Monday, October 28, 2013

5 Practical Tips for a Healthy "Trick or Treat"!


I have two girls, ages 4 and 6.  I would love to say that they both prefer fruits and vegetables over candy but I'm here to tell you, that is not the case!  In fact, in this overly-sugared American society and with exposure to so many treats, they have developed their own love of sweets.  In our home we limit the types of desserts we buy; we opt for dark chocolate over milk and choose confections made with whole ingredients over processed. Therefore, in some respects, Halloween takes on an even bigger meaning for them.  They are very much looking forward to all aspects of Halloween; the costumes, the hanging with friends, the going out at night, and, of course, the candy.

That said, I do have some practical tips that could help ensure our children don't overindulge this holiday. I've learned (so far) as a parent that the best thing we can do is teach good habits and behaviors.  Ultimately, they make their own choices.  As long as we teach and educate, we are doing what we can.  That goes for Halloween candy, too!!

5 Ideas To Try This Halloween:

  1. Prepare and Fill Up on a Big, Nutritious Meal - Prior to going out trick or treating, make sure you and your loved ones have a big, nutritious meal.  Get all of those nutrients in their systems so they can have a little leeway for snacks coming later that evening!  
  2. Buy Non-GMO Candy:  Big food manufacturers like Mars and Hershey produce cheap candy made with GMO ingredients.  There ARE other options out there.  Annie's makes a delicious gummy snack made with real fruit, and Whole Foods offers organic lollipops made with fruit.  It's still delicious from a child's point of view, and you can feel good about offering something more sustainable.  Food Babe has a great article listing some delicious alternatives:
  3. Limit the Number of Candies Eaten:  As a rule of thumb I usually have a rule of two pieces of candy that night.  They can go through their loot and decide which two they want to eat, like, NOW!  Then the rest of the candy has an expiration date.  A week after Halloween, the candy goes "bad".  The key is not to let the candy linger. After a couple of days, my kids tend to forget about it anyway as the novelty has worn off.
  4. Give out Non-Food Items:  Although a little non-traditional, try offering toys and trinkets like tatoos and pencils and glow sticks.  Still kid-friendly and fun!
  5. Relax and Let Go: Sometimes, it's okay to be "bad".  There is nothing wrong with children seeing this is the exception rather than the rule.  This is a special occasion and is to be treated as such.  Heck, maybe a glass of wine is in order for us, too!! Relax, indulge, enjoy, and move on

What are some of your tips for a healthy and happy Halloween?

Be well,


Interested in learning more?  Please visit my website.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Salad to Transcend Seasons

Fall Foliage
New England Foliage

Today is late October and a gorgeous day in New England.  The foliage is at its peak. The temperature is in the mid-50's. The air is crisp yet still warm. In my opinion, it is a perfect day.

Such a vibrant day is filling me with so much energy, and urges me to be creative with my food.  I'm inspired to make my favorite salad that transcends all seasons, my Apple Chicken Sausage Spinach Salad!  It transcends all seasons as it uses spinach, which is not identifiable with Fall, but yet is one of the world's most healthiest vegetables, so in my opinion, should be used at any time during the year.

What Are The Health Benefits of Spinach?

  • Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Cancer Properties
  • Antioxidant Properties
  • Rich in Vitamin K, Calcium, and Magnesium - Important for Bone Health

For more information on the health benefits of spinach, please refer to this article by Dr. John Douillard HERE.

What does SCREAM Fall is what goes in the salad.  Home made chicken apple sausage complete with caramelized onions!

Chicken-Apple Sausage

- 1 pound organic ground chicken
- 2 teaspoons avocado or coconut oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 medium sweet apple (I use Gala, but Honeycrisp works) peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- Salt and pepper to taste

 - Heat the oil in a pan over a medium flame.
- Add onion and cook, stirring until the onions begin to soften (about 2 minutes)
- Add apples and cook, stirring for 2 more minutes
- Transfer to a large bowl and let cool
- Clean pan
- Add chicken, sage, and spices to the bowl with the apples and onions.  Gently mix and fold to combine
- Add in honey
- Add more oil to the pan and heat over medium flame
- Portion out mixture into either patties (makes 4) or small bites (makes about 12).
- Cook until the patties or small bites are browned and thoroughly cooked through, approximately 3 minutes on each side

Now you're done!  All that is left is to grab a large salad bowl, wash and rinse your organic spinach (I use baby), place the patty or bites of chicken-apple sausage on top, and fold gently.  I like to add in extra apple chunks and onions for garnish.

Do you have a favorite Fall salad?  I'd love to hear!  Please feel free to leave a comment below.

Be well,


Interested in learning more?  Please visit my website.

Monday, October 14, 2013

6 Steps for Breast Health

All of us have been affected by cancer in some form.  Whether it is a loved one who battled and overcame, a friend who didn't, or an acquaintance who's just been diagnosed, the reality is, it's running rampant.  The sad reality is, with all of the technological advances in our modern day, the numbers are still exceedingly high since President Richard Nixon first announced the "war on cancer" in 1971.

I am not a doctor nor am I an expert on cancer, but I do know that there is something very wrong  with our environment; an environment that is filled with pollution and toxins. We can experience toxic overload.  Some things we can't control. Some things, we CAN. Let's focus on what we CAN do.

Regarding breast cancer, here's the thing.  Early detection is important.  We know that.  It has saved countless lives. But......and here's the very important but.....early detection is still..... cancer! It's cancer that is detected early. What I want us to focus on is a shift in mindset. PREVENTION is the only TRUE prevention!  Early detection practices are very important to protect ourselves on all sides, but I want to encourage everyone to start familiarizing themselves with natural protection practices too.

Let's do our very best to help ourselves with the things we CAN control.  If more people knew about these points below, I truly believe that more people would start implementing these practices into their daily lives.

Natural breast cancer protection
  1. REDUCE YOUR SUGAR INTAKE - It's a scientific fact, cancer needs fructose to SURVIVE. Without it, the tumor(s) cannot continue to grow.  For more information, please reference this article from mercola.
  2. EAT YOUR MUSHROOMS! - If more women only knew that they could help reduce their risk of breast cancer by simply incorporating mushrooms into their daily diet, don't you think they would?  Mushrooms and green vegetables are the most potent anti-cancer foods.  From Dr. Fuhrman's site, "Mushrooms block tumor growth and have anti-estrogenic activity - regular consumption of mushrooms - as little as one mushroom per day - has been shown to decrease breast cancer risk by up to 60-70%".  
  3. TAKE FOLATE NOT FOLIC ACID - Ensure your whole food multi-vitamin contains folate.  Do NOT take a synthetic multi that contains folic acid. A major risk in the excessive intake of folic acid is cancer.
  4. REGULAR LYMPHATIC BREAST MASSAGE - I'm a big fan of these. The majority of our lymph nodes are found in our breasts.  Toxins can build up in our lymphs.  Regular lymph massage can help circulate those toxins out of the breasts and help improve circulation.  The body will then naturally release the toxins.
  5. CHANGE YOUR DEODORANT - If your deodorant contains aluminum, parabens, or phthalates, dump it now.  There are many  natural deodorants on the market that do not contain these ingredients. Granted, they may not work as well, but isn't applying a couple of times a day worth it??
  6. GO "WIRELESS" - Although not conclusive, there is some thought that wearing underwire bras prevents lymph circulation.  It is best to wear wireless, and nothing at all when you have no plans.  Freedom, baby!
    Going wireless

There are many other things you can do to protect yourself from the enemy, such as no processed foods, lots of purified water, eating cruciferous vegetables and lots of leafy greens. The points I mention above I don't feel are widely known but should be for all women.

For more reading on the topic, please view:

Be well,


Interested in learning more?  Please visit my website.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What The Heck is Ghee?

I grew up in a family that is half holistic, and half the far other extreme.  Ghee is a common noun in part of my family's vocabulary, but I didn't really know much about it until just recently.  Boy was I missing out!!

What is Ghee?
Pronounced "gee" with a hard g, ghee is clarified butter used for cooking.  Mainly used in Indian cooking, ghee is butter with the milk solids, proteins and water removed, thus making it clarified.  What remains in ghee from regular butter is the clear oil. Ghee has been around for thousands of years and stems from ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of medicine.  

Why Should I Care?

Ghee is a very stable cooking oil and can be heated to high temperatures without going rancid.  Olive oil, which is extremely healthy and a great source of omega-3s, is actually an UNSTABLE cooking oil and when heated to medium-high heat, can break down and become carcinogenic.  The absolute opposite of what well-intended healthy people are trying to achieve!!  Ghee is a great alternative to cooking and provides amazing nourishment. Save the olive oil for salads and dips.

What are Some Other Benefits of Ghee?

  • Supports digestion
  • Adds a healthy glow to the skin
  • Provides mental clarity
  • Can use even if intolerant to milk, as milk proteins are removed
  • Has a higher smoke point than butter
  • Rich in antioxidants and aids in the absorption of vitamins and minerals from other foods
  • Lacks hydrogenated oils
  • Strengthens the immune system

Organic, grass-fed ghee is the best quality, naturally.

I am very lucky that my uncle prepares his own ghee and is generous enough to share.  I use it for all of my roasting  and high-heat cooking needs, including this ripe for Autumn butternut squash recipe.

As with other saturated fats, you should use sparingly and only what you need for cooking.  

Have you tried ghee?  Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Be well,


Interested in learning more?  Please visit my website.