Category Archives: Nutrition

The Ultimate Guide to Natural Sweeteners: Stevia, Birch Xylitol, Monk Fruit, Lucuma, Maple, & Raw Honey

Since the release of my recipe books Dessert First and The Gourmet Foodie, I have been receiving a few emails a week about the different types of sweeteners I use. What are they about, where are they from, what makes them healthy, which is the best, how to substitute and so on.

In réponses to these emails, I wanted to put together this post and answer these questions and also give some insight into why I use these particular sweeteners and their surprising medicinal benefits.

The Not so Sweet Side of Sugar

Before we dive into these sweeteners, it’s helpful to know why I do not consume refined sugar, cane sugar, HFCS (high-fructose corn syrup), other varieties of table sugar and especially artificial sweeteners .

The above mentioned choice of sweeteners are not ideal and often considered for a few practical reasons:

  • Suppresses immune function – Brown sugar and white sugar, even molasses suppresses immune activity for a few hours when consumed. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose are even worse in their suppressive effects on the immune system. Studies have confirmed that consuming these sweeteners triggers an inflammatory response that shuts down immune function for a couple of hours until the sugar has been processed out of the liver. 1
  • Feeds pathogenic microbes – Interestingly enough, glucose and sugar or carbs are non-essential. That is why you’ve never heard the term “essential sugar” or “essential carbohydrate”. There are however, essential fatty acids and amino acids, meaning the body does not create them. The liver does however produce it’s own glucose and typically anything beyond what the liver can create on it’s own is not essential. That doesn’t mean we cannot utilize carbohydrates and natural sugars for let’s say thyroid function or to replenish glucose more quickly after a workout. But keep in mind, what modern science says about how much sugar we need is usually far off. Looking at our micro biome, our probiotic bacteria feed off of healthier, longer chain sugars like polysaccharides and oligosaccharides and cellulose from vegetables. Pathogenic bacteria however feed off of excess undigested food and sugar. It has even been proven that cancer cells feed off of sugar. In a nutshell, sugar is usually more or less fuel for pathogens, viruses, unhealthy bacteria, and cancer cells. 2
  • Burdens and damages the liver – Sugar is essentially crystalline acid in the body; its a major toxin to the body in the wrong amounts. While the body can process a small amount of natural sugar, it is not designed to handle anywhere near the amounts people consume today. The liver produces its own glucose, typically too much beyond its natural amounts is almost too much for the body, with perhaps the exception of post-work times for athletes who burn through glycogen stores (still not something to be done frequently). Fructose (fruit sugar) is even worse in high amounts, mimicking the effects of alcohol. When you consume fructose it gets sent to the liver to be transported, which places a heavy burden on the liver, eventually leading to fatty liver disease if the job cannot be carried through. In short, it is excess sugar consumption and carbohydrate intake that causes fatty liver disease, not fat. Healthy fats like grass-fed ghee, coconut oil and raw butter are exception for promoting healthy bile flow and liver function actually. If you are someone who has a history of sugar consumption be it from a Standard American Diet, a fruitarian diet or alcohol consumption, you want to help your liver out – Glutathione is the master antioxidant in the body and can greatly help your liver detoxify and rejuvenate from past damage, toxicity and oxidative stress.
  • Disrupts hormone function and causes fat gain  – Both refined sugar and any sugar in excess is very harmful to the hormonal system. Consume sugar sends mis-signals to two important hormones, insulin and leptin, which are mostly responsible for telling the body how hungry it is or not. This means a broken mind-body connection to hunger, desensitizing us. Fructose desensitizes the metabolism by turning off the body’s appetite-control system. When the body fails to stimulate sufficient insulin, then ghrelin, “the hunger hormone,” fails to be suppressed, which then causes leptin release to become inhibited. Leptin is the “the satiety hormone”. In the long run, this is what happens on a biological level when we become compulsive overeaters and is a common trait of those with insulin resistance.
  • It causes metabolic dysfunction. Eating too much sugar is one of the major causative factors in a broken metabolism – having a lot to do with the above mentioned impact on the hormonal system. Too much sugar can lead to fat gain, obesity (around the belly especially), imbalance in cholesterol (elevated triglycerides), diabetes and high blood pressure.
  • It makes your body Acidic. As mentioned, sugar is like pure acid for the body, even fruit sugar. High uric acid levels are a risk factor for heart and kidney disease. In fact, the connection between fructose, metabolic syndrome, and your uric acid is now so clear that your uric acid level can now be used as a marker for fructose toxicity.

These are the side-effects of consuming too much sugar of any type (even some of the good stuff like fruit, dried fruits, dates, honey and maple syrup) and also consuming very concentrated sources of sugar like refined sugar, HFCS and anything that contains them like processed foods, desserts, and other sweets.

The Best of Sweeteners

Despite the many dark sides of the sweet stuff, not all sweetness is created equally. There are many natural sources of sweetness that do not damage the body and also have surprising health benefits of the body. However, these are not to be confused “sugar alternatives” like Aspartame, Sucralose and other artificial sweeteners, which are linked to many health problems like birth defects, autism, neurological disorders, inflammation, allergies, obesity, endocrine disruption and many others. 3 4

On the top of the list for natural sweeteners we have of course fruits and vegetables. When the body is healthy these foods, amongst others, have a natural sweetness to them that satisfies our need for sweet. Keep in mind, I am gauging the health of the body by an ideal balance of probiotic bacteria to pathogenic bacteria in a 80:20 ratio, optimal hormonal function, and digestive and metabolic efficiency. Also, I am not recommending you use fruit and vegetables to sweeten your coffee and chocolate; however, a couple of organic dates, some berries or green apple may make an appropriate sweetener depending on your recipe.

In this article, I am going to talk more about more similar alternatives to white table sugar, mostly for the uses of sweetening smoothies, Bulletproof Coffee, tea, desserts, and chocolates. For that we need more neutral and flexible sweeteners that can serve many functions – a job that berries alone may not be able to fulfill.

Starting with my favorite sweeteners and the ones I have discovered to have the most health benefits I bring you:

  1. Stevia – This unique sweeter is one of the only sweeteners that is used in its original state, with a bit of drying and grinding that is. Where as many other sweeteners go through a deal of processing, stevia is the leaf of the stevia plant that is typically just dried and ground then added to tea. It has been regularly used by the people of Brazil for over 1,500 years and is nearly 300 times sweeter than sugar. It is rather bitter in its raw form but comes with a super sweet aftertaste. In this form, it may take some getting used to but is hands down better than any artificial sweetener and is perhaps the most medical of all plant-based sweeteners. In study, an extract of stevia was found to provide an incredible ability for fighting Lyme disease, a tick-borne multisystemic disease that occurs when the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium is exposed to a weak immune system. Best of all, stevia was found to be even more effect against destroying B. burgdorferi spirochetes, persisters, and their biofilm than drugs like doxycycline and daptomycin, which has negative side effects, like weakening the immune system and killing off probiotic bacteria. Additionally, stevia is found to be anti-cancerous, anti-diabetic (balances blood sugar), balances hormones, regulates blood pressure, and of course helps with fat loss. Stevia is typically one of the top sweetener choices for anyone with cancer, diabetes, autoimmunity, viral infections, candida, and those interested in anti-aging. The best is organic, raw green leaf stevia;  however, it can be bitter, so a water-extracted stevia from the organic whole leaf is my favorite. My two favorites are BodyEcology Stevia and Omica Stevia. A final tip, I find that liquid stevia is best in coffee, tea, smoothies and other liquids – for baked goods and chocolate, keep reading.
  2. Birch Xylitol – If you’re interested in the healthiest alternative to white sugar, birch xylitol is probably it. I have an entire blog post about it HERE. However, in short, it is a sugar alcohol that is derived from the birch tree; the same tree that is home to Chaga mushroom. It tastes very similar to table sugar and is similar in texture, making it really great for baked goods and chocolate. It has no glycemic index and best of all, it can prevent and even reverse bacterial infections of the gums because of its unique 5 carbon molecule chain. The only consideration I have for birch xylitol is that because it is a sugar alcohol, it may not be tolerated well by those with IBS and digestive issues. If this is the case for you, stick with small amounts of raw honey or maple and raw green stevia. Otherwise, birch xylitol could be a life saving for those struggling with sugar addiction and diabetes.
  3. Monk Fruit – Here is another plant-based sugar alternative that is good for your health; however, Monk Fruit is not so popular. Its true name is  Luo Han Guo, but is currently going under the name of Lakanato, which is a blend of Luo Han Guo and Erythritol, which is also a sugar alcohol like xylitol and is about 60 – 80% as sweet as sugar. It exists naturally in human tissues and body fluids. Erythritol is not your average sugar alcohol though; it is fermented, 90% easier to digest than other sugar alcohols, and is actually an antioxidant. Monk fruit on the other hand comes from a small round fruit that grows in Southeast Asia.  In addition to being a zero calorie sweetener, it has been used in Chinese Medicine as tonic herb for raising immunity and as a digestive aid.  You can get a blend of both Monk Fruit and Erythritol HERE.
  4. LucumaSimilar to monk fruit, lucuma also comes from a small, sweet fruit. Lucuma fruit grows in Peru; however, is typically sold in the form of a dried whole fruit powder. Unlike xylitol and stevia, lucuma does have a glycemic index and some calories. However, it has many health benefits worth noting; it supports healthy skin, and digestion. Lucuma also has a history of use as a cardiovascular tonic, for balancing blood sugar, and regulating blood pressure issues. It is ideal for desserts, chocolate and smoothies – I wouldn’t recommend putting it in coffee or tea; however, Adriana and I use it often for tonics in Dessert First.
  5. Maple Syrup – While sugar is still sugar, and maple syrup does contain sucrose that may not be beneficial for those with low immunity, yeast/fungal infections, or diabetes – for a person in good health, this old fashioned sweetener is actually surprisingly beneficial for our health. Unlike most other sweeteners, maple contains minerals that make it alkalizing to the blood and aid in the healthy metabolization of it. Additionally, it contains 24 different phenolic antioxidants that fight inflammation and inhibit oxidative stress. With these abilities, it can help protect us from cancer, a variety of inflammatory disease and even promote healthier skin. When choosing maple syrup, always go with local, organic and darker, grade B maple syrup, which contain more beneficial antioxidants than the lighter syrups.
  6. Raw Honey – Perhaps the mecca of healthy sweeteners, raw honey has been around for thousands of years and is a praised health food. While I’ve referred to it as ‘caramel sunshine’ it is so much more than a sweet treat; it is a natural anti-bacterial, immune boosting, superfood. In its raw and untreated state, it contains living enzymes, bacteria, propolis, pollen and antioxidants that promote a healthier immune system allergic response, ideal weight, better sleep and can even be used topically to heal wounds and infections. It is low on the glycemic index and can be safely consumed by most people and when mixed with good quality cinnamon can actually help regulate blood sugar levels. My favorite is Manuka Honey – as it is the only raw honey that has been shown clinically to be effective against any type of pathogen, and work even where antibiotics fail. However, the best is to consume local honey to get in the local allergens from the environment to build immunity.

 

 

While I do not promote junk-food eating and sugar binges, I definitely support real food sweetness and a healthy relationship with food. The more you resist something, the more you want it and the more important you make it. While a low sugar diet is ideal for good health, it does not mean you can never have sugar again. I say the less fuss over food the better and by focusing on quality, you won’t ever need to be deprived again.

I hope this information helps you make wiser decisions when picking what sweetener is best for you! And remember, everybody needs a little sweetness in its life, don’t take life so seriously, enjoy a little bit of sweet now and then.

Is Your Diet Causing Gum Disease?

Keeping good dental hygiene is a must for good overall health. The entire body is connected  and the moment we specialize, we pay a price. We cannot split the body up into parts and hope to treat one area without treating the other. The entire body is connected via meridian lines and is ruled by our immune system.

Taking a look into our mouths we find there are 32 teeth with 32 vertebrae in the spine and each are connected to one another. Not just that, but every tooth and vertebrae are connected to specific organ systems within the body.

When we fail to keep our mouths clean our immune system starts to suffer. Likewise, if we do not care for our digestive systems and organs, our teeth can suffer, leading to a vicious cycle of problems. In fact, periodontal disease (bleeding gums) has been linked to a host of health problems, including diabetes, low birth weight, pre-eclampsia, placental infections, infertility even cancers of the blood. 1

Bleeding gums are caused by a species of pathogenic bacteria known as spirochetes in the mouth. They literally eat away at the gum lining causing them to bleed. As this progresses, we find that overtime as we eat, we release a micro-amount of pathogens into the blood stream for the immune system to handle.

Diet & Dental Problems

Many people are voluntarily giving themselves gum disease, tooth decay and the dental problems without knowing. Research has shown time and time again that sugars, including fruit sugar and “healthy sugars” alter the pH of the mouth. A lowered pH in the mouth leads to the overgrowth of harmful pathogens like Streptococcus mutants, which promote dental plaque and is often the cause of street throat. 2

However, how many doctors treat strep throat by addressing dental hygiene and overall immunity? Typically, strep is treated with a round of antibiotics that simply knock out ones immunity, never addressing the root, lifestyle problems like a high-carb, sugary diet, stress and other factors that lower immunity.

Foods That Cause Tooth Decay & Gum Disease

Sometimes a “healthy diet” isn’t enough for keeping the teeth healthy. And if our diet isn’t supporting dental health, then is it really supporting our overall health? I’d say no.

Even with a healthy diet, some foods on this list will cause a tooth decay, gum problems and more. Some healthy foods that may be problematic may not need to be avoided all-together but rather, consumed on occasion. However, many people who get caught in too strict of dietary dogmas, often consume these foods in excess.

Many vegan, vegetarian and especially modern American and Western European diets contain foods that weaken the immune system and cause tooth decay. Some of these foods are even considered “healthy foods”, yet they only lead to problems.

At basic, the more you avoid these foods, the better of a chance you have to avoid tooth problems and even remineralize your teeth.

Also know, you are always free to do whatever you want with your life, diet, etc. Some will never consume foods that may be most helpful for their overall dental health and immunity, such as raw animal products, because of their own ethics. I understand, there is a principle of least harm and greatest good. If that is you, then do the best you can and own the responsibility of your own choices. However, these guidelines will without doubt benefit the health of your teeth and mouth.

You be the judge, but here are the foods I recommend to avoid when healing the teeth:

  • Avoid sweets and foods sweetened with these items—white sugar, cane sugar, evaporated cane juice, agave nectar, jams, dried fruit, candy bars, health food bars, yacon syrup, erythritol, lo han, palm sugar, coconut sugar, glycerin, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, inulin, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), brown rice syrup, malted barley and grain sweeteners, maltodextrin, sucrose, dextrose, sucralose, aspartame, and saccharine.
  • Avoid white flour, GMO or altered grain products and even non-fermented organic grain products such as: crackers, cookies, doughnuts, pies, breakfast cereals, granola, muffins, pastries, flour tortillas, bagels, noodles, pasta, pizza, couscous, bread and nearly every packaged product that contains grains.
  • Avoid non-germanted or fermented whole grains including whole wheat, rye, kamut, spelt, brown rice, and quinoa, especially non-organic.
  • Avoid raw, non-sprouted nuts and nut butters —including all raw nuts, as well as peanut butter, raw almond butter and raw tahini.
  • Avoid hydrogenated oils such as, margarine or other butter substitutes.
  • Avoid low quality vegetable oils such as, vegetable, soybean, canola, corn and safflower oils, and Crisco®. Also, be careful if you eat out; most restaurants use these vegetable cooking oils because of how cheap they are.
  • Avoid pasteurized, homogenized or grain-fed dairy products. Also avoid low-fat dairy products and powdered milk and anything that contains it.
  • Avoid store-bought nut milks including, rice milk, soy milk, hemp and almond.
  • Avoid table salt and the many foods that contained refined salt. Table salt throws off electrolyte balance, causing blood pressure problems and other issues that affect the teeth negatively.
  • Avoid conventional fast foods and junk foods.
  • Avoid stimulants like poor-quality coffee, soda, energy drinks, sports drinks, or alcohol. Do not smoke cigarettes and consume only raw cacao without sugar.
  • Avoid unfermented soy including isolated soy protein, tofu, soy, veggie burgers, soy “meat” and soymilk.
  • Avoid most green powders. Many green powders have sugar and improperly prepared ingredients that should be fermented. There are a few exceptions, which would be 100% food-based dried powders with no sweeteners added.
  • Avoid factory farmed meat, fish, and eggs. The quality nutrients in these sick animals are toxic and contain many chemicals and estrogens and above all else, contribute to animal suffering and a sick industrial food system.
  • Avoid too much fruit. Even though fruit is natural, people often eat too much. Be very careful with sweet fruits like as oranges, bananas, grapes, peaches, blueberries and pineapple especially, which are high in fructose that can alter the mouth pH and lead to plaque and rob the teeth of minerals.
  • Avoid medications, over-the-counter drugs, and vaccines. These damage the liver, weaken the immune system and glandular system – many are causative factors in tooth decay.
  • Avoid food additives like MSG, nitrates, and nitrites.
  • Avoid all commercially processed foods; crackers, chips, boxed cereals, pastries, cookies, TV dinners, packaged sauce mixes, etc.
  • Avoid synthetic vitamins and any foods containing “fortified” ingredients.

Acceptable Foods List

As far as acceptable foods go, here is a counter-list to the previous foods to avoid list:

  • Acceptable sweets would be raw honey, organic maple syrup (grade B preferred), real cane sugar, raw stevia (actual herb), whole low-glycemic fruits like berries.
  • Acceptable grains like truly fermented sourdough bread made with unbleached flour (bran and germ removed), partially milled rice that is soaked with a starter. White rice is acceptable.
  • Acceptable nuts and butters would be those that are properly germinated and soaked first. You can also dehydrated nuts after soaking and eat 2 oz. daily.
  • Acceptable fats are preferably raw, organic and always from small producers. The most healing fats would include coconut oil, palm oil, stone-crushed olive oil, raw butter, grass-fed lard, tallow, chicken, duck and goose fat.
  • Acceptable dairy products are raw and grass-fed from Jersey cows, goats, and sheep. Always go for whole fat, not skimmed. When you have only grocery store options for dairy products then choose vat-pasteurized, grass-fed dairy products from smaller, local farms. Fermented dairy like yogurt, kefir and cultured butter are better than non-fermented. If you can’t find local, then choose products from Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, which contain far more clean soils and environments.
  • Acceptable salts are Himalayan salt, Celtic Sea Salt, Real Salt and other unheated sea salts.
  • Acceptable soy products are traditionally fermented—You can have small amounts of unpasteurized soy sauce, miso, and natto.
  • Acceptable proteins are grass-fed or even better wild-caught animals and fish. These offer superior quality, more bioavailable than most plant-proteins, are complete proteins and are least allergenic proteins. They are true superfoods and have been consumed longest by man. Just be sure to note the differences between industrial, commercial animal food and grass-fed, local and wild. You can read more here. 

Foods that Heal Teeth and Gums

The billion dollar question remains, what do we eat? Well, amongst the dietary warfare, there are neutral grounds. There are also questionable grounds. For dental health there are foods you will find specifically healing for those who have the trouble of low immunity or teeth problems. These foods may not be in alignment with your values around eating, therefore, the choice is yours to either help your body achieve an ideal state of health, or deal with the dental consequences of your current diet. My hope is that you can find a happy medium, more freedom in eating, gained awareness of healthy eating and of course, greater dental and overall well-being.

That being said, here are some therapeutic foods that contain necessary nutrients for a strong immune system, healthy microbial balance, strong teeth and healthy gums:

  • Fermented Cod Liver Oil. Try 1⁄2 teaspoon two or three times per day of Green Pasture’sTM Blue IceTM Royal Blend. Cod liver oil is a rich source of fat-soluble nutrients that build immunity, healthy hormones and glandular systems. In my time spent living in France, I found that every child was raised on this scared food. I also found the French to have healthier teeth, incredible hair, overall healthier frames.
  • 2 cups of raw grass-fed, whole-fat milk, kefir, clabber, or yogurt or 4 ounces of raw grass- fed cheese preferably from Jersey Cows. If you cannot tolerate dairy or do not wish to consume it for moral reasons then you will want to up your doses of green vegetables for calcium and magnesium. Strive for 3 cups of a cooked green veggies in variety each day. Even better if you ferment them. You can also consume raw coconut kefir.
  • Bone broths or stews made from local, pastured meat or fish made from a gelatin-rich broth. Get a recipe HERE and be sure to add in sea veggies to added minerals.
  • 2-8 ounces of high-quality animal protein or wild-caught fish from either anchovy, sardine, herring, mackerel, halibut or salmon.
  • Vitamin C-rich foods; broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, mustard greens, cabbage, sauerkraut, kohlrabi, liver and adrenal glands.
  • Probiotic foods; especially coconut kefir and raw kraut.
  • Something we can all agree on – eat mostly non-starchy vegetables such cabbage, kale, spinach, zucchini, green beans, broccoli, etc.

Homemade Tooth Paste for Gum Infections

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Keeping a strong immune system is key for healthy gums and teeth. Therefore, diet, exercise, and stress-management are usually far more important things to consider when keeping your teeth healthy, we cannot overlook dental hygiene.

Here is a quick, easy and very effective homemade tooth paste that can wipe out gum disease within days:

  • 1/2 cup aluminum-free baking soda (baking soda spot kills the spirochetes that cause bleeding gums and also neutralizes lactic acid produced by these bacteria that cause tooth decay.)
  • 1/2 cup spring water
  • 2 drops anti-bacterial essential oils (I use this one, it’s incredible).
  • 1/2 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. organic extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. birch xylitol (xylitol breaks down the bio-film produced by harmful pathogens in the mouth, making it easier for them to be washed away during waterpiking).
  1. In a bowl, mix all ingredients together to form a paste. Store in a dark glass jar out of direct light. Use it twice a day in addition to the dietary and lifestyle recommendations.
  2. I would also suggest using a salt rinse, waterpik and gum blotting brush in addition to this tooth paste.

For more tips and wisdom Holistic Dentistry read here.

Gut-Healing: Aloe Dreams Green Smoothie

One of the many root imbalances when it comes to digestive issues is excessive heat in the body. Heat is produced from a number of causes such as chronic anger, irritability, and even tot warming of foods like coffee and cooked foods.

Looking at the body from a Chinese Medicine perspective, heat is really a sign of inflammation. Excessive heat can cause a number of inflammatory issues like IBS, IBD and even a number of skin disorders.

According to Chinese herbal medicine, aloe has a cold and bitter nature, allowing it to drain fire and unblock stool. Because of its cold nature, aloe addresses constipation associated with heat.

Signs of heat include:

  • Irritability
  • Restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Red eyes
  • Headache or dizziness
  • Bleeding gums
  • Excessive sweating
  • Heart burn

If you notice any of these signs heat imbalance then one of the simplest things you can do is to make some easy dietary adjustments. Over all, I would recommend consuming more cooling foods such as raw vegetables, green smoothies, fresh berries while also cutting back on hot foods like peppers, coffee, chocolate, and over all cooked food (some light cooking is fine).

Amongst the many cooling foods, Aloe vera is King. It is a succulent plant. It grows all over the globe and is actually quite famous for its powerful medicinal benefits. I have a blog HERE where you can read more about Aloe.

Extracts of aloe have shown to have incredible benefits on improving signs of Alzheimer’s disease and some forms of dementia.. Additionally, it does numbers for repairing the body. It contains essential amino acids, natural steroidal compounds, and all the building blocks for tissue such as MSM, sulfur, silicon, and a variety of minerals.

One of the most common ways to use aloe is straight from the plant. Slice open a leaf, and you’ll find a slimy, clear ‘filet’ that can be eaten as is or blended into smoothies. I use this stuff on my skin and it does magic for reducing fine lines and smoothing the skin. It makes a great over all natural beauty care product. However, my favorite way to use this is to throw it into a green smoothie. You won’t even taste it, yet your body will thank you immensely.

3 AMAZING ALOE VERA HEALTH BENEFITS

Here are my 3 favorite reasons I love aloe:

  1. Aloe Manages Blood Sugar. Aloe vera in a smoothie will quench and cool in the hot summer season. Aloe vera can balance blood sugar, regulate a leaky gut, and ease constipation. Type 2 diabetes is marked by inflammation, obesity, and insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that allows sugar molecules to enter the cell. When cells are insulin resistant, they no longer respond to insulin—this means that these cells starve and even die.
  2. Aloe Can Repair a Leaky Gut. Aloe has renowned benefits for reducing markers of inflammation in the colon, or large intestine. It sends signals to the immune system that regulate inflammation and kick-start inflammatory pain or hypersensitivity. Inflammation is what ultimately makes gut tissue permeable or leaky. The inflammation is often a byproduct of poorly digested food, stress or bacterial overgrowth. In all cases, Aloe can help. It can balance gut flora, improve digestion and sooth inflamed digestive tissues.
  1. Aloe Improves Elimination. Aloe has a long history as very medicinal plant including use in traditional Chinese herbal medicine and Egyptian Medicine – so it’s been well used for over 5,000 years! In Chinese herbal medicine, aloe is an herb used to address constipation and parasitic infection, which are major root issues of digestive problems.  Aloe has a natural and subtle purging nature which relieves constipation. Additionally, aloe feeds healthy gut bacteria that then metabolize plant chemicals found specifically in aloe vera to improve elimination. Poor elimination is the major cause of toxic build up as the digestive tract is the number 2 detoxification pathway next to the lungs.

ALOE DREAMS GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE

Aloe vera’s cooling and cleansing nature makes it a refreshing addition to any diet. Aside from the benefits mentioned, aloe is a supreme anti-aging and immune enhancing food, making is appealing to everyone. In this recipe, I throw in the addition of coconut water kefir and Vitality SuperGreen, two of my favorite “super foods” that profoundly upgrade the nutritional and healing qualities of your regular green smoothie.

I enjoy Vitality SuperGreens as my go-to greens formula because of the medicinal aloe extract, patented glutamine, probiotics, enzymes, adaptogens and the taste is hands down the best I’ve ever had, and I’ve had A LOT of greens powders before. This recipe will surely energize you while cleanse and cool the body.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Here’s how you make it:

  1. First, filet your aloe leaf by cutting in half and scooping meat out with a spoon. Be sure to scrape the sides clean.
  2. Simply add your liquids into a Blendtec, add your other ingredients, blend until smooth and enjoy!

Anti-Stress Herbs: The Top 10 Best Adaptogenic Herbs

Stress is a major culprit for many diseases. After all, disease is simply dis-ease and what is stress? In its simplest sense, it is pressure or resistance and neither of these put the body at ease.

Looking at stress from its most basic function, there are of course many ways stress can come about. Stress can occur physically from stress or trauma. It can occur thermogenically from Sun burn. It can occur nutritionally from poor diet and foods that do not digest or throw hormones out of whack. And as we all know, stress can occur mentally from pure pressure, the pressure to impress ourselves and others, as well as emotionally in the form of resistance to our own emotions.

Whatever the case is though, there is plenty we can do to surrender and stop resisting. Amongst the many tools for dissolving stress are adaptogenic herbs, which are botanical substances that help the body adapt to both physiological and psychological stress.

There are many spiritual practices that help one take the path of least resistance in many cases; however, this can be a life long journey that takes many life times to complete – as my mentor says, “there is no secret potion for enlightenment.” He teases me, as a holistic health coach and someone who works in an industry that is always recommending people to take herbs, food and supplements to fix their life problems.

And while I am about to recommend some herbs, these herbs come with a life time of wisdom. If we look at ancient wholistic forms of medicine such as Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda we find that both of these philosophies go far beyond nutritional and herbal support. Life according to Ayurveda is meant flow effortlessly, and be filled with an abundance of creativity, energy and productivity with the less effort we put in. Now this is a major difference from the Western “no pain, no gain mentality.” Believe it or not, life was not intended to be a struggle!

So in addition to the tools I will provide here, I highly suggest – as always – to begin your walk down a path to “enlightenment” however that looks for you now. If you need a starting point, I offer coaching sessions filled with healing exercises that work at the metaphysical level. There are also plenty of “spiritual healers” out there, endless books in the exoteric database and also hidden gems in the esoteric world if you seek.

I was fortunate enough to find one of the wisest men I’ve ever met and let me say this, one wise man is worth one-thousand good books. I highly suggest seeking a mentor. Bare in mind, the word mentor is short for tormentor…and that is what a true spiritual guide does – they take away all your delusions and illusions until all that is left is…you.

Until you find someone, or yourself, to guide you down a path  let’s talk about some of the tools Mother Nature has provided us with to help us balance and dissolve stress. Here are a few of my favorite and the most powerful adaptogen (stress-busting) herbs on the planet, how they work, and how to take them.

The 10 Best Adaptogen Herbs

  1. Gynostemma Also known as the “immortality herb”, Jiaogulan actually contains 3 to 4 times more saponins than ginseng, making it the strongest adaptogen of all. It has been used traditionally by the Chinese as a longevity tonic extend lives and often referred to as, “like ginseng but better.” It’s abilities extend beyond just soothing the nervous system – it is naturally anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and a proven remedy to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. It also happens to burns fat, enhances strength and endurance, and even has been used to treat bronchitis. Did I mention that it is a potent antioxidant that dissolves oxidative stress and has proven in lab studies to annihilate cancer cells? As an adaptogen, it helps the body with whatever it needs – if the body needs rest, it will promote relaxation. If the body needs to be energized, then energy it is! Because the immune system is suppressed during stress, it strengthens the immune system by preventing stress from harming the body. It is successful in treating hepatitis and protecting the liver. In one study, 300 athletes were tested with jiaogulan prior to a competition – the results – all had more vigor, quicker reflexes, and less nervousness. It’s high anti-oxidant abilities may very well be what leads to the 100 year life span of many Chinese jiaogulan users. What’s more, is that has natural killer cell activity in those with urogenital cancers. This herb is great for those with blood pressure imbalances, as it tonifies the kidney and heart meridian, which reduces the burden on the heart, by helping it pump the same amount of blood with less stress and effort. I could go on and on about this herb; however, I’m sure by now we have sufficient reason to start experimentation with this incredible super herb. And as a personal testimony, I have consumed Gynostemma for 6 years now and it truly has wonderful effects you can notice. I suggest taking either 1 teaspoon of powdered extract 3x day or Spring Dragon Tea. This tea also has a few other powerful adaptogenic extracts – its super potent and sweet.
  2. Licorice root- Here is another amazing plant with many medicinal properties as well as a sweet, delicious taste. It contains natural plant steroids that are anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-tumor, and stimulates the immune system by elevating interferon levels, which stimulates SOD to form hydrogen peroxide, in turn supercharges white blood cells and hormones. It’s a fantastic herb for adrenal function, reducing inflammation and liver problems like cirrhosis and hepatitis. It’s commonly used to reduce prostate inflammation because it contains phytoestrogens, which help reduce the adverse effects of estrogen on the prostate – including impaired zinc absorption and elevated DHT formation – which can lead to pattern baldness, low immunity and facial hair on women. Licorice root blocks the formation of DHT from testosterone, so it’s helpful for these issues. Aside from its adaptogenic and immune properties, it builds nerve tissue, removes arterial plaque, reduces body fat, treats hypoglycemia, ulcers, is an antiseptic, antispasmodic, a subtle laxative and expectorant. It balances intestinal flora, balances blood sugar, protects the liver and stimulates aldosterone, a key adrenal hormone and has been used throughout history to treat hormone imbalances – and just about every known female imbalance. In women, licorice can give a women a sense of well-being and control. Again, take this 3 x daily either as a sweet delicious tea, as a powdered extract in an elixir or even use to make Bulletproof Marshmallows. Avoid taking it past 6 pm.
  3. Astragalus– This strong adaptogenic is also a vasodilator, making it great for physical work or anyone with poor circulation. Great for the spleen and lungs, and overall increases in life energy. Stress is a major cause of physical fatigue, hence the idea of adrenal fatigue and Astragalus incredibly useful for improving physical weakness and other drained energy disorders like candida, herpes, hypoglycemia and exhaustion. Sleep problems like night sweats and even fluid retention are symptoms of fatigued kidneys and adrenals, astragalus can help! Probably the most incredible ability this herb has is that as a prime anti-viral, anti-cancer immune enhancement. Like licorice root, it helps the body produce extra interferon in the body. It’s so powerful that it’s used with cancer therapies to counteract the immune suppressing effects of cancer drugs and radiation. The vasodilating properties help to lower blood pressure as well as break up blood clots, preventing heart disease. If you’re overly stressed, it will boost adrenal function for better energy while normalizing the nervous system and balancing hormones. In Chinese Medicine the kidneys and lungs are strongly associated – so it’s great for respiratory illnesses by helping regenerate bronchi cells.
  4. Siberian ginsengAlso known as Eluthero, this herb is the most effective of all adaptogen herbs, second to Jiaogulan. With adaptogen herbs, they work better with longevity as opposed to incrementally. They are best taken for several months to a year, as it takes time for the wisdom of these plants to start to rearrange your body chemistry to be in better balance and more immune. As far as benefits goes – it aids cardiovascular disorders, including heart attack and heart disease, lowers high blood pressure, inhibits growth and formation of liver cancer cells, which is one of the most difficult cancers to resolve! Ginseng also stimulates protein synthesis and the polysaccharides in it protect against alcohol induced gastric ulcers, making it excellent for anyone with a past of alcohol consumption or history of stomach ulcers. As the second strongest adaptogen, it is of course hormone balancing for both men and women as well as an aphrodisiac for both men and women! It is the only herb to clinically test as a plant source of testosterone; however, there is also Pine Pollen, which is another source that is just not clinically tested. This herb increases sperm count, seminal vesicle weight, supports key adrenal and prostate functions. If you’re a male and having troubling “getting it up” toss your Viagra, it’s toxic – ginseng enhances nitric oxide synthesis, which regulates muscle tone of blood vessels that control flow to the penis, leading to stronger erection for impotent men. Pair it with some Gelatinized Maca and your lady won’t know what hit her. The antioxidants found in ginseng help cardiovascular performance not only for sexual energy, but for sports workouts so if you’re looking for the extra lift to get outside and get active, look no further than some quality ginseng. Keep in mind that if you have fatigue that you do not want to over work – keep workouts light and energizing – you should feel more energized after any physical activity, not depleted. In woman, ginseng helps normalize hormones, notably those that guard against breast cancer, endometriosis and other hormone-driven problems. It is great for preventing or minimizing the effects of menopause due to the similarity of ginsenocides and female steroidal hormones on the vaginal mucosa, to prevent thinning of vaginal walls after menopause, and menopause discomfort during intercourse. It effects a woman’s mental energy through hypothalamus stimulation, a factor in turning a woman’s attention to love-making. It also has an insulin-like effect on sugar regulation, stimulating the removal of sugar in the blood, great for anyone with diabetes, blood sugar problems or those interested in general anti-aging. Like Gynostemma, ginseng has therapeutic affects against severe recurrent viral infection and syndromes like HIV etc thanks to killer cell activity. It also stimulates RNA synthesis in bone marrow cells, has anti-toxic effects against radiation, heavy metals, and airborne pollutants. If you’re interested in maintaining a youthful appearance, consumption of ginseng protects against aging skin and early wrinkling due to AGEs. It has long-term mental and psychological benefits, with noticeable improvement of mental outlook, depressive thoughts and lifting spirits and other cognitive disorders. Overall, ginseng is the quintessential herb for stress.
  5. Ashwagandha– Ginseng and Gynostemma are renowned as the best adaptogenic herbs due to their high saponin content; however, many people refer to Ashwaganda as than ginseng and here is why. Ashwaganda is one of the world’s most renowned herbs over all, not just as an adaptogen but as pure planet medicine. As an adaptogenic herb, it provides an energetic rejuvenating lift while at the same time calming and soothing the nerves. Chemically, it’s very similar to ginseng, yet is far superior in relieving stress. It is great for treating exhaustion caused by both physical and mental stress and strain. If you are trying to get your adrenals up to speed, then you have to nourish the thyroid – Ashwaganda doesn’t just help the adrenals, it also helps boost thyroid hormone, preventing stress via thyroid burnout or under-active thyroid – an unseen problem with many overly stressed people. On a more positive note, Ashwaganda is an aphrodisiac, increasing libido and performance in 70% of men who use it. It has a soothing and cooling effect on the body that stops internal bleeding, inhibits hemorrhoids and also hemorrhagic dysentery (bloody diarrhea). It has effectively been used to treat depression and mood disorders and rejuvenate the tissues, particularly muscle and bone, adrenals and reproductive system. Consumption of ashwaganda also improves nutrient absorption, strengthens the nerves, promotes restful sleep, lessens graying of the hair, and much more. It is one of the best anti-aging herbs on the planet. 3 x daily is ideal! I enjoy this herb especially nightly in a creamy elixir like this Golden Milk Latté.
  6. Nettle– This common “weed” is one of the best tonic herbs for kidney and adrenal health. It also happens to be FREE and abundant in the wild. It’s a beauty tonic to boot, as one of the highest sources of silica, an essential nutrient for strong skin, hair and tissues. It boosts thyroid hormone (great for low thyroid), improves metabolism so it helps burn fat and it also helps to clear mucus. Raw nettles are great for cleaning the liver, build blood, flush acidic waste and even help calm the nervous system. The root is a tool for reversing and inhibiting pattern baldness, an anti-inflammatory for the prostate and hormonal balancer for disproportionate testosterone/estrogen levels. As a kidney tonic, it removes uric acid in gout. As a digestive aid, it supports the growth of beneficial intestinal flora (probiotics) and removal of mucus in the colon. It doesn’t just support mood and energy via nourishment to the adrenals, it’s also a source serotonin – the feel good neurotransmitter. It is one of the most excellent foods/medicines for proper prostate function. It’s commonly used as an antidepressant, as a naturally antibiotic and anti-fungal (great for Candida), to dissolve kidney stones, to regulate the thyroid, to increase energy, to treat anemia and ulcers, and to treat constipation. It is considered one of the greatest tonic herbs for the adrenals, kidney, and liver. I take this herb 3 x a day in my tonics and even add this powdered extract to my Bulletproof Coffee – it’s tasteless and as a powdered extract, it dissolves completely without grit.
  7. Amla berry– Stress, infection and intense exercise all increase the cellular demand for vitamin C – there are even studies showing how blood levels of vitamin C fall at an increased rate during these times. Adrenal fatigue is just referring to a lack of adrenal output, which places all cells of the body under increased stress. The result is a near automatic increase in sympathetic nervous activity to compensate for the extremely low levels of cortisol (an anti-inflammatory stress hormone) and high levels of systemic inflammation that usually is found next to low levels of this steroid hormone. When this happens, the immune system does not regulate properly, which means infection and in result a driving demand for b-vitamins, minerals and especially vitamin C. In times of stress, a dosage of 2,000-4,000 mg per day of food-grade vitamin C is recommended – in severe cases, up to 20,mg. Where are we supposed to get doses of vitamin C like this that won’t cause vitamin C flush (diarrhea) or a pro-oxidant effect in the case of consumption of large doses of synthetic ascorbic acid? Mother Nature has the remedy and it goes by the name of Amla. Next to Gubinge, Amla is the highest sources of vitamin C on the planet. Not only that, it’s a strong anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory that helps cleanse liver. Healthy adrenals aren’t the only aspect to having a body that is resilience against stress, a healthy liver is also a must. The liver also produces many hormones when under stress. Keep it clean and well-functioning is a must and healthy doses of food-grade vitamin C is one simple way to build a healthier liver and stronger adrenals. For extreme fatigue, take up to 10,000 mg a day, for general prevention roughly 2,000 mg is great.
  8. RhodiolaWhen it comes to dissolving the excessive cortisol in the blood (which can weaken the immune system) Rhodiola is King. It has a calming effect on the body as cortisol is dissolved. However, it really depends on your unique adrenal output on how you will react – most people actually experience more alertness when taking Rhodiola because it help slightly stimulate under-active adrenal and thyroid. As a side-note, cortisol is not the culprit – it is absolutely necessary to live and a powerful anti-inflammatory and is what wakes us up in the morning. The problem is that most of us live in a reactive, stressful state and the result is excessive cortisol output, which weakens the adrenals and immune system. most of us exist in a state of nearly constant exposure to this compound, resulting in lowered blood sugar response, abdominal weight gain, decreased memory, reduced cellular energy production, and diminished immunity. Rhodiola helps by not only reducing persistent raised cortisol and balancing the HPA-Axis, but also to balance and heal the entire communication system for the long-term, making the body much more resilient to stress. This results in not just lower “stress” but better energy, increased immunity, and significantly more balanced hormones. This will help to counter any emotional eating or other stress related compulsions. Again, 3 x a day with this herb, perhaps avoiding taking it past 6 pm.
  9. Holy Basil–  Holy Basil also known as Tulsi can be a super helpful for treating fatigue and energy depletion. It has many anti-stress properties and does not stimulate like Rhodiola or Ginseng. This makes it a safe herb for treating general fatigue. It is great for lowering cortisol during times of stress and it also lowers total cholesterol while stimulating the immune system. If you are experiencing the byproducts of fatigue such as insomnia or anxiety then you may want to try Holy Basil. Note that it also goes under the name Tulsi.However, if you have advanced chronic fatigue, you will want to use Holy Basil with caution. The reason for this is that Holy Basil is very good at lowering cortisol and might be too calming for someone who is very fatigued – better to go with Rhodiola in this case. Other than that, you will find that Holy Basil provides many of the same benefits found in the other adaptogens mentioned.
  10. Schisandra berry  Not many people realized this but schisandra berries are actually a powerful adaptogen. Whether the pressure is mental or physical, the adaptogenic qualities of schisandra will have a stabilizing effect on the entire body. For this reason many athletes love schisandra – it helps them perform at high levels and increases the capacity for both physical and mental endurance, while protecting the body from  harmful environmental and internal oxidative-stress. Schisandra improves cellular energy by increasing nitric oxide levels in the body. In Asia, schisandra is thought to be one of the most protective plants – especially for the skin. It’s ability to cleanse and detoxify the liver make it a great beauty herb, considering that the hair, skin and eyes are all a reflection of the liver. If you want to look good, keep your liver in good shape – it’s that simple! Schisandra berry contains powerful antioxidant properties, such as gomisin A and Wuweizisu C, that help rejuvenate skin by protecting the lipid membrane in skin cells – this means protection against sun damage! The high antioxidant count protects cells from oxidative damage during times of stress – this means less wrinkles, better hair, stronger joints and healthier tissues. Because excessive stress can cause inflammation, schisandra is great because it contains many anti-inflammatory qualities to help counter this effect. Additionally, schisandra berry increases the production of glutathione, the master anti-oxidant, which supports healthy liver detoxification. Lastly, schisandra contains lignans that offer more liver protection by supporting the function of the liver and even the regeneration of it. You can mix schisandra berry extract into water and sip throughout the day, add to raw ice cream recipes or make herbal tonics.

11 Tips for Improving Digestion For Good

So, how’s your digestion?

Surprisingly, this is one of the first questions I ask when consulting with my clients. As a holistic health coach, I get a lot of people who come into my life with “issues” from all walks of life. However, whether a person is trying to lose weight, pursue their dreams, or just feel better achieving optimal digestive health is a constant. After all, the gut is a fundamental influencing force of human health.

The Gut-Brain Connection

There is an undeniable relationship between our gut and mental activity. Some have their first experiences with this during moments of intuition, that “I had a funny feeling about this”. We’ve been unconsciously experiencing this connection in multiple forms of expression just like this.

The popular “gut wrenching feeling” or “I feel sick to my stomach” and of course who can forget the popular “butterflies in my stomach”? These are all proven experiences of the bond between what goes on within our intestinal tract and our mind. It seems simple, if our stomachs are aching, it seems likely we wouldn’t be in the best mood.

The Lemon Exercise

If you don’t think that the metaphysical can strongly influence the physical then try this exercise. Witness how the mere thought of food can stimulate digestive juices. This is mostly for fun but will help give you an actual experience of the gut-brain connection – just in case you haven’t experienced a strong reaction yet.

Right now, with out any distraction, concentrate on the image of a lemon in your mind. Pretend you’re holding this lemon in your hand, freshly picked off of a tree somewhere in California. You can smell the fresh, sour citrus as it sits in your palm. You bring it closer and breathe in the lemon zest.

Now imagine taking a huge bite of that lemon, peel and all. Can you feel your mouth watering yet? If your imagination is strong enough, you likely were able to stimulate some digestive juices without even having the lemon present in real life. This shows you how powerful your mind is at controlling your digestive system.

A Holistic Approach

Science has explored this phenomenon further only to discover that our bodies are even more connected than we had ever known (at least here in the West). Though many other ancient cultures have been telling us that our reality starts from within, we in the West are coming to learn this from a more scientific experience.

In short, up to 80% of our brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) are manufactured in the gut. In fact, 95% of our serotonin is produced in the gut. This tells us a lot about how sensitive our intestinal tract is to emotions and mood. We are realizing we can no longer treat symptoms of impaired digestion; such as depression or anxiety, without addressing the gut.

Likewise, if we want to heal a distressed gut, we have to take account for our moods. This means working from both ends by managing our mental-emotional states as well as maintaining our physical bodies by being aware of what we put into our system.

10 Simple Tips for Optimal Digestion

Though the idea of digestion appears deeply complex, maintaing a healthy digestive system is really quite simple. Here are some tips for regaining and maintaining perfect digestive health that anyone can implement:

  1. Never watch TV (especially the news) while eating- Most of us grew up with a dinner table and a television not to far away. We even went as far as creating the TV Dinner, to make sure we were able to eat and enjoy our favorite shows at the same time. The news never produces a good feeling and is usually filled with negativity. This creates too much excitement in the body, which can trigger the flight-or-fight response (Stress). When we watch something over stimulating, our bodies cannot tell the difference between real life or a strong imagination. So when you’re watching the news about war or the failing economy, your body is likely to go into stress mode which will shut down the digestive system.
  2. Don’t read technical or stressful material while eating- Reading the newspaper is just like watching the news (see no.1). In fact, eating the newspaper somewhere relaxing would probably be better for your digestion than reading it while eating and hoping to digest your food. IF you wish to read, read something uplifting that makes you happy. Self-help books, inspirational stories, or something spiritually enlightening. Avoid your tax report, work papers, or school books. Additionally, using your eyes actually requires a good amount of energy, which takes away from digestion.
  3. Play relaxing music- Classical music, music with a one-second beat (Baroque Classical), or new age music with no beat (most meditation music). This is relaxing to the body and will stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, which will turn on your digestion. Research from John Hopkins University and other Institutes actually shows that classical music has a higher energetic vibration which soothes the heart and assists you in relaxation. Where rock music shows very rigid vibrational patterns that cause people to eat in a rushed, tense pace.
  4. Drink two glasses of water before each meal- What is important here is the quality and timing. You want to drink chlorine and fluoride-free water always. The best is local spring water. You can get this by searching http://www.findaspring.com or asking local health conscious folks in your neighborhood. The second best option are glass bottled spring waters. Here is my top choice for water as far as mineral content, taste and purity goes. Next, make sure you drink the water 15 minutes before eating. Drinking water before a meal will ensure you properly digest your food by hydrating the stomach lining. This will assist enzyme production. Do not drink water while eating or any sooner than 15 minutes as this will dilute digestive enzymes and acids.
  5. Limit and aim to avoid dehydrated foods- This means crackers, chips, dried fruits, un-soaked nuts, seeds and grains and of course common processed foods (donuts, popcorn, cookies, pretzels, crisps, etc).  Most people are eating too many improperly prepared grains and legumes. Beans, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, oats, etc. and even nuts and seeds all need to be soaked in water and rehydrated to be properly digested. They contain enzyme inhibitors that make them very difficult to digest. Not to mention, when not soaked they are very dehydrating foods. It’s a good idea to soak grains, legumes and nuts/seeds for 12-24 hours and rinse well to remove saponins and lectins. Dehydrated foods often get stuck to the gut wall where they draw moisture out of the colon. This causes pain, cramps and can lead to problems like diverticulitis. Instead, make it your goal to consume more water-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, organic meats and properly prepared grains.
  6. Avoid foods you are intolerant or allergic to- Many people are intolerant to foods and have no idea. This is a result of being ignorant to the first 5 steps in this post, lack of variety in diet, stress and other reasons. If you know you’re intolerant or allergic, make it a matter to pay extra attention to healing your gut with these steps and of course just avoiding a food that is taking away from your quality of life. If you don’t know if you are intolerant you can get tested, or even cheaper would be to eliminate common problematic foods for 2 weeks and see how you feel on and off. These foods are gluten, corn, soy, eggs, dairy, nuts/seeds, and most forms of sugar (including fruit).
  7. Chew your food until it’s liquid- No explanation needed.
  8. Eat smaller meals more often- A smaller meal is easier to digest than a bigger meal, that’s common sense. Digestion takes incredible amounts of energy, preserving it by eating smaller meals will keep you younger and more energized. Because we are all different with unique metabolisms, there may be variances in the size of your meals and frequencies. A good rule of thumb is to eat until your 80% full, leaving room for digestion. The goal is metabolic efficiency; you want to be able to take in the most amount of nutrients with minimal food required. Eating to 80% capacity will only be effective if you are eating real food, with healthy proportions of fats, carbs and proteins.
  9. Never suppress the urge- If you have to go, GO! Many people put off going to the bathroom until they are home from work, or in the most comfortable setting. Though this makes sense to a degree, you are also destroying your colon. The peristalsis mechanism in your intestinal tract controls your elimination, it’s your poop muscle if you will. Its been shown in little as 7-21 days you can entrain any physiological system. By suppressing your natural need to eliminate you can cause a permanent traffic jam in your intestines; chronic constipation! This is sure to impair digestion in a serious way by inhibiting nutrient absorption and leading to toxicity.
  10. Start meals with raw foods (especially fermented)- Raw foods, especially fermented raw foods, are incredibly dense with enzymes and healthy bacteria. These are very beneficial to digestion. They stimulate the digestive process and aid the body in producing it’s own enzymes and stomach acids. Raw sauerkraut, raw apple cider vinegar or coconut kefir both aid the body in producing stomach acid (HCL) which digests proteins. These are great to have with animal proteins. Pineapple and papaya also contain protein digestive enzymes and are great in salads. Raw foods and raw ferments establish a healthy gut flora, which are the base of your digestive system. They play many roles in food digestion and nutrient absorption. Try adding a few tablespoons of these fermented foods to each meal or sipping on a few ounces fermented drinks while eating for incredible digestion.
  11. CHILL OUT– If there is one thing you could do for better digestive health, it would be to relax. The digestive system is run by the atomic nervous system. There are two subcategories of our nervous system that mange our digestive health; the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. When we are stressed out or suffering, we are in a sympathetic state. Hence the name sym-pathetic. The word pathetic is derived from the Greek word pathos, meaning to suffer. Whenever we are stressed our bodies suffer and activates this sympathetic nervous system, telling our bodies it is in danger. In this panicked state, the body shuts down all digestive functions and used that energy for primal survival. The sympathetic nervous system activates the muscles and prepares the body for work. While this mechanism can be useful in life or death situations let’s face it, we are hardly in life or death situations anymore. I’m not saying life is anywhere near perfect; however, most people have no real reason to suffer or panic. It’s more likely that our problems today, and digestive problems are totally psychosomatic (created in our minds in the form of worry, anxiety and outdated mental constructs). When we are relaxed and chilled out though, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated, which is responsible for rest, repair and regeneration. We do not necessarily need to be in a constant state of relaxation or serenity – there is a time any place for work. However, most people are in a constant sympathetic state. If you have digestive problems then you are likely more stressed out than not. Stress is simply force-counter force, it’s pressure. So what can you do to relax? Stop trying to impress people, stop letting people pure-pressure you, stop letting people depress you (put you down) and get out of your head. Stop thinking so much and look around. There’s a major difference between thinking (consciousness) and looking (awareness). Be less conscious and more aware – get out of your thoughts and look around, life is fucking beautiful. Go for a walk, look into someone’s eyes, or paint a picture if you don’t believe me.

For more knowledge and holistic tips for optimal digestive health, see my online course Perfect Digestion, where I dive deeper into the anatomy of the digestive system, how it works and what we can do daily to support it’s functioning.

Bulletproof Chocolate Collagen Candy Bar

I may or may not have covered a Bulletproof Collagen Bar in chocolate yesterday.

Okay, I did.

I didn’t really have the intentions of creating a Bulletproof “Candy Bar” when I made this, I was just lying in bed dreaming of chocolate and had the idea to dip a collagen bar into melting, sugar-free Bulletproof cacao. This was the result…

It’s not the prettiest thing in the world – I’ll work on that. What it lacks in aesthetic, it makes up for in health benefits and out of this world deliciousness. As if these collagen bars weren’t addictive enough already and chocolate, well, chocolate – add them together and it’s like worlds colliding. The crunchy, chewy, sweet vanilla from the bars with a thick coating of decadent, creamy, and silky chocolate make the most beautiful couple.

And there are plenty of health benefits to-boot with these bars. If you didn’t know, raw cacao is a very healthy food:

  • It’s fantastic for the skin, loaded with antioxidants to fight free-radical damage and oxidative stress.
  • It’s good for the gut, rich in polyphenols that feed healthy bacteria in the intestinal tract.
  • it can give you life, with an abundance of feel good neurotransmitters like dopamine and oxytocin, cacao will never let you down.

Then we have the collagen; which promotes healthy, smooth and youthful skin, joints and tissues. Not to mention, the entire recipe is sugar-free so it doesn’t spike blood sugar that leads to emotional lows, irritability and potentially feeding pathogenic bacteria/viruses.

But you probably only care about how you make it, so I won’t keep you any longer…

Here’s what you’ll need:

(makes 2 servings)

Here’s how you make them:

  1. Freeze  your collagen bars so they get nice and stiff – sometimes they can melt a bit if they get too warm.
  2. In a double-boiler, melt down your cacao butter. You can chopped it up nicely before melting for quicker melt time.
  3. Powder your xylitol in a coffee grinder.
  4. Add your other ingredients and whisk together until thick and creamy.
  5. Take your bars out of the freezer, unwrap and using a fork, dip one side of the bar into the chocolate. Set bare side down on a glass dish lined with parchment paper. Repeat for the other bar.
  6. Place in freezer until solid.
  7. Remove and repeat process for the bare side of the bar, place back in freezer.
  8. Viola! Do as many coatings as you want to get the desired finishing coat.

Pine Pollen: Nature’s Hormone Supplement

Last spring I was fourtunate enough to come across my first big Pine Pollen harvest and since reaping the benefits of this epic wild food, I have been inspired to share it with all of you.

Whether you want to learn a bit about foraging wild food, you’re interested in optimal performance and want a natural alternative or you just want some seriously clean energy then this article is for you.

Pine Pollen is hands down the most complete and powerful ‘supplement’ I have ever consumed and guess what…you can get it totally for free! – more on that later though. It’s a true wonder substance, not only is it a 100% organic and natural whole-food it’s also a very strong medicine.

A lot of people talk about common super-foods like goji berries, raw cacao and bee pollen but many people fail to mention Pine Pollen as probably thee ultimate super-foods. It’s superior for many reasons but it’s real magic comes from the fact that is sourced directly from the wild where it’s adaptability, strength and nutrition content far exceeds that of anything grown in a lab or on a farm.

In short, Pine Pollen has over 200 bioacitve natural nutrients, minerals and vitamins source all in one source. What’s more, is that is the active constituents in Pine Pollen are easily absorbed by the human body, where as most other supplements have very poor absorption rates – Pine Pollen is 90% more absorbable than bee pollen even.

The Many Benefits of Pine Pollen

Amongst a long list of unique benefits, in actuality, Pine Pollen has positive affects on the entire body, it’s a complete functional food acting as a:

  • Lung tonic (benefits the immune system and beautifies the skin)
  • Kidney tonic (very rejuvenating to the brain, hair, bones and endocrine system)
  • Liver tonic (stimulates liver regeneration and regulates bile secretion)
  • Heart tonic (increases cardiovascular endurance, raises blood levels of Superoxid Dismutase and lowers cholesterol)
  • Spleen tonic (Nourishes the muscles and increases metabolism which are both governed by the Spleen organ system in Asian medicine)

PINE POLLEN FOR ANTI-AGING

Pine Pollen is a powerful anti-oxidant, increasing SOD levels (superoxide dismutase, perhaps the most powerful and crucial antioxidant the body makes) in the blood. It also increass glutathione production, which breaks down and removes xenobiotics (environmental pollutants) and metabolites of oxidative stress (internal toxins made by the body) from the body.

Pine pollen benefits overall skin health and appearance, by providing natural androgens – youth hormones. Also, Pine Pollen has the ability to improve collagen and elastin production, which make up the underlying matrix of the skin. Pine Pollen keeps these proteins from degrading and causing wrinkles.

Keep in mind, one of the easiest ways to prevent wrinkles is to make sure you drink plenty of living spring water everyday! Last but not least, Pine Pollen reduces lipofuscin deposits – a brown pigment responsible for age spots a.k.a. liver spots – in the heart, brain and liver.

PINE POLLEN FOR SEXUAL VIGOR, STRENGTH & MUSCLE BUILDING POWER

Pine pollen is most renowned for its potent androgenic effect it has on the body. It contains bio-available androstenedione, testosterone, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), androsterone and a wide variety of other steroidal type substances! So it is literally Mother Nature’s steroids, which unlike synthetic steroids, are perfectly safe.

These anabolic compounds are only for building muscle, they keep the skin smooth and tight, maintain a healthy libido, optimize tissue regeneration, optimize breast health in women and testicular and prostate health in men, aid in the excretion of excess estrogens and speed up the metabolism to help burn off excess fat.

PINE POLLEN FOR HEALTHY HORMONES

Healthy hormones are a key to keeping the body young, beautiful and healthy. Pine Pollen is rich in natural occurring phyto-androgens that help to counter the effects of estrogen mimicking substances commonly found in our plastic, modern world. Many of the plastics we found used to make bottles, food containers, body care products, cleaners, medications, and even our clothing can mimic estrogens in our bodies and cause disruptions. Pine Pollen is a natural estrogen detoxifier.

Additionally, plenty of people get also get an unnecessary amount of estrogen from commercial animal products like dairy and meat that contain added hormones. Those who consume industrial animal products aren’t the only ones in danger of estrogen overload, many plant based food products contain phyto-estrogens such as soy, hops, yams, nuts and seeds and other fruits and vegetables. It’s all about balance when it comes to hormones, and in today’s world, it is overly estrogenic – why is a deeper discussion!

For now, it is easy to see that estrogen can easily dominate a person’s system these days. Pine pollen’s ability to balance estrogen levels has never been more necessary today – if people wish to continue to procreate healthy children, then this is one issue that must be resolved! Not to mention, it is at the root of many weight issues, skin diseases, and mood disorders.

And yes, women can definitely get the benefits of Pine Pollen too without worrying about growing a masculine figure or beard. In fact, excess body hair growth in women (and hair loss in men) is more likely due to elevated DHT levels (which can be controlled with Saw Palmetto, Licorice and Nettle Root) rather than free testosterone, so no need to fear growing facial hair.

In men, the commonly known beer belly and erectile dysfunction are actually outward signs of high estrogen. Good news is that Pine Pollen has the power to “re-masculinize” an overly estrogenic male.

PINE POLLEN FOR HEALTHY ENERGY

Want some seriously good energy? Look for further than Pine Pollen. It makes coffee, cacao and any energy drink seem pointless. Just when you harvest this stuff from the wild and the pollen is flying around the air, into your lungs and skin you feel the effects it has on the body and the huge increase of energy. The stuff is live and unlike any other energy boost you’ve probably recieved. It’s not like caffeine as a stimulate but more like the energy you get after really good sex.

And because it is a complete source of proper nutrition, the energy lasts without any crash. Pine Pollen is not a stimulating drug, and contains no stimulants, though it is more energizing than caffeine just in a different way. If you want the best pre-workout, then whip up some of my Pine Pollen Truffled Chocolates and you’ll be performing beyond you previous limitations. You can also consume in it a post-workout recovery shake for improved recovery time.

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS

  • 30% protein
  • A complete protein
  • Greatly improves vitality and stamina
  • Promotes longevity
  • Improves muscle tone
  • Raises low testosterone
  • Increase male fertility
  • Combats and reverses the effects of Andropause (male menopause)
  • Eliminates sexual dysfunction due to low androgen levels
  • Balances the Estrogen to Testosterone ratio in Women and Men
  • Prevents prostate disease
  • Promotes liver cell activity aiding in liver detoxification and rehabilitation
  • Accelerate the activity of liver cells and regulate bile secretion
  • Enhance the metabolic function of the skin
  • Nourishes the hair at its roots
  • Regulates metabolism
  • Aids in weight management and promotes weight loss
  • Improves immune function
  • Rapidly decrease the time it takes to into shape
  • Gentle daily cellular detoxification
  • Eliminates brain fog and increases attention and cognitive function
  • Improves skin elasticity by promoting collagen production
  • Clears acne
  • Nourishes the brain
  • Dissolves and removes age spots on skin and in the body
  • Protect the cardiovascular system by improving the heart, blood, and the blood vessels. (Rutin, one of the components of pine pollen, increases the strength of the capillary vessels and helps protect the cardiovascular system.)

HOW TO TAKE PINE POLLEN

Most herbalists recommend Pine Pollen in tincture form is best for androgen therapy. Therefore, it may also be contradictory for young males. Therefore, Pine Pollen tincture, while in a sense more powerful, is better left to the adult men while Pine Pollen Powder is a better whole-food substance that does not have as high of an absorption rate of the androgens.

That being said, if you’re an adult bodybuilder, athlete or do manual labor, the tincture may be of most use to you. For anyone else, I recommend using a cracked-cell wall powdered extract.

For dosage, you can experiment but as a general rule of thumb, most herbs are best consumed 3 times daily over a course of time. You may also take Pine Pollen intermittently if you are using it for building muscle. For maintenance, I suggest the powder.

Pine Pollen Tincture

Pine Pollen Powder

Chaga: What You Should Know

If you’ve yet to learn about Chaga then you’re in for a treat. This medicinal mushroom is loaded with both healing qualities and a delicious taste. Aside from it being renowned as an anti-aging superfood – what’s more is it can be made into delicious tea and coffee substitutes!

Chaga, otherwise known as Inontus Obliquuus, is a wild mushroom that grows on birch trees in colder climates. Here in the Mid-West where birch trees grow in abundance, you can actually luck-out and find it wild right off the tree! Depending where you are at, Chaga can be found in the Baltic regions, Scandinavia, Siberia, Alaska, northern Canada and northern parts of the States – specifically, where temperatures fall bellow -30 F for over 2 to 3 months per year.

As a fungus, the ‘conk’ of the chaga grows and lives off of the tree, absorbing it’s nutriments secondary – having a symbiotic relationship with the tree. What’s most amazing about Chaga is that its DNA structure is 30% more human than it is plant!

HISTORY OF CHAGA

I have a friend that is a 74 year old Siberian man and is probably healthier than I am. Interestingly enough, it’s been documented that Siberian tribes who used chaga had a lifespan of ninety to over one hundred years! The indigenous Siberians would harvest it wild, grind it and use it in stews, soups, and beverages daily. The Siberians found that regular consumption of chaga helped build immunity, which says a lot considering their intense climate. Even contemporary Russians have found that the individuals who regularly consumed chaga have no traces of cancer.

Traditionally, Chaga was used by the Ancient Chinese, Korean, and Eastern European. The Russians and other Europeans consider it a cure for cancer. Canadians, a cure for tumors and Koreans it’s used to regulate stress and build energy. Over all, it is known for its ability to cure many skin conditions, including psoriasis and eczema.

In conclusion, Chaga is not some new trendy superfood – though many “health gurus” and companies are marketing it more thus bringing it into the public domain. In actuality, it’s been used for centuries and popularly as a tea. I’m personally glad it’s gaining some mainstream attention because it is a truly wonderful substance that many could benefit from. And speaking of benefits, here’s a little bit more detail on the medicinal qualities of Chaga.

Health Benefits

  1. Supports The Immune System. Chaga is rich in Beta-D-Glucans, help balance the body’s immune system responses. It does so by both boosting the immune system when necessary, while also slowing it down when it is overactive, in the case of autoimmunity. You could say Chaga is an immuno-modulator.
  2. Fights Cancer. As I mentioned briefly, Chaga is known to cure cancers. Researchers have studied the indigenous people of Siberia to learn about the effects of Chaga. The researchers did not find a single of trace of cancer in the region. Additionally, they found that the people of this region where brewing chaga instead of coffee in order to save money. Oddly enough, the people didn’t know the benefits of Chaga, they just enjoyed the beverage. This is why its important to do what feels good – if it’s pleasurable, it’s good for you. If it’s painful, it’s not. Funny how life works when we follow what is enjoyable! And thanks to modern technology, there is now evidence that shows Chaga has a very high content of super-oxide dismutase (SOD), an important enzyme that functions as one of the most powerful antioxidants in the body. SOD is naturally occurring in human tissues, but declines with age, especially after age 30. Chaga now has been studied in about 900 different clinical trials, the health benefits of its use are clear, especially in treating cancer.
  3. Anti-Inflammatory Properties. Chaga supports the health of the blood vessels and can provide soothing properties in times of inflammation. Considering that inflammation is at the root of all physical disease – this is can be helpful for anyone, especially anyone with pain, skin problems, digestive issues or even diabetes.
  4. Supports Digestive HealthChaga has the ability to sooth ulcers and support overall intestinal health. Most ulcers are caused by a bacteria known as H. Pylori, which can be fought off by a well-functioning immune system. Chaga as we known is amazing for the immune system, it also happens to be anti-viral.
  5. It’s Anti-Aging. Chaga is anti-aging for all the reasons mentioned above. Remember SOD? Well, it has vital anti-aging functions. Most aging comes down to oxidative stress from free radicals, produced during times of stress. SOD actually neutralizes oxygen free radicals, and prevents oxidative damage to the cells and tissue. This makes Chaga extremely beneficial for the skin. Don’t take my word for it though, try for yourself or at the least, check out some of the studies done that have proven it’s ability to help skin disorders. You can make a face cream with chaga extract, cacao butter, and essential oils.

Where to Find Chaga

Chaga can only grow wild and is quite hard to find. It grows predominantly on birch trees in cold climates throughout the Northern Hemisphere, including northern parts of Europe, Russia, Korea, Canada, and the United States. If you do not live in these northern regions, you can find chaga mushrooms and chaga tinctures at local health food stores or online.

How to Use Chaga

Chaga tea is the most popular way to consume chaga. If you have foraged your own, then you are going to want to make a tea decoction or tincture. Here is how you make a chaga tea:

  1. Break whole chaga into 10g chunks.
  2. Grind one chunk into powder using a blender or coffee grinder.
  3. Place one or two teaspoons into a tea infuser or french press.
  4. Place the tea infuser over a large mug and pour in about 2 cups of hot water.
  5. Leave the chaga and hot water steeping for at least 5 minutes (the longer the better to get more bioactive ingredients). For a really good decoction, let it sit for up to 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the infuser from the mug and add maple syrup or stevia for sweetness.

For Instant Chaga, I recommend a dual-extracted powdered Chaga like this one. They are not only convenient, they taste incredible, mix very well, are extremely bio-available and make a great coffee alternative or additive.

Pine Pollen Truffled Chocolates

Want incredible energy, libido and youth?

Look no further than pine pollen. It’s a true powerhouse wonder substance – a complete food and medicine. Pine Pollen is one of the ultimate super-foods in the world. Pine Pollen has over 200 bioacitve natural nutrients, minerals and vitamins source in one single serving, that is completely absorbed by the human body. No other nutritional supplement can do this.

THE BENEFITS OF PINE POLLEN

Pine Pollen is one of the most complete foods I know of – it has a positive affect on the entire body. Here’s just a little bit of what this wild food can do for your body:

  • It will restore healthy levels of testosterone.
  • As a lung tonic (boosts the immune system and beautifies the skin)!
  • As a Kidney tonic (very rejuvenate to the brain, hair, bones and endocrine system)!
  • As a Liver tonic (stimulates liver regeneration and regulates bile secretion)!
  • As a Heart tonic (increases cardiovascular endurance, raises blood levels of Superoxide Dismutase and lowers cholesterol)!
  • As a Spleen tonic (Nourishes the muscles and increases metabolism which are both governed by the Spleen organ system in Asian medicine)!

PINE POLLEN FOR ANTI-AGING

Though physical beauty is an inside job and no one herb will do the trick – this is one herb I recommend for healthy skin, hair, nails and over all appearance. Some of the antioxidant related properties of pine pollen powder include; increasing SOD levels (superoxide dismutase, perhaps the most powerful and crucial antioxidant the body makes) in the blood.

Pine pollen also increasing master antioxidant glutathione, which help breakdown and remove xenobiotics (environmental pollutants) and metabolites of oxidative stress (pollutants made by the body) from the body.

Pine pollen benefits overall skin health and smoothness. Androgens are the promoters of youth. Collagen and elastin (which make up the underlying matrix of the skin) are stabilized and kept from degrading which is the cause of wrinkles.

Another way to prevent wrinkles is to make sure you drink plenty of living spring water everyday. Pine pollen reduces lipofuscin deposits (a brown pigment responsible for age spots a.k.a. liver spots) in the heart, brain and liver.

PINE POLLEN FOR BUILDING MUSCLE & STRONG LIBIDO

Pine pollen powder’s claim to fame is the potent androgenic effect it has on the body. It contains bio-available androstenedione, testosterone, DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone), androsterone and a wide variety of other steroidal type substances (which unlike synthetic steroids, these are perfectly safe)

These anabolic compounds not only help build muscle mass, they keep the skin smooth and tight, maintain a healthy libido, optimize tissue regeneration, optimize breast health in women and testicular and prostate health in men, aid in the excretion of excess estrogens and speed up the metabolism to help burn off excess fat.

PINE POLLEN FOR HORMONE BALANCING

The phyto androgens in pine pollen help to counter the effects of estrogen mimicking substances that we are exposed to more and more in the world.

Many modern chemicals found in plastic bottles and food containers, body care products, household cleaners, pesticides and herbicides, pharmaceutical medications, plastics and more can mimic estrogens in our bodies and cause disruptions.

People also get a hefty dose of estrogen from dairy products with added hormones and many phyto-estrogen containing plants such as soy, hops, yams, nuts and seeds and other fruits and vegetables.

It is easy to see how estrogen can over-dominate a person’s system these days. Pine pollen’s estrogen balancing effect can be amazing for people dealing with hormone and estrogen dominance related weight issues, skin eruptions or inflammation, mood disorders, sexual or fertility issues, or for women and men going through hormonal changes as they age.

Women can definitely get the benefits of pine pollen without waking up the next morning with a beard. Excess body hair growth in women (and hair loss in men) is caused by elevated DHT levels (which can be controlled with Saw Palmetto, Licorice and Nettle Root) rather than free testosterone, so no need to fear growing a moustache.

If men are exhibiting the outward effects of high estrogen (excess breast tissue, “beer” belly, as well as lowered sperm counts and/or erectile dysfunction), pine pollen has the power to “re-masculinize” them.

PINE POLLEN FOR HEALTHY ENERGY

One of the most profound health benefits of Pine Pollen is the tonifying effects on the body and the huge increase of energy, because it is a complete source of proper nutrition.

Pine Pollen is not a stimulating drug, and contains no stimulants, though it is more energizing than caffeine. Pine Pollen aids in recovery time from exercise, and aids in building lean muscle. Less sleep needed and waking refreshed.

PINE POLLEN INFUSED CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES

Now the question is, how do you take pine pollen to get the benefits? For more androgenic affects, it’s recommend to take a tincture. However, I prefer the cracked cell-wall powdered extracts, as they mix great into tonics and chocolate recipes with a nice sweet, pine taste.

Ideally, you would take this herb 3x a day for best results. Here’s just one delicious recipe to get your intake up.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Here’s how you make it:

  1. Melt down your cacao butter in a double-boiler
  2. Powder your xylitol in a coffee grinder (use short pulses to not melt the xylitol)
  3. Add the brainoctane, 1/2 of the powdered xylitol, cacao powder and 1/2 the vanilla to the cacao butter
  4. Mix with whisk or electric mixer
  5. Pour into a glass measuring cup with a spout for easy pouring
  6. Using a pastry brush, brush your molds with chocolate sauce then freeze. You may need to do this 2 or 3 times before you have a thick enough shell. Also, be sure to freeze your molds first so the cacao solidifies quickly as you brush.
  7. For the truffle center – In a separate bowl, mix together melted coconut oil, pine pollen, and rest of the vanilla and xylitol.
  8. Pour the pine pollen truffle into your chocolate molds and freeze until firm.
  9. Take out of freezer when solid then pour the rest of the chocolate into the molds.
  10. Freeze one last time until solid then enjoy!

Chocolate Dreams: Tonic Herb Latté

Strength, beauty, energy and longevity all in one cup. Oh, and a heavy dosage of deliciousness. Those were my intentions in creating this creamy chocolate herbal tonic early this afternoon. 

In order to do so, I started off of course with the best quality ingredients I can get my hands on (big thanks to Bulletproof and VitaJing Herbs!) This recipe contains a blend of some of the most powerful herbal remedies on the planet, each with a long history of success. But don’t take just my word for it, let’s take a look at exactly how each of these foods influences the body.

Each of the herbs I chose to use here are designed by nature to lift our mood, give us strength and vigor, build immunity and  us better navigate the stress-laden challenges and quirks of day-to-day life!

HO SHOU WU: He shou wu or Fo-Ti translates to “Mr. Ho’s black hair”. It is a known kidney and liver tonifying herb, which nourishes the blood. It is an adaptogen and therefore both energizing and calming, it invigorates without stimulating. It balances the mind and body through its ability to support the two governing organs in the body, the liver and kidneys. The liver and kidneys are everything when it comes to our healthy and beauty. If you’re aging quickly, your liver and kidneys need help. All anti-aging attempts and reversal of dis-ease will boil down to supporting these two organs. Because of this, it is renowned as a beauty tonic that supports the the hair, skin and nails – all which are reflections of kidney and liver health. They do more than just keep us beautiful though, they produce our energy on a daily basis!

NETTLE ROOT: Nettle root is a fantastic herb that can actually be found in the wild. All parts of the nettle plant can be eaten; however, the root has specific capabilities in lowering SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin), treating hormonal hair loss, increasing free testosterone, and is overall a strong anti-inflammatory, anti-allergy, immune-supporting, and anabolic sexual tonic. In general, it’s wonderful for the kidneys, which are directly related to all of these issues. Strong kidneys means sexual vigor – sex energy is our life force energy! If we are depleted of sex energy, it’s not only going to effect our sex lives, but our overall drive in life.

PINE POLLEN:  Pollen has over 200 bioacitve natural nutrients, minerals and vitamins source in one single serving, that is completely absorbed by the human body. No other nutritional supplement can do this. It will restore healthy levels of testosterone and as a complete superfood, it is effects the entire in the body – everything from hormonal balance, collagen production, liver cell activity, detoxification, to modulating the immune system.

REHMANNA: Rehmannia is another herb that positively impacts the kidneys, specifically the adrenal glands. Therefore, it is a great herb to take for chronic fatigue, adrenal imbalances or autoimmune issues. It supports adrenal function and steroid hormones. If you’re busy in the modern world, rehmannia is a must!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Here’s how you make it:

  1. Bring water to heat, just under a boil
  2. Add your fats and oil
  3. Add your powders
  4. Add stevia to sweeten (1-2 dropper fulls)
  5. Blend
  6. Enjoy