Enlighten Your Body, Mind, and Soul

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Summer is Fading – But You Don’t Have To

PooPoo Point

PooPoo Point

As the leaves turn colors and drop to the ground in the Pacific Northwest, the night sky comes earlier, and the chill of the fall breeze sets in, I am reminded how short the summer is.  I can still taste the fresh berries, fruits, and vegetables from the garden.  The once daily used swimming pool is now green and ready for storage.  The routine weekend outdoor activities are replaced with school time preparation.

But the wonderful days don’t have to end.  Now is a time for soaking up the fleeting Vitamin D producing sunrays.  Now is the time to start your indoor gym memberships.  Now is the time to store all your nutrient dense, home grown, local foods and start your fall winter mini hoop gardens.  Now is the time to schedule your fall weekend outdoor escapes.

As Fall sets in, and folks gather in close quarters, we start the cold and flu season.  Instead of over-sanitizing, consider boosting your immune system naturally.  Growing cold hardy leafy greens such as chard, kale, rocket, and arugula is easy to do.  Maintaining these fresh nutrient dense foods in your diet will provide the majority of your vitamin and mineral intake.  Storing squash, garlic, and onions will keep your body strong throughout late fall.  And the bumper apple crop can be frozen or made into tasty sauce.  Stock your medicine cabinet with dried herbs and spices to keep your metabolic fire burning.

It is estimated that apx. 10% of Americans are prescribed antidepressants, which can be addictive, devoid your body of nutrients, and come with side effects which can make symptoms worse, even causing death.  These drugs rewire your brain and change who you are….They usually do not resolve the source issue, but they are easy for Physicians to prescribe, and bring in alot of money for the Doctors.  It is important to address any underlying problems with counseling and stress reduction.  Save yourself and money by eating whole foods including healthy fats.  Most seasonal sadness can be alleviated by eating a nutrient dense whole foods diet.  This includes a rainbow of pesticide free vegetables, plenty of natural animal proteins, berries, properly prepared nuts, and fruits.  Eliminate bad fats like canola, shortening, and commercially farmed animals.  Rather, eat avocados, EVOO, Coconut Oil, grass fed meat, real butter, and free range eggs that provide an array of healthy fats that allow our bodies to assimilate fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.  Quit sugar alltogether; and reduce refined grains and foods, as they rob your body of B vitamins, which are integral in supporting mental health.  Eat real food and get into a good mood.

Homemade broths are superfoods, and there’s nothing better than a hot soup on a cold day filled with all those vegetables you stored.  Keep your digestion strong with bitters and enzymes.  Most important, don’t stop moving.  Running, biking, and hiking can continue with a change of wardrobe.  Detox by visiting an infrared sauna, or hot yoga studio.  Most gymnasiums have heated pools, too.

Enjoy the cozy days with hot herbal teas.  The SAD (Standard American Diet) is largely comprised of refined sugar and grains, so be the change at the next holiday party by preparing a healthy real-food treat.  Keep moving, smiling, and enjoy the transition to fall.


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Spicy, Salty, Sour, Sweet – Give Me Something Bitter to Eat!

Prepared Bitters

Western medicine defines taste according what Researchers have identified the taste buds to detect.  Sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and Unami.  While Ayurveda identifies a sixth, pungent and replaces Unami with astringent.  See this article for more details The 6 Tastes

It’s no surprise most of us are naturally drawn to sweet.  When humans are born, their first food is their mother’s sugary milk.  In Western Society, sugar and other artificially extracted fructose, sucrose, maltose, etc. is laden in the highly processed non-foods.  And while sea salt contains numerous trace minerals, iodized salt is used to preserve and flavor most packaged convenience food, paying tribute to a large population of Hypertensive humans.  We are very familiar with those tastes, indeed.

Still, you might be surprised how we are also drawn to bitters, though.  If you’ve ever enjoyed a cup of coffee, a bottle of beer, or a bite of chocolate, you are actually enjoying one of your most inherent tastes – Bitter.

Humans have been consuming bitters since the beginning of mankind.  Carefully selected bitter herbs have been treasured as potent remedies across the ages.  Eating an adequate amount of bitter flavor is crucial for digestive and immune balance.  Some benefits include:

  • curbing sugar cravings
  • relieving gas, bloating, heartburn, upset stomach, and nausea
  • increases digestive enzymes, bile, and HCL production
  • aids absorption of fat soluble vitamins A D E K
  • helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels and balances appetite
  • creates regular bowel movements, and eases constipation
  • supports liver function, promoting healthy skin, and increases energy

Some bitter herbs include Chicory, Coriander, Dandelion, Endive, Horehound, Mint, Sorrel, Sow-thistle, Wild lettuce, and Wormwood.  Though, there are many more.  You can also find prepared bitters like Swedish Bitters and Urban Moonshine at your local health food store or online.

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Where Has All the Real Food Gone?

Our Ancestors took great care in smelling, tasting, and thoroughly chewing the foods they ate.  One wrong bite of a poisonous berry or mushroom, and they’d be dead!  Food was eaten fresh and in season, or fermented or cured with sea salt.  Today, so many people are rushing around, eating out of packages.  Most of these processed “foods” are void of nutrients, and flavored with addictive taste enhancers leaving people hungry for more and more.  People are literally starving their bodies to death, while their fat cells are holding on to the borage of poisons to protect their kidneys and livers from toxic overload.  These so called “foods” are combined together with non-food preservatives and chemically composed flavor enhancers to cover up the age and quality of what once was real food..  It’s nearly impossible to detect the toxins in these fake foods with the multitude of non-pronouncable ingredients.

Manufacturers are able to get away with packaging low quality foods without properly preparing the nuts and grains because they are all mixed together with artificial flavors and colors, loads of sugar, and unhealthy iodized salt to cover up the rancid, stale ingredients.  It’s no wonder why so many folks are riddled with allergies, hypertension, and other degenerative diseases.  Additionally, children are behaving violently at young ages, and there is an epidemic of Autistic children.  It’s all related.

Beyond that, processed food is old and dead.  The packaging is usually wrapped with cancer causing, estrogen altering BPA to prevent corrosion.  Beside that, all the packaging is harmful to the environment.  If you need to keep some emergency foods in your car or home, it is possible to find better alternatives that are BPA free, use sea salt, and don’t have the infinite shelf life of a Twinkie – it’s just not natural!  Consider buying a dehydrator and a vaccuum sealer, and make your own fruit leather, properly prepared dried nuts, and jerky.  It tastes amazing, is easy to do, and saves you money.

Here are some guidelines on how to cope living in a society where processed foods dominate the grocery stores…..As a rule of thumb, make packaged food, a very small percent of your diet.  If you have to ingest it, make sure you read every ingredient.  If you can’t pronounce it, or don’t know what it means – DON’T EAT IT!  Here is a printable list of the most common list of food additives and their side effects to post to your pantry.  You can bookmark it on your smartphone for when you are shopping.