinking, and resilient mood.  There’s also evidence that eating a variety of whole foods, and eating organic (or free range, grass-fed, wild caught, hormone free) foods, lessons the toxic load of contaminates that naturally occur in whole foods.


Resting Stress Supports Brain Balance

Food = Mood, but Mood Makes Health, or not.  For example: the stress of Carrie Fisher’s death followed closely by her mother, Debbie Reynold’s death.  Or, a heart attack after a traumatic event, or a suicide following chronic stress and depression.


Chronic stress impacts brain and body health long term. The ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Study confirms this.  Conducted by the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention3, this long-term health study concluded that certain difficult early childhood exposures contribute to shortening one’s life.  Indeed, the more exposures you have to things like close family members with mental health issues and suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, neglect, sexual assault and domestic violence, witnessing violence regularly, and so on, the shorter life tends to be.

So, in addition to thoughts becoming your reality over time, thoughts manifest in the body as your health, or as contributors to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, pain, allergies and stroke by increasing blood sugar, robbing precious energy resources, and lowering immune.

Ultimately, Rest and Resilience = Better Health and Improved Productivity. One study suggests that the perfect formula for brain resilience and productivity in the workplace requires a 17 minutes break for every 52 minutes of work4.  This may seem like a lot.  But, think about how often you check out mentally when you have to work on-and-on without a break.

Physical activity in moderation supports brain balance by boosting metabolism and releasing neurotransmitters for positive mood.  Yoga and walking are great as a low-impact means of achieving this.  At least 20 minutes of sweat producing exercise is recommended.


Fine Tune with Specific Foods and Supplements

Many vitamins and minerals can be taken in food or supplement form to support brain health.  Chief among these are:

  • Omega 3 – DHA
  • L-Carnitine
  • Capsaisin
  • L-Asparagine
  • Anthocyanidins
  • Boron Aspartate & Boron Citrate
  • Coenzyme Q-10
  • L-Cysteine
  • Folate
  • Gingko Biloba
  • L-Glutamine
  • Huperzine A
  • Inositol
  • Ornithine Keto Glutaric Acid
  • L-Serine
  • L-Tyrosine
  • 5-HTP
  • L-Phenylalanine


More information on each of these vitamins and minerals can be found in my nutrient library http://findyouwithin.com/recipes-nutrients/nutrients/.

Foods that contain these vitamins or minerals include:

  • Wild Caught Salmon  recipe
  • Grass fed Beef  recipe
  • Free Range Chicken Breast  recipe
  • Asparagus  recipe
  • Algae
  • Sardines
  • Walnuts
  • Flax Seed
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Turkey
  • Free Range Eggs
  • Broccoli
  • Almonds
  • Bilberry
  • Sardines
  • Spinach  recipe
  • Cauliflower  recipe
  • Cabbage  recipe
  • Lobster  recipe


Five Steps to Retrain the Brain

1. Reframe Thoughts and Belief through Physics and Faith

Let’s look at how quantum physics and neuroplasticity can combine to help retrain your brain.

  • Quantum physics tells us that energy creates matter.5 According to this theory, we, and our world, become what we think and believe.  Through attraction or otherwise, thought as energy creates matter. By extension, positive thoughts and beliefs creates positive patterns, and negativity, negative patterns.
  • Neuroplasticity basically says that the brain is not necessarily hardwired, and change can and does occur to thoughts and behavior.  Put as simply as possible: brain cells that fire together, wire together, and tend to produce the same combination of behaviors until and unless part of that wire pair re-wires itself in another direction.  A life in motion tends to stay in motion, and existing wired-patterns take precedent over new patterns, until they don’t.

I’ve seen this phenomenon in my work with Special Needs children and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) survivors alike.  Patterns of behavior that keep repeating and seem entrenched or even obsessive, begin to come undone with constant repetition of an alternative pattern of behaviors; throwing body on the floor and screaming when not getting one’s way becomes sitting quietly in a chair over time through strict practice of the new skill with a non-reactive “coach” or “therapist.”  This is Applied Behavioral Analysis in action.

Distracting, or interrupting, a negative emotional pattern through re-positioning or redirecting attention also tends to re-balance and re-regulate emotion.  Trauma Resiliency Model created by Elaine Miller Karas, for instance, trains one to focus attention to what is happening in the body when difficult emotions arise, and to further redirect attention to areas of the body that are positive or neutral until the difficult emotion diminishes.  In this model, even severely traumatized Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder individuals learn to broaden attention, reframe it, and redirect it to what is positive or neutral.  Ultimately, that one can see that emotion is actually temporary, heal the wound, and begin to create new, more positive realities.

Meditation, Tapping, EMDR and many other effective techniques are built around distraction, retraining, and releasing difficult emotions as a means of rebalancing the mind.  Each of these creates balance that enhances one’s ability to Imagine and Believe your Way to Transformation. If your goal is to retrain away from difficult emotion, the important thing is to start and keep going until you find a method that works for you.  You’ll know it when you try it.

Building beyond neuroplasticity back to quantum physics, is the idea of the law of attraction,  In Wishes Fulfilled5, Dr. Wayne Dyer discusses the practice of identifying with “I AM” statements in depth as a means of imaging and ultimately living in accord with one’s “higher self.” According to Dr. Dyer, the mind itself, conscious and subconscious, has the capacity to create – and in fact does create – one’s reality.  By keeping a clear picture in mind and literally feeling how it would feel to be that already (identifying with that you “are”), you set in motion creative change itself and eventually attract that reality to you.  Here’s a link to a video of Nicolette, who’s healing experience is featured in Dr. Dyer’s book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7refGLpMkw

Bottom line:

First build intention in line with your true self, then imagine and

feel yourself in that vision down to your toes with full belief that it is already true.  

Keep believing it, and ACT in accord with that goal.


2. Detox and Practice Clean Eating Consistently

  • Detox until homeostasis is achieved
  • Move to maintenance with a broader range of clean, whole foods aimed at maintaining brain health and balanced emotions, and variety to help keep environmental toxins at lower levels
  • Include low-quality foods only as often as supports your health


3. Rest Regularly and Build Resilience

Build regular waking and sleeping rest into your daily routine

  • Follow the Rest Recipe of 17 minutes of rest per 52 minutes of work as often as possible.
  • Take natural sleep seriously:
    • Go to bed when tired
    • Try to wake naturally instead of to an alarm
    • Turn off electronics 2 hours before bed
    • Take bed and bedding seriously for comfort and support
    • Engage in calming, creative, meditative, and positive attracting activities
    • Ask your sub-conscious to focus on the tools you need to create your bright future
    • If needed, use a natural sleep aid like NightKap: http://www.nightkap.com/.
  • Engage in a regular resilience routine
  • Listen or Read to engage the brain and are compatible with the higher purpose you imagine
  • Know and practice resilience Help Now Exercises so you are prepared for unexpected situations that tend to create high stress for you
  • If you are regularly dis-regulated with emotions, work with a coach to get to balance using clean approaches as much as possible
    • There are more naturally beneficial techniques than ever to promote brain balance: body based CRM, CST, Tapping, Hypnotherapy, etc. Find something that works to distract your attention to positive end and away from difficulty
  • Physical Resilience: keep up with minimal exercise.


4. Fine Tune with Supplements

Use the list of supplements and foods above to focus your supplemental brain health regimen.


5. Commit long-term.

It takes an average of 6 months for any new “habit” to take hold in the brain.  And even then, the new habit needs regular tending.

Do it, and stick with it.  And hey, most people need a little help or support making retraining the brain.  Find a coach or therapist with great experience in the approach you wish to explore, and keep looking if the first doesn’t feel like a good fit.  You’ll be guided to the one who’s right for you.


If you’re inspired to start eating clean right now, here’s a free 10-Day Cleanse to get you started: 10-Day 3S Cleanse



1 Eva Selhub, M.D., “Nutritional Psychiatry: Your Brain on Food,” Harvard Health Blog, November 16, 2005. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/nutritional-psychiatry-your-brain-on-food-201511168626

2 Irva Hertz-Picciotto, “Study finds high exposure to food-borne toxins,” UC Davis Newsroom, November 13, 2012. https://www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu/publish/news/newsroom/7190

3  Vincent J. Felitti, M.D., FACP et al.  Relationship of Childhood Abuse and Household Dysfunction to Many of the Leading Causes of Death in Adults,” American Journal of Preventive Medicine. 1998, Volume 14, pages 245–258.  http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(98)00017-8/abstract

4 Derek Thompson. “A Formula for Perfect Productivity: Work for 52 Minutes, Break for 17.”  The Atlantic. Business Section. September 17, 2014.  https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/09/science-tells-you-how-many-minutes-should-you-take-a-break-for-work-17/380369/

5 Dr. Wayne Dyer. “Wishes Fulfilled: Manifesting the Art of Manifesting.” Hay House. March 16, 2012. https://www.amazon.com/Wishes-Fulfilled-Mastering-Art-Manifesting/dp/B007L2OIAS/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1518409230&sr=1-3

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HOT is Healthy: Benefits of Red Chili

Red chili pepper

“I’ve got this thing for spicy stuff. Now, if you give me hot chocolate with chili pepper, a book and a bubble bath, I’m a happy girl.”

Shiloh Walker


When it comes to health, there’s plenty of evidence that red chili is one of the world’s healthiest super foods.  Adding chili to a dish does a lot more than enliven taste buds, this one food is packed with Vitamin, A, B, C and E, and minerals like molybdenum, manganese, folate, potassium, thiamin, and copper.  Did you know that red chilies actually contain 7 times the Vitamin C than do oranges? That’s crazy, right!  But how do all those vitamins and minerals act in your body to protect against disease and promote longer life?


Red chili as a regular part of your clean diet helps:

  • weight loss
  • weight management
  • lower cholesterol
  • repair cell damage caused by free radicals
  • healthy metabolism
  • detoxification
  • clearing the lungs and sinuses
  • pain relief
  • improved mood
  • potential to reduce colon cancer
  • lower risk of heart attack and stroke
  • lower risk of asthma and wheezing
  • potential to lessen peripheral nerve damage in diabetics

Here’s how chili’s DNA works in your body:

1  Anti-Oxidant cell repair

  • Vitamins C and A as beta-carotenoids destroy free radicals and cholesterol that, left unchecked, cause damage to blood vessels and peripheral nerves.
  • Folate, Viatmin B-6 and B-12 help control blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine, a key factor in keeping “bad” cholesterol levels low.
  • Destruction of free radicals guards against arteriosclerosis and damage to nerve endings.
  • Destruction of cholesterol – waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body – that clog blood vessels and lead to heart attack and stroke.
  • Improves heart health, and protects against diabetic nerve pain.
  • Vitamin C, beta-carotene and folic acid found in chili reduces the risk of colon cancer.


2  Detoxification and Digestive Aid

  • Molybdenum in chili act as a catalyst for enzymes that help breakdown amino acids
  • Helps remove toxins from the body
  • Assists in the breakdown of food
  • Folate in chili also plays an important role in digestion, and is often depleted in folk with celiac disease and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).


3  Weight Loss, Blood Sugar and Diabetes Control

  • Capsaicin in chilis increases your metabolism, can make you sweat, and ultimately assist in weight loss
  • Manganese found in chili plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation.
  • Increasing metabolism generally, and carbohydrate metabolism specifically, helps regulate blood sugar.
  • Blood sugar regulation is key in protecting against insulin resistance, the key factor in avoiding diabetes.


4  Brain Function, Mental and Emotional Balance

  • Folate (Vitamin B-9) plays a key role in DNA and RNA production, as well as cell division.  Folic acid is one of the key vitamins that is depleted with too much alcohol consumption or addiction.
  • Some studies show that 15 to 38% of people with depression have low folate levels in their bodies, and those with very low levels tend to be the most depressed.  But it’s unclear whether adding folate as a supplement alone helps improve depression outright.
  • Capsaicin intake releases an endorphin which has an associated pleasurable sensation.


5  Pain Relief

  • Capsaisin in chili first stimulates, then numbs or decreases pain signals in nerves
  • A cascade of triggers are unleashed in the body that ultimately inactivate pain specific neurons


6  Pain Relief

  • Capsaicin in chili first stimulates, then numbs or decreases pain signals in nerves
  • A cascade of triggers are unleashed in the body that ultimately inactivate pain specific neurons


Bottom line: the health benefits of red chili are too many to ignore.  If you fear red chili is too hot to the tongue, why not try it in combinations that provide you with just the right “bite”, like in a cup of 100% dutch cocoa and plant-based sweetener.  You can always look for capsaicin as a supplement, but fresh and whole foods provide you with the freshest, most active form of these nutrients.

Get HOT and Get GOING!

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Holiday Stress: 7 Tips for Surviving Difficult Family Members for Happier Holidays

So Uncle Bob is coming for the Holidays. Only he gives you the creeps and makes the hair on the back of your neck stand on end. What do you do?

One of the most common causes of stress during the holidays is….you guessed it….interaction with extended family members. You know, people you might be able to avoid the rest of the year, but now…..well, you don’t feel you can and keep up with family obligations.

Before I get into tips for dealing with difficult people, let’s deal with the bottom line; take stress seriously like it’s a toxin that can kill you.  Why? Because it can, and does, shorten your life.  Eating clean can lesson the blow of stress in the body, but not eliminate it.  There are different processes at play when it comes to dealing with stress.  But it’s just as important to pay attention to stress, how you deal with it, and how you diminish it, as it is to eat clean for health.

Now, here are some guidelines I recommend to my clients when the holidays roll around:


  1. Take your overall health into account first.

If your life has been overwhelming lately, and you are the kind of person who feels more balanced with less social stimuli, give yourself permission to take a break from tradition.  Don’t go.  Do something else altogether.  Go on a mini vacation. Head to Vegas or a Spa.  Binge watch Netflix.  Or spend the whole day on a hike with your dogs.  Why not? Tradition is important.  But sometimes the needs of the 1 outweigh the needs of the many.

Sometimes this is not possible, or would cause even more discomfort for you in the long run.  In that case, make sure you use the other techniques below to give your

On the other hand……if your extended family is a great source of strength for you, see if you can extend your time with them.

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Brain Food with Benefits: L-Carnitine Keeps You Young, Strong, and Clear Thinking

One supplement that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, but has both anti-aging and neurological benefits is L-Carnitine.  It’s found naturally in a wide variety of vegetables and animal-proteins; full list below.  In combination with Vitamin C and Omega-3 fatty acids, L-Carnitine plays a critical role in maintaining energy, blood flow, muscle strength and brain development. So if you want to stay looking young and lower your risk for delusional thinking as you age…..make sure you get some L-Carnitine EVERY DAY!

L-Carnitine is an amino acid (building block of protein) that is made up of Lysine and Methionine. It helps carry healthy fats into cells to be used to create energy at the cellular level; this increases athletic performance for body builders, and everyone else.  It’s that key role it plays in transporting fats into the cells that makes L-Carnitine crucial for muscle development, weight loss, brain and skin health.

Here are some of L-Carnitine’s health benefits:

  • Helps retain oil in the skin, useful as a cream
  • Improves fat metabolism, which helps reduce metabolic syndrome and:
    • Weight loss
    • Prevention of diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and atherosclerosis
  • Prevents plaque build-up in blood vessels in the brain
  • Central Nervous System protection
  • Increases muscle
    • strength
    • performance
    • recovery


Which foods contain L-Carnitine?

Meats like lean beef (filet mignon), free range chicken breast,  and hand line caught cod are a good source of carnitine, but so are these plants – though in much lower levels:


  • nuts – like almonds **
  • seeds – like pumpkin, sunflower and sesame **
  • artichokes **
  • asparagus *
  • broccoli *
  • Brussels sprouts **
  • collard greens **
  • garlic **
  • mustard greens **
  • okra **
  • parsley *
  • kale *
  • apricots **
  • bananas **
  • bee pollen **
  • brewer’s yeast *
  • buckwheat **-minimally
  • corn – NR
  • oatmeal – NR
  • rice bran – NR
  • rye – NR


*3s Paleo Detox recommended

*3s Paleo Maintenance recommended

NR- Not Recommended as a regular source

I don’t recommend grains or corn as part of 3S Paleo plans due to the high impact of glyphosates and other chemicals used to increase grain yield; these are extremely harmful to people and other living things, and have recently been shown to increase levels of non-alcoholic fatty liver1. But no worries, there are so many sources of L-Carnitine that you can easily avoid those that are not recommended as part of a 3S Paleo approach.


L-Carnitine Supplements

L-Carnitine can be purchased and taken as an individual natural supplement, but is also included in some reputable multi-vitamin supplement products.  Stand alone supplements range in price today from $7.99 to $17.99 online.  If you take L-Carnitine as part of a multi-vitamin, just make sure that no forms of sugar or secondary sugars (like beet sugar) are included; including beet sugar is one step away from including sugar in processed foods….it’s there to give you a cheap high and hook you on the product.  I say, avoid that and buy something straight.


For an L-Carnitine focused meal try Grilled Asparagus and Filet Mignon



  1. Multiomics reveal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats following chronic exposure to an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide Robin Mesnage, George Renney, Gilles-Eric Séralini, Malcolm Ward, Michael N. Antoniou

Sci Rep. 2017; 7: 39328. Published online 2017 Jan 9. doi: 10.1038/srep39328

PMCID: PMC5220358


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3 Meals that Fight Diabetes and Heart Disease

Simple Life. Simple Plan. Great Health.

Can these 3 meals help lower blood sugar and cholesterol?

You bet they can.  It helps that they’re delicious and hunger busting. But eating clean meals, like these 3S Paleo versions, can literally save your life as part of a simple healthy body-mind lifestyle as presented in my book,  Sugar + Stress = Sick. Eating organic, simple and clean, monitoring early health indicators, getting a minimum of 20 minutes of heart pumping exercise (including walking), and reducing stress, are the foundation for living the longest life YOU can.
First, here’s the menu:

~ Bowl of Strawberries to Your Taste


~ Crunchy Tuna Salad

~ Filet Mignon with Asparagus and Lemon Oregano Sauce
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Symptoms I’m Returning for the Holidays

It’s the Holiday Season….that time of year that often guarantees an extra layer of fluff. So….I decided it’s time to COME CLEAN and DETOX.

Thanksgiving for me capped off a year of excitement, housing and rebuilding life amusements. A lot of travel, constantly changing “home” environments, and building a new business/life has brought many cool moments, but also a lot of PTSD triggering chronic stress; less than optimal for chronic HEALTH.

I set the start date to Eat Clean and Reduce Stress for last Saturday, and have already lost 3.5 lbs. Now on Day 3, I’ve been experiencing expected highs and lows, a bit of a headache, and a little energy loss, but am SOOOO HAPPY to be on track.

I’d rather have those temporary cleanse symptoms than the dis-ease symptoms that were creeping back into my life.

I know where these symptoms come from, and how to address them naturally. So I took the bull by the horns, jumped on, and am riding back to the stable with confidence that optimal health is waiting for me at my destination.

Stability is an important factor to clean eating. That’s why I’ve taken immediate steps to calm life circumstances as part of my cleanse. I was traveling between Las Vegas and Santa Clarita, then San Diego and Santa Clarita, now Palmdale and Santa Clarita. I’ve created a work schedule that is challenging, but workable. And, I’ve reworked my daily stress reduction plan (critical if, like me, you have PTSD or other mental health challenges that color your life-reactivity).

I’ll drop 25 – 30 pounds in no time; likely about 2 to 3 months. I know how to do that. Life will start to calm and re-stabilize. I know how to do that. Eating clean AND stress reduction IS what works.

No one gets through life without challenges. We all get off track a bit now and then. The key is to keep it real, and make the right adjustments to get back to a good positive direction.

Let me know if you want to join me. I’d love the company.

Use this link: Detox Sign Up



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Bad Doctor Visit? Can Clean Eating/Stress Redux Fix That?

So you’re sitting in the doctor’s office and you get an unexpected ultimatum.  You didn’t think your health was that bad, but now you’re being told about the 5 med hamster wheel with bonus side effects you’re going to be on for the rest of your life.  Well that’s a terrifying moment.  Once you catch your breath, what to do next?

Most important in that moment is to know that YOU HAVE OPTIONS……usually beyond what your medical doctor may feel comfortable telling you.  The truth is that clean eating can alone is a very important option; one that can help you reduce or eliminate the need for medication or all those side effects.

Now wait a minute? What if clean eating could reduce or keep you off expensive medications? It Can! My friend Kelly even avoided heart surgery after a heart attack just through adopting a cleaner diet.  He begged the doc to wait 3 months, learned how to eat clean, and 3 months later…..no surgery.

Kelly celebrating with some wheat grass.

But what is clean eating? What does it mean and where do you start?

Clean eating can mean many different things these days, everything from non-GMO plant-based only to including “pastured meats,” with grain, without grain, or just avoiding sugar.  It can be confusing to know what’s best for you.  I recommend a range of options that allow people to transition more smoothly.

But you don’t have to know everything about clean eating in advance to get started when you’re in a fix.  Here are some tips about what to look for:

  1. Resolve to Learn as You Go. Many plans offer eating plans and recipes, but fail to teach you how to eat clean and simple.  Choose a plan that encourages learning new habits, and learn-as-you-go.
  2. Start with a Detox to Speed Healing, then move to Maintenance. That’s what Kelly did! A Detox does mean limiting your food a bit in the beginning, but you can do that. Just make sure the plan you choose eventually teaches you how to eat clean afterwards.
  3. MUST INCLUDE: Stress Reduction Techniques. Why? The World Health Organization now lists mental health (stress) as a major contributor to chronic disease. If you’re reading this article, likely the diagnosis you received was just that; heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc.
  4. Minimal Exercise. Your plan must include a minimum of 15 – 20 minutes of exercise daily that gets your heart pumping. Walking will do.
  5. Track Your Progress. The best way to gain knowledge about how your body is responding is to track what you eat, your weight patterns, and your daily mental outlook.

For best results, work with a coach or natural health professional who can help you personalize your food to match your health needs during and after your detox when you start eating to maintain health.

If you need help now, start with my 10 Day Cleanse and enroll in my next 30 Day Detox.  The online course with the 30 Day program teaches you the hows and whys of eating clean, gives you daily stress reduction, and even regular personal support from me.

Click on this image for info on my 30-Day Detox. Great clean eating intro; animal protein or plant-based, your choice.


Knowledge is power. You’re on the right track KNOWING you have More options than a lifetime of medication and side effects.

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