Sunday, July 29, 2018

How to Make an Essential Oil Blend for Black Eyes


Blend together well. Add this to 1 tablespoon ice cold water, mix well and soak cotton balls or cotton pads in it.

Close your eye and apply a ball or pad to the eyelid and surrounding area.

Get your herbs and oils at a place you can trust!

Starwest Botanicals not only utilizes their own milling and packaging operations for all organic herbs and bulk spices, they also conduct quality control testing on each and every product in their own laboratory.

With attention like that, you can be sure you will receive only the highest-quality organic herbs, dried herbs, organic spices, therapeutic essential oils and all natural products when you place an order with Starwest Botanicals.


Use coupon aha10off to get 10% off any course – even if you use a payment plan!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Calendula and Plantain Ointment Recipe

A good all around ointment to soothe irritated skin..

Get your dried, organic herbs, organic essential oils, bulk spices, loose leaf organic teas and aromatherapy supplies at the place where we shop – StarWest Botanicals!


  • Place Herbs in glass bowl over simmering water (or double broiler), cover with oil.
  • Warm the oil stirring often for about 2 – 3 hours. Strain out the Herbs and discard.
  • Place herb oil back in bowl over steaming water and add enough Beeswax to create the desired consistency.
  • Pour into lip Balm jars.

Heal Your Skin Naturally

Skin Dr. temporarily relieves symptoms such as redness and itching of the skin.

* Promotes healthy cell renewal and routine shedding of old skin cells
* Maintains skin hydration and freshness through supported water balance
* Supports the skin's ability to purify itself
* Supports skin integrity

What is Skin Dr.?

Skin Dr. is a safe, non-addictive natural remedy containing 100% homeopathic ingredients formulated to temporarily relieve symptoms of minor skin irritations plus promote skin health and functioning. Skin Dr. supports integrity of all cells and layers of the skin.

Skin Dr. also helps to temporarily maintain the balance and hydration of the skin, as well as the supply of oxygen at a cellular level. In addition, routine removal of old skin cells and the natural regenerative processes of the skin are also supported.

Skin Dr. is taken internally and presented in small tablet form. It is easy to ingest and hassle-free with no artificial colors or preservatives.

All Native Remedies homeopathic products and biochemic tissue salts are manufactured in a FDA-registered and cGMP-compliant pharmaceutical facility under the supervision of qualified homeopaths and responsible pharmacists. Individual ingredients are listed in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS).

For more than 200 years, homeopathy has been used to provide relief for a broad array of symptoms from a number of health conditions. It uses the premise of like-treats-like to help address specific symptoms, utilizing natural ingredients to provide temporary relief from the same symptoms that at full-strength they would cause.

Natural remedies such as Skin Dr. have an excellent record in the maintenance of skin and systemic health and are well worth exploring in a quest for skin support.

Learn more about Skin Dr. now.
Why do we promote this?

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars

By popular request: Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars! I did a poll on Instagram last week asking which strawberry rhubarb dessert I should make. If you were one of the many that voted for crumble bars – you win! Well, actually, I … Go to the recipe...

The post Strawberry Rhubarb Crumble Bars appeared first on Love and Lemons.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Fatherhood Rx: How a Dads Presence or Absence Affects Our Mind and Body


This is my third fatherless Father's Day.  

Though gone, my father still impacts who I am every day.

The example he set, the way he moved through the world wanting everyone he met to feel welcome and important, his sense of humor, the way he was always focusing on the possibilities………. and of course the years he walked through this world with me shaped who I am today.

These three years since my father's passing also marks the same period of time since my daughter's father and I divorced.

In dissimilar but profound ways, I have been witness to what a father's physical presence or absence means in various stages of a daughter's life.


How Fatherhood Influences Emotional and Physical Health


Of course, we know they are essential in any child's life, but do we understand how influential Father's really are?

Their role is more than just to provide food and shelter.

More than to protect their daughters and set an example for their sons.

So much more.

Research and focus on the significance of a Father's involvement is finally increasing our awareness on the positive outcomes on a child's emotional, cognitive, and academic development.

We are finally learning about a Father's role in multiple facets by asking the same types of questions we have been asking about mothers.

Do we understand how imperative it is that they are present to show their sons how to treat women and to maneuver through many of life's unknowns? How crucial they are in what their daughters will find acceptable and not acceptable in future relationships?


Father Involvement When Young


We are all familiar with the Father's stereotypical role of being the sole provider while Mothers are traditionally the caregiver. But, do these "roles" ever intertwine and connect? Do they switch places or sometimes take the place of the other? Is a single Dad just as capable of a single Mom?

In the past few decades, social changes and increase in the proportion of working mothers coupled with changes in paternity leave policies have resulted in a shift towards more direct parenting duties being shared by parents.

This is beneficial for the entire family.

According to research, the nature and extent of fathers' involvement in parenting may change over the course of a child's life.

"However, early paternal involvement is often associated with continuing engagement and may be a proxy measure of overall engagement. Early parenting can also affect outcomes later in life".

New Dad's should not be afraid to get their hands dirty and jump in from early on. Of course, a newborn's bond with their mother is irreplaceable but so is their bond with their father.

They are just important in different ways.

Researchers found that the children of fathers who had a positive emotional response to parenting and a sense of security in their role as a parent and partner early in the child's life were less likely to have behavioral problems in adolescence.

According to the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), "Psychological and emotional aspects of paternal involvement in children's early upbringing, particularly how new fathers see themselves as parents and adjust to the role, rather than the quantity of direct involvement in childcare, is associated with positive behavioral outcomes in children. "

Positive parenting by fathers may contribute to good outcomes in children in a number of ways.

  1. Involved fathers may influence children indirectly by being a source of instrumental and emotional support to mothers
  2. The effect of this on mothers' well-being and parenting strategies often leads to better outcomes in children.
  3. There is evidence that fathers' involvement can also alleviate the impact of factors such as maternal depression which are known to increase children's risk of behavioral problems.
  4. More involvement often paves the way to a happy and cohesive family which has the potential to bring about better outcomes in children.

Understanding the nature and effect of fathers' involvement on the health and well-being of children will improve family psychological and health outcomes.


A Father's Absence & Effect on Behavior




Just as a Father's presence is pivotal, a father's absence can be devastating.

The relationship between parent and child can and does have detrimental effects on youth physiological development.

This goes for Fathers as well.

Although most studies have focused on the influence of maternal behaviors, with little attention to paternal influences, there is now an abundance of evidence showing us just how important a Father is.

They are important from an early age and their significance only grows greater through adolescence and into adulthood.

Research has proposed three pathways to explain links between father absence and elevated levels of internalizing and externalizing behavior.

  1. Socialization theory suggests that father absence influences adolescent behavior through adverse behavioral modeling. Specifically, father absence, and the parental conflict that follows may expose children to maladaptive emotional coping strategies or impulsive behaviors that they emulate in adolescence
  2. Children may act out in response to the emotional disruption brought out by high levels of conflict that can both precede and succeed a union dissolution. They also struggle with the disruption of family life and exposure to parental distress resulting in internalizing or acting out behavior.
  3. In families with nonresident fathers, youth may experience reduced parental supervision, providing youth with greater opportunity to engage in risky or delinquent behavior.


Both strategies in the studies have revealed a link between a father's absence and adolescent internalizing and externalizing behavior.

"For example, regression analyses using rich covariate information identified strong links between marital dissolution and psychological distress and problem behavior (Amato, 1991; Morrison & Coiro, 1999; Sun, 2001). Growth curve strategies, which examine within-child changes in behavior, have shown that although behavior problems exist prior to divorce, children who experience divorce along with separation from either parent report even higher levels of internalizing and externalizing behavior after marital dissolution.

Research also highlights the fact that fathers play a very distinct role, one that is different than a mother, in children's development of social skills. For example, a U.S study of parental involvement during childhood and adolescence found that time spent with fathers in the presence of others was strongly linked with increased social competence. The same effect was not observed for mothers.


A Father Shapes his Daughter and Son Differently



Fathers strongly influence our character but also our relationships.

It varies widely from person to person, family to family, and also from girls and boys.

Research has shown that factors such as a father's presence, closeness, and communication of affection are found to be predictive variables of positive relationships and set the tone for greater levels of spousal marital satisfaction as well. 

Research also shows that daughter's self-appraisal and self-perceptions represent distinct features of father-daughter relationships

Girls gain essential benefits from having a close father-daughter bond. According to research from Vanderbilt University, "girls who had close, positive relationships with their fathers during the first five years of life tended to reach puberty later than girls who had more distant relationships." In addition, the University of Oxford researchers found girls who had more involved fathers were less likely to face mental health problems later in life.

Recognition and approval from their father can lead girls towards developing into independent and confident women.

Researchers at the University of Oxford report that boys who have involved fathers are less likely to get in trouble with the police as they get older. A positive father or father figure can be a role model for boys and help them to adopt a healthy identity as well as an awareness of their feelings and emotions.

Their behavior and treatment in a child's life will impact what a daughter looks for in her partner.

It will model the way in which his son learns to treat women and his mindset towards them.


Parental Relationship & Effects on Health



The relationships formed with both parents can not only affect mental and social outcomes, it can significantly affect a child's physical development.

Several studies have shown individuals raised in high-risk or negative family environments are at an increased lifetime risk for a range of not only behavioral issues but had physical health-related outcomes as well.

Examples of physical effects include: sleep disturbances, obesity, alcoholism, smoking initiation, sexual disorders, chronic pain disorders, diabetes, asthma, autoimmune disorders, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

How does our relationship with our parents affect our physical health?

The physical and mental health symptoms from both Mother and Father negative relationships are thought to be outcomes of a common underlying biological process called the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

  • The HPA axis is a neuroendocrine stress response system that produces the stress hormone cortisol when set off by negative or challenging events in the environment.
  • Over time, neglectful, abusive, or negative parenting can result in a disruption in the HPA system, seen in exaggerated or blunted cortisol levels.
  • Disturbance in HPA activity is associated with a range of pathologies including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and depression. In contrast, it has also linked positive behaviors from parents with more adaptive HPA activity in response to stress.


A lifelong negative or unhealthy relationship with either parent does not have to mean physical or verbal abuse while it certainly includes that.

It does not have to be extreme to have a lasting impact on health.

In the past, researchers have focused many of their studies on childhood sexual abuse or other forms of severe maltreatment.

But, current studies are finding that cortisol dysregulation is associated with less severe childhood family adversity. "In fact, the impact of negative relationships within the family of origin on cortisol remained after controlling for self-reported sexual or physical abuse, and after removing from analysis any participants reporting above average experiences of abuse. These exploratory analyses suggest that exposure to childhood family adversity does not have to be severe in magnitude to affect long-term cortisol regulation."

The current findings suggest that uncovering those components that are the most stressful and the most troubling from growing up in an adverse family environment impact can provide options for intervention. Reflecting and facing these issues that might stem from parents have long-term benefits for the physical and mental health of children who might be at risk.


A Father's Shared Vision Can Influence Success


My dad inspired me to visualize my dreams and create. I was blessed to celebrate 42 father's days with such a loving man.


His voice was full of life and vigor and it vibrated through me like a hug.


He taught me what growth meant. Facing change with determination and anticipation of great success.


Social cognitive theory proposes that our own personal evaluation process is the foundation of human agency.


Results from current research suggest the transformational qualities of shared vision between fathers and daughters are substantial.

It not only molds daughters into successors but encourages them to overcome any gender barriers along the way.

Self-efficacy refers to a self-evaluative process that links reasoning to conduct and a daughter's evaluation of her own ability to achieve success as a leader in the family business or in starting her own.

It's a judgment of skill and competence to execute activities required to meet goals.

"It's also domain specific since a general sense of self-efficacy may have little or no relevance to functioning in the family business (DeNoble et al., 2007)."

For example, a daughter might have firm beliefs in her ability to achieve in school, sports, or social causes, but may not believe she can lead the family business or build one for herself.

A fathers' judgments of daughter's efficacy may inform choices and link reasoning to conduct.

"As leaders of the family business and selectors of successors, fathers' assessments of daughters' capabilities to execute tasks to achieve desired goals may influence fathers' decisions to appoint daughters as successors. The construct, "perceived daughter efficacy," in the study reflects fathers' self-reported perceptions of daughters' efficacy as leaders of family businesses."


The idea is unless you believe your children can achieve desired goals, they will lack the motivation to bring forth the necessary effort or persevere in the face of difficulties. Believing in children influences their ambition, choices, vulnerability to stress and depression, and performance accomplishments.


As a female entrepreneur, the delicate balance is to retain your feminine creativity and still be a powerful force.

Maintaining healthy boundaries and using your intuition are secrets to my success.

Another secret is having an incredible role model in my own Father who shared a vision of success with me.

And for me.


Father's Come in Many Forms



It is also important to know there are many children who don't have their biological father in their life.

Some have lost their father, or do not live with their biological father. Some may have a complicated relationship or no relationship at all.

The best thing in these situations is to ensure a child has the support and the love from a father figure.

This could be a step-parent, a grandparent, an uncle, or a family friend.

It's time we examine a fathers influence and their role in the family and in child development just as closely as we have Mothers.

To shine a light on them and make sure they aren't left in the dark.

To leave a father in the dark, without good reason, is to leave a child in the dark.


A child needs support and love from both mother and father for their well-being. Their physical, mental, and social development depends upon both parents to shine the light and guide the way.


Every child grows into an adult that needs the same things they needed early on.


Every child needs love to shine. To thrive. To heal.

Both mentally and physically.

#Loveismedicine and parents give the first dose.


Join us for more @ #LoveisMedicine












The post The Fatherhood Rx: How a Dads Presence or Absence Affects Our Mind and Body appeared first on NaturalPath.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

The Dorito Effect - The Surprising Truth About Food and Flavor

By Dr. Mercola

In his book "The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor," award-winning journalist and author, Mark Schatzker, investigates the introduction of flavor into the industrialized food supply. An investigative journalist by profession, Schatzker's curiosity about flavor led him to eventually write two books addressing this issue. The first, "Steak: One Man's Search for the World's Tastiest Piece of Beef" was, as the title implies, about steak.

"I got deep into the science of flavor [and] the science of how we perceive flavor. But I also [asked a] question that we rarely ask, which is 'Why does food have flavor?' We think it's all very simple. We take for granted of the fact that apples taste like apples and steak tastes like steak. But then when you start to get inside it, it becomes very interesting," he says.

"I would visit a ranch and there would be a field of pregnant cows and a field of steers. The rancher would say, 'Oh, the pregnant cows are in a field of clover because they need a lot of protein [when] they're pregnant.' Cows don't even know what protein is, so how does a cow know what to eat?

The answer is flavor feedback. They seek out the flavors that bring their bodies what they need. It's something we are certainly very alienated from … We tend to think there's an inverse relationship between health and deliciousness. I set out to do that steak book thinking, 'It might be that the best steak I find is awful for the cow [and] horrible for the planet; it's like a heart attack on a plate.'

What I found, oddly, was that the most delicious steak was the best for the planet, nicest for the cow and the best for me. I thought, 'This is not what I expected. This is not what we were taught to expect. Is there something going on here?' … [I]n nature … delicious flavors guide animals to the foods they need. So, I asked what is a simple question with a very complex answer, which is, 'Does it work that way for humans?'"

The History of the Dorito

The story of the Dorito starts with the late Archibald Clark West, a marketing executive who, in the 1950s, worked on the Jell-O Pudding account. In 1960, the Frito company offered him the position of vice president of sales and marketing. (Shortly thereafter, Frito merged with the Lay's chip company to become Frito-Lay.) A chance stop at a Mexican food shack on the way back home from a visit with Lawrence Frank, the inventor of Lawry's seasoned salt, exposed West to the tortilla chip.

"He thought, 'This is going to be the next big thing for Frito-Lay' … He presented his idea to his fellow executives. They just sort of looked at him like he's a little funny because they thought, 'Why would we want to make tortilla chips when we already make Fritos, which are kind of the same thing? … But West was so confident in his idea that he actually funneled discretionary funds to an off-site facility to develop this concept.

He gave them a name, which, in a very bastardized Spanish, means 'little pieces of gold.' He brought it back to his fellow executives. He passed out samples of tortilla chips and said, 'Gentlemen, I give you Doritos.' I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, 'OK. This is when the world changed. This is where junk food was forever junkier and more addictive.'

But in fact, that's not what happened, because the Doritos that first went to market … were just … salted tortilla chips. People in the Southwest … where there was a Hispanic cultural influence, knew that you could dip them in salsa and so forth. But the rest of the country didn't really get it. The main complaint was that the snack sounds Mexican, [but] it doesn't taste Mexican."

The Dorito Effect

Undeterred, West had another epiphany: "Let's make them taste like taco." Up until that time, foods had their own intrinsic flavors and that was that. If you wanted the taste of raspberry or pineapple, you had to use real raspberries and real pineapple. But some speculate that West's friendship with Lawrence Frank (the inventor of Lawry's seasoned salt) gave him the insight that you could alter flavors through the use of chemicals.

"You could make whatever you wanted taste like whatever you wanted it to taste like. You could literally buy flavored chemicals and put a dusting on a triangular piece of fried cornmeal and, voila! It wouldn't taste exactly like a taco, but it would have that depth, that tang, that zest. Frito-Lay then brought out taco-flavored Doritos, and that changed everything.

Let's think about that for a second. We're talking about a high-fat, high-carb, high-salt snack that America basically wasn't interested in. With the addition of flavored chemicals, it turned into a snack people could not stop eating. Let's also think about this: Prior to taco-flavored Doritos, when people ate tortilla chips, they would dip them in things that are good for you, things like a bean dip or salsa made with tomatoes, made with hot peppers.

Now you didn't need that. Now you could just dust on the flavorings and they tasted good on their own. This, to me, is a very important moment in the history of our food culture, because it's when we mastered flavor. Up until that point, roughly speaking, flavor had been the domain of Mother Nature. Now, it was up to, literally, the folks who worked in marketing."

Artificial Flavor Technology Allowed for Massive Deterioration of Natural Food Quality

This flavor technology is ultimately what allowed for the radical deterioration of food quality, as you not only can easily mask the flavor of inferior quality ingredients, but impose a flavor that has no business being there - making foods taste like something that they are not, and literally imbue nutritionally empty foods with the "sheen" of nutrition.

This is important for processed foods manufacturers because, as modern agricultural methods have taken a toll on soil health, food has gotten increasingly bland, as the natural flavor and aroma of food is actually tied to its nutrient content. In other words, flavor is a marker for the nutritional density of the food.

Using flavored chemicals, you can now produce food that has virtually no nutritional value, or even negative nutritional value, yet the great taste and aroma fool consumers into thinking they're eating something wholesome. As noted by Schatzker:

"There's been a change in quality. When old-timers complain that food doesn't taste like it used to, it's not because they're [remembering] the past through rose-tinted lenses, it's because food really doesn't taste the way it used to. We have this ongoing debate in our culture about the importance of eating right. We tell people you need to eat more fruits and vegetables, you need to eat more whole foods, but what have we done?

We've made those whole foods blander, less delicious than ever, and we've made the processed foods more delicious than ever. This book is an attempt to understand what's gone wrong with food through the lens of flavor. We think we understand carbs and protein and vitamins, but what we all seek in every meal is flavor, and there's been a huge change in the way food tastes."

The Evolutionary Imperative of Taste and Smell

We think we experience the aroma of food when we smell it, but it's actually a bit more complex than that. When you bite into the food, the aroma goes into the back of your throat and through a small hole up into your nose. This is called retronasal olfaction, and is actually a more powerful form of smelling than normal smelling. This is what allows you to experience the richness and nuance of food.

Brain scans reveal the experience of flavor takes up more gray matter than any other sensory experience. Additionally, the largest portion of the human genome involves the creation of your nose. So, from an evolutionary perspective, this chemical-sensing ability appears to be particularly important.

Experiments by Utah State University scientist Fred Provenza proved that animals use flavors to obtain required nutrients, and it appears the same applies to humans, and that this is why this incredible chemical-sensing apparatus exists.

"For millions of years, it worked perfectly. It helped us balance our nutrition so that we could find the foods we need, get what we needed and not eat to excess," Schatzker says. "That all changed in the mid-1950s. The first gas chromatograph went on sale. What's important to remember is that before that, scientists had absolutely no idea where flavor came from. They knew a lot at this point about things like the macronutrients, protein, carbs and fat.

They knew a lot about vitamins. But flavor was a mystery, [in large part because] flavors exist in such minute amounts - we're talking parts per million, parts per billion … With the gas chromatograph, you could take a piece of food and literally turn it into a gas. You volatize it and send the gas through this big coil. The coil separates every compound out.

Out the other end comes each flavor chemical, and then they would analyze it. It didn't take long for them to analyze the flavors in things like fried chicken, tacos, tomatoes or cherries. Then they started making [the flavors] in flavor factories. They started putting them in foods … Junk food is high-calorie, nutritionally empty food, that is true. But here's the thing; we wouldn't eat that stuff if not for the flavor. That's what was added to make it irresistible."

The 'Natural Flavors' Scam

As the Center for Public Integrity points out, industries can basically decide for themselves what is safe for you to eat. Of the 10,000 food additives on the market, 95 to 99 percent have never been tested for safety when consumed in isolation, let alone been tested for synergistic toxicity that can occur when you combine several of them together. People have gotten savvier about this in recent years, and many are now trying to avoid artificial flavors and colors. Yet the food industry is still tricking most of us.

If you read food labels, you've likely seen the inclusion of "natural flavors." If this has led you to believe they were different from and healthier than artificial flavors, you've been soundly deceived. Originally, "natural flavors" referred to things like spices and spice extracts - flavors obtained through natural means. This changed when consumers began rejecting foods containing "artificial flavors." Schatzker explains:

"When consumers started getting frightened by the word 'artificial,' the flavor companies began to make the very same flavored chemicals using natural means … It's the same flavored chemicals, made through fermentation or evaporation, for example, and not through more chemically complex ways. The bottom line is, it's the same stuff … There is nothing more wholesome or more natural about these so-called 'natural' flavorings.

In fact, you could argue the artificial ones are better because they're purer. When they make these natural flavorings, they don't have full control over what they're getting in. They take these chemical extracts and they don't know exactly what's in there. The problem is you have mothers looking at things like yogurt tubes and granola bars; they see this word 'natural flavoring' or they see 'no artificial coloring or flavoring,' and they're being totally hoodwinked."

How Artificially Flavored Foods Are Driving the Obesity Epidemic

Most people eat too much these days, and more than two-thirds of Americans are either overweight or obese as a result. Processed, artificially flavored foods have a lot to do with this, as these chemicals make you eat food you normally would not want to eat, and eat more than you normally would. Remarkably, even whole foods like chicken and pork are now getting flavor enhancements, as the real thing has gotten so bland.

Again, this loss of flavor is a direct result of the way the animals are being raised. "We raise our livestock so quickly and so cheaply that it tastes like cardboard," Schatzker says. "So, it's not just Doritos and soda. It's everything. We might think we're making a healthy choice but, really, we're being fooled in the same way."

On a side note, there are even flavorings in cigarettes, and the reason they're there is because it would make teenagers like them more. "That's a testament to its effectiveness - getting consumers to do things they wouldn't ordinarily be inclined to do," he says.

Breeding Flavor Back Into Food

Unfortunately, while the junk food industry has top-notch flavor experts working for them, many fruit and vegetable producers fail to give any attention to flavor at all. Not only is this hurting the sales of whole foods, but more importantly, as mentioned earlier, flavor is a marker of nutritional density. While poor soil quality plays a significant role, plant breeding has also contributed to the blandness of many foods.

Take the tomato for example. Many older people will tell you today's tomatoes taste nothing like they used to. Schatzker spent time interviewing Harry Klee, Ph.D., a horticultural science professor at the University of Florida, who since the early 1990s has been trying to crack the mystery of what happened to tomatoes.

"The truth is we've genetically damaged tomatoes," Schatzker says. "They have literally forgotten how to be flavorful, because for so many years, we've been breeding tomatoes to produce a big crop, to have a long shelf-life, to be disease-resistant. It's amazing how much more productive tomato plants are than they were, say, 100 years ago. They're more than 10 times as productive. But we've paid for it in flavor … [I]f you don't select flavor, you lose flavor …

Knowing what we've done means we can take steps to undo the damage ... [Klee] found is that there are about 26 flavor compounds in tomatoes that really drive the experience of liking them … So, he thought, 'If I can figure out how the tomato makes each one of those, I can target it and I can breed for it. By ordinary, classic breeding, I can target those flavor pathways.'

What he found is that each of those 26 flavors is synthesized from an essential nutrient. This basically means that the flavor of a tomato is like a big chemical sign telling your brain there's good stuff in here. This is why we have noses. This is why we have this chemical sensing apparatus, because it leads us to the nutrients we need.

When you start to fix the flavor problem in the tomato, you improve the nutrition and you improve the chemical representation of that tomato, so that when you bite into it you go, 'Yes. That's a great tomato' … Klee has created a modern tomato that has the flavor of an heirloom, but it still has the yield and the disease resistance. It's not GMO. It's just a classically bred tomato. It really is the best of both worlds …

It works so beautifully in whole foods. But when you create a tomato flavoring in a factory and you put it on a potato chip or you put it in a sugary tomato sauce, you're creating this experience of tomato, but you're not delivering the nutrition. That, I think, is a really elegant illustration of just how things have gone off the rails."

You Can Trust Your Intuition When Eating Real Food

Your body was designed to identify the best foods for you in any given moment. The call of certain foods is really difficult to ignore. However, problems arise when your body is being tricked into craving foods that don't contain the nutrients promised by their smell and taste. The system does work, however, if you eat real food.

"My advice to people is to eat the most delicious food you can, but buy real foods," Schatzker says. "Don't be frightened of calories. Don't be frightened of food … The other thing I'd like to tell people is be aware of your own eating experience … I think there are two different kinds of delicious.

There's a delicious where you can't stop eating. This is what happens to me with flavored potato chips or Doritos. You have one and you just can't resist putting your hand back in the bag … These are experiences to be avoided …

Then there are other foods - dark chocolate is a great example; a great tomato is a really good example - where the point isn't to stuff as much into your mouth as fast as you can. The point is to sit in a kind of deep contemplation of this incredible flavor experience. That, to me, is a better kind of food experience to have. I don't think it's one that you need to be afraid of. I think it's one that will give back.

Also, be aware of how you feel after a meal. Try to integrate that into your perception of food. I've eaten some pretty low-end fried chicken that had that manic I-can't-stop-eating [sensation], and an hour later I felt dreadful. If you can remember that feeling, it makes you less inclined to go after that [unhealthy food] again in the future."

As discussed in many other articles, fruits and vegetables grown in healthy soils without toxic chemicals are a flavor sensation that is hard to beat. It certainly cannot be replicated with chemicals. Fortunately, Schatzker assures us horticultural scientists are now working on breeding flavor - and hence nutrients - back into a several foods, including strawberries and sweet corn.

While it may take time, there's certainly hope for the future. We just have to keep our eye on the goal, which is to bring real food back into the lives of everyone. To learn more about the impact food additives have on our food selections and health, be sure to pick up a copy of Schatzker's book, "The Dorito Effect: The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor."

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Top 12 Most Dangerous Foods for Dogs

To see more ways on health, wellness, and alternative medicine, please visit us here: - 

Many people are unaware that some of the foods that we eat on regular basis can be deadly to your dog.It's tough to look at that pleading, furry face and resist giving our best friend some of the yummies we are eating, but, that is exactly what we need to do in order to protect him from dangerous foods for dogs.Dangerous Foods for DogsA piece of chocolate can cause seizures, coma and death. Even a small piece of chocolate is dangerous for dogs.Anything containing caffeine can have a similar effect and be as dangerous as chocolate, and that includes coffee grounds, tea, and tea bags.Grapes and raisins are two of the most dangerous foods for dogs that can cause kidney failure and even a single serving of raisins can...
[Read More ...]

Sunday, May 13, 2018

AIP Stories of Recovery – May 2018

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to see what that means!

In order to support our blogging activities, we may receive monetary compensation or other types or remuneration for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

That being said, we only promote authors, products, and services that we wholeheartedly stand by!



AIP Stories of Recovery is a success story series about regular people from the Autoimmune Protocol community who are changing their lives using the protocol. Each month a new person is featured and readers have the opportunity to discover all the different health challenges that are being overcome by folks just like themselves on the same path. At Autoimmune Paleo we hope you'll be inspired by, empathize with, and learn from these stories. If you are interested in sharing your story, please let us know by filling out our interest form.

We have a very special Mother's Day edition of our Stories of Recovery for you this month! Both Kerri and her mother, Brenda, discovered and began managing their autoimmune conditions within weeks of each other, but that's not the most remarkable part of their story. The way they came together to support one another and become partners on their mission to regain health is both deeply touching and incredibly inspirational. Here, read Kerri and Brenda's Stories of Recovery, each in their own words, and see the power of a healing community in action!

What health issues are you dealing with, when did they begin, and how long did it take to get a diagnosis?

KERRI: I am healing from multiple sclerosis. I was diagnosed in November of 2014 after the typical autoimmune diagnosis, which took me to many different doctors: endocrinologist, gastroenterologist, primary doctor, etc. At the tender age of 25, I was pretty stunned. Wait, degeneration? But I'm so young! There was also a good amount of relief though - the feeling of being a ping pong ball in a blizzard would finally be over. This downward spiral began in January of 2013 when I picked up a nasty case of typhoid fever solo backpacking around the Yucatan and Chiapas in Mexico. I know you're probably asking yourself, "What is typhoid fever? Isn't that something you pick up on the Oregon Trail?" Well no, it is around.

It's a bacterial infection that stems from salmonella typhi and it was the perfect cocktail for my immune system to go haywire. It landed me in the hospital for 10 days. I was strung out on a slew of antibiotics because we weren't quite sure what I had contracted while I was traveling. The doctors were even calling me Miss Mystery. By the time we figured out what it was, it had spread into my bloodstream and I was shipped over to the ICU.

I liked to think of myself as a happy, healthy being before this, independent, traveling, always hosting and staying really active in my days. I had lots of energy exerting hobbies. The two years following my stay at the hospital were a little bit different. I struggled to maintain. I slowly realized that my energy wasn't the same and things just weren't right. It then started the string of doctors visits for hair loss, weight fluctuation and the many neurological symptoms that I was suffering from. Low vitamin D levels, a poor sleep routine (AKA partying and little to no stress management) were the perfect addition with a gut infection to wreak havoc on my immune system. After the almost two-year hop-around from doctor to doctor with no answers, I finally took a three-day stay at the hospital due to numbness on the whole left side of my body. They did an MRI and a spinal tap and diagnosed me with MS.

BRENDA: I was diagnosed with lichen sclerosis in October of 2014. During my yearly visit to my gynecologist she saw some evidence that alerted to her to do a biopsy. It confirmed that indeed it was LS. I believe my LS symptoms had been going on for a few years prior to her ordering the biopsy. I had been mentioning my different symptoms of vaginal dryness/burning, tearing, and painful sex, which she dismissed as perimenopause. I did learn these are some of the symptoms of perimenopause, so I was confused and had started to think this was just a horrible part of aging. It's not! When she diagnosed me, I wasn't really that concerned since I had no idea what LS was, I was just relieved to know that something else was indeed going on, and I wasn't crazy.

I feel now that my perimenopause was probably brought on by the sudden death of our 21-year-old son seven years prior. So I was grieving, then transferred directly into perimenopause, and then to the diagnosis. To say I had a lot going on is a gross understatement. I wasn't paying too much attention to how my genitals looked, I was just trying to learn how to breathe again.

I've had digestion issues for years. For so long in fact, that I can't figure out how many years. At least 15. I feel that my symptoms are under control today. I manage them by doing everything I've learned, mostly from the AIP. When I do have symptoms now, with my LS it's usually burning. My flares don't last as long as they did before AIP. I also suffer from migraines, tension headaches, gas, bloating, sugar cravings, and pain in various locations throughout my body. It's usually caused from lack of sleep, too much stress that I let get out of hand or eating too much sugar!

Describe what the lowest point on your health journey was like.

KERRI: The lowest point of my health journey was probably the summer before my diagnosis leading up to that fall. I was depressed and couldn't keep weight on my body. I was gaunt, pale and just felt so unhealthy. I was exhausted from the run around. I had an appetite that was all over the place, hungry sometimes, starving others. I just kept cramming food into my body with the hopes I would gain weight but continued to feel malnourished.

At this time too, I had begun having my more severe symptoms of MS: a hefty bout of vertigo that lasted about a week and left me unable to do much of anything. It finally all just built up. I was scared, confused and unsure of myself and my health. Being in the state where I knew something was wrong with me but I had no answer or solution on what to do or how to move forward was painful, unsettling and just a real big downer. This was also the time where my mother and grandfather also got diagnosed with AI diseases. It was an-all around scary and confusing time for everyone.

On top of all of that, I was coping the only way I knew how: partying, taking care of other people instead of myself and staying distracted or in denial, probably both. It's so true that getting a diagnosis helps us move forward, spiritually, physically and mentally. It's just good for the soul to know that our intuition is true and to listen to it. Then we can make the changes that need to be made and follow through with our actions and our determination.

BRENDA: In October 2014, I was diagnosed, followed by my daughter's diagnosis of multiple sclerosis two weeks later. That was a horrible time. Perimenopause still didn't make a lot of sense, our loss was horrible, but I/we were learning and accepting our new normal. Kerri's health though was a huge concern to my husband and me. We were so sensitive to her needs but didn't quite know what to do for her. She'd been hospitalized for 10 days in ICU due to typhoid fever and that was so scary, especially since it was just a few years before that we'd lost her brother. She was losing hair and weight at a rapid pace and in and out of doctors. We were trying to be completely present and positive for her sake.

My health issues were happening at the same time as hers so that was the lowest point. Having no idea what was happening to my health, seeing it and my sexuality, energy and vitality go out the window once again, so soon after the loss of our son was too much. Seeing Kerri wilt away and not knowing how to help her - well, as a mother I felt completely lost. Her diagnosis hit us much harder. I really didn't understand what LS was or what the side affects of it were that first year, which in hind sight was probably a blessing. Not knowing completely enabled me to focus more on her needs. Plus, the research of LS was too damn scary!

It also took me a while to come to terms with my own diagnosis. There's so much secrecy and shame surrounding LS since it affects the genitals. It's not something I can easily or openly talk about. For that reason, it's been extremely isolating. Learning what treatments are available, finding the program that's right for me, applying it and doing AIP have put me in more control of my own health. I feel more empowered today and less vulnerable. Though I don't always like that the responsibility lies within me.

What challenges influenced you to look for a solution? Basically, what was the tipping point?

KERRI: I did not start following the AIP until February of 2016, when I had my most severe episode. I lost the ability to speak properly. I had an enormous lesion on the language department of my brain, which left me with having the words in my head but not being able to get them out of my mouth. My speech was slurred and I was struggling to communicate almost as if I had had a stroke. At that point, I didn't think I would have had symptoms like that for many years to come.

They lasted about a month, with steroid treatment for five days and a speech therapist for a couple weeks. I had been messing around with AIP the year before, learning about the foods to eat and following it sometimes. My mom even signed us up for the SAD to AIP in SIX program with Angie but for the type of personality that I have, this simply was not enough to completely change my lifestyle and diet. It did instill more knowledge and a great support team for when I did fully make the transformation though, and I was super grateful that I was able to segue into such a strict protocol. I really needed something to rock me and this episode did.

I also had to move back home, stop my vagabond, back-of-the-truck lifestyle and settle in to all that had unfolded in my life. I had stopped drinking and partying the year before (that was the way I would hide and cover things up) and to say that I was finally grieving the loss of my brother who passed when I was 18 was an understatement. It all came to this exact tipping point. I began the strict protocol the day my mom showed up in San Francisco to help me with my recovery and treatment. She flew in from Baja within hours of me calling to inform her of my symptoms and whereabouts (aren't moms the best?). Since we were both diagnosed with autoimmune diseases within weeks of each other, we dove in together, mother-daughter duo… powww!

BRENDA: Having Kerri diagnosed at the same time was a huge tipping point. I knew they were life-or-death choices we needed to make and fast. My baby girl having MS took my breath away. My LS diagnosis was hard to hear but not near as hard as hearing hers. I knew we needed to make some changes and fast. I no longer had the luxury of denial. Self-pity stepped in of course, but it was gone in no time.

I hit every book and web page I could find, on anything. There wasn't that much out there at that time though. There was more information out there about MS then LS so I just used that as a tool to find recovery treatments for both. It really was a blessing that we both were going through these things together.

When you found a protocol to help you heal, what was it and what was your first indication that it was working?

KERRI: I found the Autoimmune Protocol and for me it was perfect because my main goal was to reduce inflammation. I first discovered it when an Ayurvedic physician told my mom and I about it, actually specifically recommending it for both my mother and I (I think we looked at her like she was crazy!). That was the end of 2014 and I didn't start the AIP for over a year after that. I guess I needed lots of warm-up time!

I first knew it was working when my lesions came down to 1⁄3 of what they were, just two months after my speech episode. It was clear that this kind of approach was supporting the swift recovery of the healing in my brain. It was anti-inflammatory and nutrient dense. Even my doctor was surprised and impressed. He said that a girl my age with the same lesion took almost a year to recover. He even recorded my voice before and after to show his colleagues. Any kind of reaction like this from a doctor is pretty motivating. We looked at the before-and-after MRI together and decided that I was going to keep doing what I was doing.

BRENDA: It was a while after that that I could focus on my own health issues since Kerri's diagnosis came soon after mine. I wanted to be there for her and help her sift through the medical field madness. Once Kerri had a good team in place I began to focus more on myself. I know they say to put the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others but I didn't. I think that's why they go out of their way to tell you that. It's easier said than done.

As mentioned, my healing has had many phases, but when I really dug in and worked on some of the AIP principals I noticed that a lot of my digestive symptoms were fading away. I had been through that before with the candida cleanse of The Virgin Diet protocol. Then I went deeper and stronger into some more of the cleansing and detoxing. Those were hard weeks/months. Detoxing emotions came next. Equally as hard. Lots of tears happened. Things seemed to be expelling from my body through my skin, etc. I kept going and working through those tough spaces.

Clobetasol, steroid crème, was used for almost a year. I've done the Mona Lisa treatment. I'm on a trial led by a vulva specialist that went pretty well. Treatment continues by both he and I, as well as my daily choices, sleep. sunshine, stress management and healthy food choices. It's a full circle process for sure.

Most days today are great days. When I have set backs or flares, they don't last as long. I'm not sure if that's because I know what to do to heal quicker or what, but it's working.

What resources have you used on your healing journey so far and how did you find them?

KERRI: Dr. Terry Wahls and Ann Boroch were both recommended to me by dear friends right after my diagnosis. Both amazing, inspiring stories with YouTube videos, books and cookbooks. The Wahls Protocol by Dr. Terry Wahls has been a golden ticket to me gaining more knowledge about MS.

Some more books I have used throughout my healing journey are Sarah Ballantyne's and Diane Sanfilippo's, The Paleo Approach and Practical Paleo, that my mother and I found at Costco believe it or not. At my first glance at these books, I thought that this approach was nearly impossible. Mickey's book The Autoimmune Cookbook has literally been my bible (that my mom so graciously found for me).

I also love podcasts! The Autoimmune Wellness Podcast, The Phoenix Helix Podcast and Revolution Health Radio - these have been a big tool for educating myself and connecting with this community. The Grazed and Enthused blog for all my go-to, yummy, sweet treat recipes.

Opening up to friends and connecting with people on social media have both been a great way to connect with fellow MS warriors. Companies like Kitchen Witch Bone Broth and places like Mission Heirloom in Berkeley, CA are also godsends. My mom has been a big resource tool and support buddy, as she had a lot more time in the beginning (you know, when I was traveling and being a 20-something year old) to search the internet and pass on the information that I needed (once again, moms!). The online support of the NorCal autoimmune facebook groups has also brought a lot of information our way, like the Berkeley book signing of The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook!

BRENDA: Thankfully I love to collect cookbooks and I love sharing them with my daughter. I'd buy them, look through the recipes, buy any ingredients needed, then she'd dive in fearless! It's been a win, win situation that's still working for us to this day.

Fortunately, I love to peruse the book sections and I happened upon these two during the holiday season of 2014: Sarah Ballantyne's The Paleo Approach and Diane Sanifilippo's Practical Paleo. They looked interesting, but also a bit inaccessible, so they got put aside for a few months. A friend had recommended Dr. Terry Wahl's protocol for Kerri. I was having so many problems that seemed to be food related still. I felt we needed to support our bodies along.

Since I had been searching for solutions to my digestion issues long before my LS, it was a bit easier to start. I had already had allergy testing done in 2010, suggested by an ear, nose and throat doctor. The test results came back just how I had known in my gut they would, and my candida albicans number was literally off the charts. After that knowledge I sought out and followed the 'Whole Approach' Candida Cleanse for over eight months, including the hydro colonics they recommend. I did see great progress from this protocol.

My doctor suggested that I read The Virgin Diet and follow it. She was a conventional doctor but had heard many good things about people cutting these seven foods out of their diet: gluten, dairy, soy, eggs, corn, peanuts, and sugar (including artificial sweeteners). It was hard at the time, but I omitted one food group each week and that made it easier. I still struggle the most with sugar. It's my downfall.

In September of 2015, Kerri and I signed up for Angie Alt's program SAD to AIP in SIX. Since I was already almost there, it was much easier for me at this point. The reason for seeking this program out though, was for the support aspect. When Kerri and I were living/staying together we had an easier time cooking and creating. We could jump the hurdles together and that made this new lifestyle easier. We needed to broaden our support group and this program helped do that for us. Everything in life is easier when you have the support you need.

We had some fall backs over the holidays (extra sugar in the form of dates, maple syrup, AIP baked treats, etc. That 22 grams of sugar, even natural, that Sarah Ballantyne talks about is for REAL hard stuff!) but by February 1st of 2016 we were on full elimination of AIP. We remained so until reintroductions started for Kerri and now for me as well.

Did your doctors suggest any treatments that you rejected and if so, why did you choose to try other methods?

KERRI: Currently, I have rejected going back on immunosuppressant medications. I did the steroids treatment and tried some medication because, at the time, it was the best thing to help simmer down my flare ups. I am in no way against western medicine for it saved my life with the typhoid fever and there is a time and a place for treatments and medication. I just feel that I have educated myself a lot on so many other aspects of healing, it is a full circle approach.

I am being kept a close eye on with a diverse team of neurologists. I feel confident that with this team, my self-care routine, diet, sleep, and stress management I can monitor my symptoms. I am more than grateful to have landed at UCSF with a great team of doctors because I know that isn't not always the case. I chose to try other methods because I believed in them. I believed in the knowledge behind the Autoimmune Protocol, to support the healing of the gut and support the building blocks of my brain with nutrition and lifestyle. I also believe in a functional approach of looking for the root and supporting all the other pillars of healing. The pillars that can help us thrive and live a life of quality.

BRENDA: My gynecologist suggested the standard protocol for LS which is topical steroids for the rest of my life. I did that treatment for about eight months, until I felt it was doing more harm than good. I started paying more attention to how my body looked and it seemed as if the Clobetasol was making the LS worse. Ironically the side effects are the same as the LS! For me this wasn't the treatment I felt comfortable with.

My pharmacist had also expressed concern to me about using that strength of steroid crème for long periods of time. I decided to finally listen to my gut and seek out alternative treatments. My gyno had referred a vulvar specialist earlier on that I finally called, Dr. Baggish in Saint Helena, CA. He offered me another solution which I'd read about. I could be a part of his clinical trial since I met the criteria, What a blessing! He has written many papers on LS and was doing this trial using Co2 laser therapy. I've finished my last treatment. The study has shown promising results. For me it's been better than Clobetasol but everyone needs to find which treatment works best for them.

After that, I worked on balancing out my hormones which has helped in many ways. I'm happy that I listened to my needs and found a program that works for me. I don't think there's a blanket treatment for everyone with any autoimmune disease though. I think we need to find the program that works best for our own individual situation, whatever that might be. I've had to really work to find my magic program, which I'm still fine tuning.

It can seem like our lives are consumed by a chronic illness, but there is so much beyond those struggles. What brings you true joy right now?

KERRI: Seeing success in my health trickle off into all other aspects of my life, from my relationships to my well being. My downward spiral has become my upward spiral. Enjoying the little things. The support of my family (my parents rock!) and friends, my dogs, my garden. Being outside in nature, amongst the trees, near the beautiful bodies of water that I am surrounded by is my happy place. That I can still do the same things with some changes, better boundaries and being able to speak up and ask for help: all of these are new skills that have been developed through this journey. It is all a blessing when you look at it with the right colored glasses on (my grandmother always said everything looks peachy when you are wearing rose-colored glasses.)

Getting crafty in the kitchen with the number of friends and family that support me and are amazing chefs is a joy. Exploring new recipes, baking and creating delectable CBD wellness sweets is the icing on the cake for bringing me joy in the kitchen these days.

I have also started working for a wonderful company, Kitchen Witch Bone Broth, doing demos around California sampling our broth and talking to people about gut health. The support of this company and being a part of a greater mission lightens my load and brings me pure happiness. It not only brings me joy spreading knowledge, but supports me being able to drink tasty broth on the daily. It is amazing being able to share my story and connect with others. It's so powerful how chronic illness can change our perspective on our healing journeys, if you allow it. For now, my purpose is also being fed.

I'm grateful for so many unnoticed things in my life: my relationships with my parents is stronger than ever and I do things that fill my cup up constantly. I am loving my process and I am trusting that everything is happening for a reason.

BRENDA: I really do find great joy in knowing that we continue to inspire, strengthen and motivate each other and those around us. That's one of my greatest rewards. I've always found joy in helping others. Giving a helping hand to those that have yet to walk this path that I've had to walk brings me great peace and joy.

Honestly, some days I struggle with this. I'm working on finding my way back, but I remember very clearly telling a friend that I had lost my joy and I was trying to find it again. That was about a year ago after a yoga class. I love to learn new things about myself, new ways of reinventing myself, finding out who I truly am and bringing my best "me" forward in every way possible. I love to spread that wealth of knowledge and truth with my family and friends.

Today the oxygen mask must go on me, then I can spread my joy again freely. Some of the things that are helping me find it again are my daughter (she teaches me so much about love and joy) and my husband of 33 years who's loved me and taught me so much about being the best me possible. Long walks on the beach with my pup help tremendously! I'm a work in progress!

When I'm with my family and our animals, it doesn't really matter where we are, that's pure JOY. We love to be in the kitchen or walking in the forest with the doggies. Spending time at our home in Baja makes me happy, too. We are fortunate enough to own a little piece of paradise thats completely off-grid which is delightful. Some days it's a real struggle trying to decide whether to get in the kitchen or take a nap. Both are great choices. Finally, at 54, I'm taking naps without guilt!

Having a great attitude, breathing and exercise are keys to my well being. They're very basic needs and seem to be the most simple, but most days they're the most difficult.

Keep up with Kerri via her blog,, and on Instagram @kerrrica.

Would you like to share your Story of Recovery? Let us know by filling out our interest form.

The post AIP Stories of Recovery – May 2018 appeared first on Autoimmune Wellness.