Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Great Disconnect

In the past year since my father and I started this garden I became aware of how much work it actually takes to produce food. Before that, I had no idea! I just went to the grocery store and picked out whatever the hell I wanted anytime of the year and that was that.

It takes A LOT of work to produce enough food to live off of. And you have to have the right tools.

We are very fortunate (or unfortunate depending how you look at it) that we can drive to the grocery store and pick out over 50,000 items to feed our faces. In my life and my parents' lives we have not wanted for food. But I believe we are the exception not the rule.

I think that if Americans were more in touch with where our food comes from and how hard it is to physically grow your own food and knew what it was like to kill an cow and cut it up that we would be eating much much differently.

I'm not sure how it happened to be this way but there is absolutely no connection between the animal that was living and the perfectly packaged pieces of meat in the meat department. There is no connection between the farm and the produce we eat- especially considering most of our produce is now imported so we have a fresh array all year long. (I'm not complaining considering I live mostly off of these plants that we are importing.)

bet you never thought you would be staring into a bumble bee's ass
sticking out of a squash flower
Over the past 2 years of going on this "becoming healthier so I don't get cancer" journey I have done some things that I never thought I would do- stop eating meat, stop eating cheese, stop eating cooked food, live on juice only, meet the animals that would be my meat, grow my own food.

I have gone to extremes, and I usually bounce back to somewhere a little healthier than I started, but one thing is for sure... I appreciate real food and what it can do to my body and soul. I have heard people who are in the holistic health/food industry speak about how when you change the food you eat, your whole life will change. I didn't believe them at the time, but looking back over the last 2 years to before I started this, my life is completely different.

I am more aware of what food does to my body. I am aware of how food affects my mind and my mood. I am more aware of stress and how to avoid letting it get the best of me. I am happier. I am working on surrounding myself with people who will support me and lift me up and getting rid of the Negative Nancy's.

Is it a coinkydink? I don't know, but I'm sure as S-H-I-T happy that this is happening to me. (bet you thought I was going to get through this whole post without using the S word)

So a summer project for you all! Go to a farm and talk to a farmer about whatever it is that they grow- corn, cows, chickens, whatever! Ask them about how they care for their crops and animals, and what their beliefs are about what they are doing. Start to get to know where your food comes from and I promise you Oreos and frozen chicken tenders won't look as appetizing once you realize they come from a factory and are made of chemicals and animal "parts". 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

1 Step Forward...2 Steps Back

This weekend I took 2 steps back. My plans got turned upside down and I ended up spending the majority of the weekend in the Hamptons with my sister, her fiance, their friends and his family. It is usually a pretty relaxing time when I go out there, but something was in the air this weekend. Everyone was in party mode. Maybe it was because it was a long weekend, maybe it was because the weather was beautiful, I don't know, but we sure had a fun party!

It was like I forgot about all of the "healthy" things I was supposed to be doing and found myself back in college. At least I was drinking like I was back in college. And I am still paying for it. I'm still trying to get ready for the week and Tuesday is almost over.

no sleep + lots of drinks = Jess is a disaster

The moral of the story is... I'm too young to drink vegetable juice straight through the weekend and not have fun. I'm not striving for perfection here. Plus I want to have some stories to tell my great grandchildren when I'm pushing 100. I'm trying to find the happy medium of lots of vegetables and fun times.

What did you all do for MDW? 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Gardening Daze

Well, it's been raining like crazy here for the past 2 weeks, which has delayed the fence being put in, but it is finally done. So all we have to do now is rototil the beds and plant EVERYTHING! This will be a very short post because I am off to dig in the dirt for a while. Hopefully today the rain will hold off so we can get it all done.

But I'm not planning on it because....

Everything always takes at least twice as long and costs twice as much as you are expecting it to.

Words to live by.

On a juicier note... for the last 4 days I have been juicing up a storm with the exception of last night at my cousin's graduation party (CONGRATS MIKE!). But I weighed myself yesterday and am happy to say that I am at my lowest weight (153 lbs) since before college. I didn't weigh myself at the start of this but, I definitely lost a few lbs. I literally wake ups every morning and can see a change (it's little but I can still see it). AND I haven't been killing it with the workouts. I just drink a lot of juice and eat some fruit and raw nuts.  YES!!!

I probably won't be writing at all this weekend because I fully plan on being lazy at the beach for the next 3 days. Hopefully the sun will come out, but if the sun doesn't you will probably hear from me.

Happy long weekend everyone! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

What is the best juicer to buy?

I've been getting this question a lot lately. I thought it was a complicated answer because of opinions of people in the juicing field. (OPINIONS ARE LIKE A**HOLES, EVERYONE'S GOT ONE) I've been hemming and hawing over which juicer to buy for myself. The one's we are using for Raw Generation are not one's that I want to use for myself every day because they are big and slow and messy. Yes, they produce the best quality juice, but I am more concerned with getting the juice in my mouth everyday than having it be the very best quality.


  • Press- uses a hydraulic press to extract the juice
  • Auger- uses gears to masticate the produce and release the juice
  • Centrifugal- uses a spinning filter that grinds the produce and filters the juice 

So 2 days ago I realized that, unless I am terminally ill and need the very best (a press), it doesn't matter what juicer I buy as long as I will actually use it. Just get the juice in my mouth.


I went to Walmart and found a $50 model from GE. It has 4 pieces that are extremely easy and fast to clean. There are other brands like the Hamilton juicer that are in the same price range that are also as easy to clean.


If you are seriously ill, my suggestion would be the Norwalk. It is a 2-step process that first grinds up the produce into a cloth bag, and then the hydraulic press presses the juice out into a cup. It is quite expensive ($2500), but if I were dealing with a serious disease that is the first thing I would buy for myself. But for now, I'm happy with my $50 Walmart juicer.

30 Day Juice Update: After 2 full days of juicing 4 - 16 oz glasses of various fruits and veggies I feel great! I worked out yesterday for 90 minutes and didn't feel fatigued more than normal. I feel thinner and lighter and my head is really clear. Also, my skin is clearing up right before my eyes. It's amazing how fast it works! BONUS! It is making going #2 a lot easier and more frequent. You know you love when that happens. I'll have to wait until the end of the 30 days to see what effect it's had on my EPISODE!

Any questions hit me up with a comment!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

30 Days of Juice

Over the (ridiculously messy) weekend my friend Lauren and I decided that we need to juice. I've been juicing on and off now for a few months, but my juicing efforts have pretty much consisted of whenever we were testing juice for Raw Generation. I am still having issues with my skin. I am still having issues with my monthly EPISODE (although not as bad as before). I want to lose the last 10. And Lauren has a lot of food allergies that she would like to try to get rid of along with a few lbs. I am confident this can be done with a juicing/raw foods diet. And what better time to do it! It's about to be hot as balls and juice is sooooo refreshing!

So we decided to start juicing together! Mainly so we have someone to bitch talk to about it. Yesterday we both bought our own juicers (Walmart- $30 and $50- NO EXCUSES!), and are going to try this for 30 days. I am probably going to continue eating some of the raw foods that I was already eating along with pieces of fruit, but the majority of my "diet" will consist of fresh pressed juices. I am actually looking forward to this because for some time now, I have been feeling like I need this in my life.

Juice cleanse companies have been popping up everywhere. They are advocating 3 to 5 to 7 day juice cleanses- and are charging a lot of money for juices that are a lot of filler fruits and vegetables. What do I mean by filler? The fruits and veggies that give off a lot of liquid- apple, cucumber, celery. There is no doubt that they are healthy for you, but they are charging an awful lot of money for diluted juice.

(PS...this is the amount of greens that are in each bottle of
Raw Generation's 50/50 blend of half fruit and half greens)

Juicing should be part of a daily healthy lifestyle to get the best results. Disease prevention is long term. I am doing a "heavy juice diet" for the next month to clean myself out and enforce the habit of incorporating juice into my life. One of my main goals for my health is to make sustainable healthy changes that I can maintain for the long haul so that I can give myself every chance at preventing disease.

Here's one of the juices I made yesterday that is REALLY good:

  • 1 head kale (stems removed)
  • 1 head collards (stems removed)
  • 1 lemon (skin removed)
  • 3 small apples
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1/2 pear

Who else wants to start juicing???

Monday, May 21, 2012

Slow & Steady Wins the Race

I often feel like I am not doing things fast enough. Intellectually I know this is ridiculous because I am probably one of the most productive people on the planet, but still I get caught in the mental booby trap. I think part of this is because my to-do list NEVER gets any shorter, and I am always finding new things to do.

One of the things that I feel is not moving fast enough is the development of our new juice business- Raw Generation. I know in the grand scheme of things 4 months is not a long time to develop and launch a business, but it just seems to be dragging on. I feel like we should be ready by now to launch. We have a few things left to develop, but I feel like I have been saying that now for the past 2 months. There are always "a few more things" to do. I need to draw a line in the sand (otherwise this could go on indefinitely).

One of our accomplishments last week was designing our labels that are to go on the bottles. I have to say I am sooo happy with them!

So, I guess I am writing through my frustration, and I just need to tell myself that I am making progress even though it doesn't seem fast enough. My to-do list will never go away. Slow and steady wins the race! This way of thinking gets me trapped in anxiety-producing thoughts that feed on themselves. I know this, and I recognize it happening to me right now. If you change your thoughts you change your feelings. Remember that!

Do any of you feel the same way sometimes?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sunbathers Beware

I am not shy about admitting that I love being out in the sun. If I could I would sit on the beach all day every day for the rest of my life. But, I live in New Jersey and we have 4 seasons. Anyway, now that my favorite season is ahead of us- SUMMER - it's time to talk about sunscreen. I am a sucker for sitting in the sun, but I am also careful to NEVER BURN! I didn't used to be as religious about using the sunscreen when I was a lifeguard (major fail) probably because I never thought I would get older and get wrinkles.

Well, as much as I love the sun and getting vitamin D, I also want to make sure that I am using a sunscreen that isn't going to be toxic to me. I just came across an article from Natural News about an ingredient in sunscreens that shows up in our urine.

I am completely convinced that when we put something on our skin- be it water, or lotion, or perfume- it is absorbed and travels through our body. It's the same as putting over-processed junk in our mouths. The chemicals/preservatives/additives are digested and travel around doing damage.

Commercial sunscreens are a danger to your health
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 by: Randall Neustaedter OMD 
(Original Source)
(NaturalNews) A recent study has shown that a potent sunscreen ingredient, oxybenzone, may be a cause of endometriosis. This condition occurs when uterine tissue grows in abnormal sites in the abdomen and causes severe pain. Women are usually diagnosed because of severe cramping during their periods. In this study of 600 women, those with the highest levels of a form of oxybenzone in their urine had a 65 percent increased risk of endometriosis. Oxybenzone, like bisphenol-A (BPA), is a chemical that mimics estrogen. And endometriosis growth is fed by estrogen.
This study should be another warning sign that oxybenzone should not be put on the skin. The highest levels of oxybenzone in the urine of women in this study occurred in the months of July and August, proof that the sunscreen ingredient is readily absorbed into the bloodstream.
Exposure to sunlight promotes good health. The more sun exposure we get, the better our bodies function. Preventing sunburn during the hottest part of the day is a good idea. Sunburn damages the skin. But with all of the evidence that sunlight is beneficial in the prevention of cancer and heart disease, maintaining a strong immune system, and building bones, no one should be using sunscreens on a routine or daily basis.
This study provides further evidence that commercial sunscreens that contain cancer-causing and estrogenic chemicals should never be used. Sunscreens with oxybenzone, methoxycinnamate, and PABA are dangerous. The only proven safe sunscreen ingredient is zinc oxide.
About the author:
Dr. Randall Neustaedter, OMD, has practiced and taught holistic medicine for more than thirty years in the San Francisco Bay area, specializing in child health care. He is a licensed acupuncturist and doctor of Chinese medicine, author of The Holistic Baby Guide, Child Health Guide and The Vaccine Guide. Visit his website,, to register for a free newsletter with pediatric specialty articles and follow him on Facebook, at Dr. Randall Neustaedter, OMD.

Here are some non-toxic sunscreens. Click on the images to buy the products on Amazon.

If you know of any leave a comment below! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Well it's been a long time since I've talked about bowel movements- and I have some more info for you guys about the subject. I've been taking fiber on and off for several years now. If you don't remember, or you weren't reading my blog last September, I have had issues with the fiber I was taking. After I realized that I was allergic to psyllium husk fiber (Metamucul) I switched to Citrucel which is a different type of fiber- but stopped taking that when I started consuming massive amounts of smoothies. Well, over the winter, when I stopped drinking smoothies because the thought of consuming something cold made me want to never get out of bed, I experienced a bout of constipation. It was then that I decided to find a "natural" fiber supplement. It dawned on me one day that the sugar free "orange flavored" fibers I was taking were loaded with chemicals and artificial sweeteners- which I am trying to avoid!

I did a quick search on Amazon (SIDENOTE: I buy everything on Amazon- for a little extra in shipping you can get everything delivered to you without taking the time or gas $$ to drive to the store.) and found Garden of Life's Super Seed Beyond Fiber.


  • Organic Flax Meal
  • Whole Chia Seeds
  • Amaranth Sprout
  • Quinoa Sprout
  • Millet Sprout
  • Organic Buckwheat Sprout
  • Garbanzo Bean Sprout
  • Lentil Sprout
  • Adzuki Bean Sprout
  • Organic Flax Seed Sprout
  • Sunflower Seed Sprout
  • Organic Pumpkin Seed Sprout
  • Chia Seed Sprout
  • Organic Sesame Seed Sprout
  • plus a whole bunch of probiotics that I am not even going to try to spell out for you
I love how all of these are real foods! It is a little different drinking this stuff vs. the commercial brands like Metamucil and Citrucel. It kind of triggers your gag reflex if you don't mix it with enough water. But I'd rather choke this stuff down than be sitting on the toilet forever. Remember: HEMORRHOIDS ARE NOT PLEASANT OR ATTRACTIVE! 

For the best results, stir up the fiber in water and let it sit for a few minutes. This gives the chia seeds time to absorb the water and turn into a glue-like consistency. BONUS: Chia seeds (and other gelatinous plant foods like aloe) are important for detoxifying the body. They trap the toxins that are put into the colon by the liver and kidneys and carry them safely out of the body.


Monday, May 14, 2012

How We Heal

(Source- Natural News)
It is amazing to me that Hippocrates got it so right so long ago, and yet we are still fumbling around trying to figure out why American's are the sickest and fattest in the world. Well, I'm not fumbling around, but most people are. It's also amazing to me that so many Americans are content with taking so many medications.  The average number of prescriptions per person in the United States is 12 (give or take). That's 12 different prescriptions per person per year! We are so over-prescribed it's actually insane.
Insane: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. 
Over the course of the last 2 years I have come to realize that the human body is so much more complicated and so much smarter than we give it credit for. All it wants to do is heal itself. And all we need to do is give it the right food so that it can heal itself. It's that simple!

It's not about matching the pill with the ill, which presumes that our science does it better than our bodies can. If our science could do it better then don't you think we wouldn't be suffering from what we are suffering from? Cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes. Our science presumes that everything happens in isolation from everything else. That is why we have so many medical specialists. You have an ear ache go to an ear, nose, and throat doc. You have dry skin, go to your dermatologist.

What if you could eat one way that would heal everything? It's definitely possible. But most people don't want to change their food because that is what they have always done. Well, you don't get new results from doing something you have always done. You get results when you challenge what has always been done and do something different.

So I challenge you to do something differently! What is one thing that you could do differently that would start to give you the change you are looking for? 

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Juicy Update

After careful consideration...much deliberation...and crazy amounts of communication we have our signature juice named. Drink MY Greens! Unfortunately for everyone who contributed the winner of the $100 is my dad as he came up with Drink My Greens, and since he was the one offering the $$ I guess he just paid himself lol. 

Thank you all for the many ideas we've received!!! 

We are on to the logo and bottle labels...getting close! Just a few more details to get through and we will be in business. (And I have to admit [in my humble opinion] our signature juice tastes damn good!)

Thank you to everyone for their support and feedback through this process. We really appreciate it! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Who Nu?


Who nu imitation Oreos could be so healthy? I saw a commercial for these cookies about a week ago and was completely floored at how F-ing stupid this company is and disgusted at the fact that we are in a world that regards products like this as health food items. I'm not sure what this company's sales are like, but the one thing we can all count on is that this world full of people who take things at face value and don't question much.

Are these people serious? I mean come on! Any sort of bogus nutrition that they are claiming is in these COOKIES is obviously man-made. Unless they found a Who Nu plant somewhere in the wild jungles of some far away place only accessible by befriending an ancient alien tribe after floating there on your over-sized magic carpet. I would imagine it could look something like this:

REALITY CHECK! This company claiming Who Nu cookies are as healthy as a cup of spinach, a cup of blueberries, and as fibrous as oatmeal is about as crazy as me talking about ancient alien tribes in far away jungles and flying magic carpets. 

What seems more ridiculous to you?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Change Happens When You Ask For Help

What does it mean when a butterfly lands on you?
This little guy was very content sitting on my shoe :)

Last week I attended a 3 day conference given by two wonderful women, Carey & Stacey, that are Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) grads and holistic entrepreneurs. I have to be honest when I say I really had no idea what this conference was about or what I would get out of it, all I knew was that there would be a room filled with people from IIN and I could use it as a networking opportunity.

I wasn't even sure if I was going to stay for all three days. I was talking myself out of it before I even got there- something I am pretty good at. I didn't even want to go the morning of, but something inside forced me to get myself there.

Let me preface what I am about to share with you with a fact: they were literally the best 3 days of my life thus far. It has been 3 full days since I left and I am still digesting all that I learned about myself. Here is my one huge revelation that I came away with:

  • I did not grow up in a comfortable environment and it was even more uncomfortable when I needed to ask for help. EFFECT: I became very self-sufficient.
  • I take on everything because I am uncomfortable asking for help. I think I can do it all until I am totally overloaded and completely stressed out. EFFECT: I don't let myself ask for help until I am reduced to tears and anxiety attacks.
  • I have been attracted to people who are incapable of helping me, and in fact they are incapable of taking care of themselves. REASON: I know I can't ask them for help and I don't have to feel uncomfortable.  
This was a HUGE thing for me to realize. I have to be able to ask for help so that I don't get to my breaking point. I can change everything that I put in my mouth and think I am more healthy, but in fact, stress is just as big of an indication in whether people succumb to disease (in my humble opinion). So until I am fully capable of  becoming more comfortable asking for help when I need it, I am not doing everything I can to prevent disease in myself, especially since I am prone to becoming stressed out easily. 

I am making it one of my priorities to ask for help, and surround myself with people who are capable of helping me. And I am asking you for help. I am asking for those of you who are ready to make real improvements in your life to work with me. Whether it be around your health, or love, or breaking through to the life that you want to live, change happens when you ask for help. 

I have struggled through most of the change that I have made for myself, and through that I have figured out the steps necessary to take my life to the next level. You don't have to struggle to figure it out. 

If you are ready to change, make a commitment to yourself and ask me for help. 

With love, Jess

Monday, May 7, 2012

Energy Vampires & others to watch out for

Recently I have come to be aware that there are people out there that will suck the life out of you. They are the type of people that tractor-beam you in because of their wonderful/fun personality and then leave you completely drained and exhausted. ENERGY VAMPIRES!

Then there are the people that are nice to your face and talk behind your back. You are their friend until you leave the room and they are talking about you to someone else. They are a revolving door of S-H-I-T talking.

And my favorite are the loud-talking-complainers. These people are extra savvy at making every one around them uncomfortable and annoyed. They sit down in a coffee shop w/ a girlfriend and complain about everyone and everything in their life. And sometimes they are also fast-talkers which compounds the feeling inside of me to want to duct tape their mouths shut.

I avoid these people like the plague because I am here on this earth to be happy, healthy, and get some S-H-I-T done while I have the chance. The people you keep in your life effect your happiness and health 100%. How can you be happy and healthy with negativity around you? Drama worship is at an an all time high... a waste of time and energy! Take inventory of the peeps in your life. If they are constantly complaining, always having problems with people in their life, taking all of your energy, not giving and always taking, not happy or positive- make the choice...

Are you able to be happy when you are surrounded with negativity? or can you make some changes so you can start attracting happier people?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Mark Bittman on Brown Rice

I know my posts have been a little on the heavy side lately. Sorry, I went off on a tangent that I had to get out of my system. This quick video is a great way to cook brown rice. Also, the great thing about brown rice is that (besides being a whole grain) you can cook a ton of it at once, keep it in the refrigerator, and mix it a bunch of different ways.

I think we may have a 5 ways here:

  • w/ black beans, chopped raw onions, curry powder, paprika, & turmeric
  • w/ chopped carrots, onions, and peas, salt & pepper (like in the video)
  • w/ chopped tomato, basil, cucumber, feta cheese, salt & pepper
  • w/ sweet potato, black beans, butter, & garamasala spice
  • w/ olive oil and chopped herbs de provence (marjoram, thyme, basil, rosemary, sage & fennel)
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Guest Post: Phytotherapy

Hello loyal readers! I am going to be at a conference for the next 3 days, and coincidentally I was approached this week by a doctor who is interested in us writing for each other. The universe works in wonderful ways sometimes! Dr. Leta Vaughan APN, CNM has been working with women and promoting healthcare for over 30 years. Dr. Vaughan is board certified and advocates an effective combination of balanced nutrition, exercise, and supplements to enhance a woman’s changing lifestyle needs.

Thank you Dr. Vaughan! It is so wonderful to see doctors that are concerned with diet and lifestyle.

What the heck is Phytotherapy? 
Dr. Leta Vaughan APN, CNM

770,000 people are injured or die each year in hospitals from adverse drug events (ADE)  Just because a pharmaceutical drug has been studied in a laboratory, regulated by the FDA and prescribed by a doctor, it still has risks.  
Phytotherapy is the use of medicinal plants to heal and restore balance and is becoming more popular in the United States. Eastern medicine has utilized botanical medicine for centuries and as more and more people are looking for alternatives, phytotherapy has gained in popularity. Much of this studying of plants over the years has led us to the pharmaceuticals we are now so familiar with. Modern pharmaceutical manufacturers change the plant’s chemical compound in order to specialize and enhance its actions. But using plants in their pure form are much gentler and easier on the body. Phytotherapy has the potential to prevent illness as well as treat. 
The word phytoestrogen literally means “plant estrogen.” But phytoestrogens are not estrogen. They do not behave the same way as our body’s own estrogens or like estrogen replacement drugs (ERT).  
The National Cancer Institute  defines the word “phytoestrogen” as an estrogen-like substance found in some plants and plant products and states “phytoestrogens may have anticancer effects.” 
Phytoestrogens are part of the phytohormone class, which means they structurally resemble the body’s native estrogen. Their chemical structure is such that it allows them to weakly bind to an estrogen receptor, potentially blocking excess estrogen, or, when estrogen is low, quieting the
system’s need for estrogen. But they are not estrogen. 
The phytoestrogens used and recommended today in botanical and nutritional medicine do not increase endogenous estrogen production in the body. There are no studies confirming that phytoestrogens increase the risk for cancer. In fact, new research suggests that phytoestrogens
commonly used in nutritional and botanical medicine may protect women from breast
and other cancers. 
Phytoestrogens  may also decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke, and protect your bones. A 2007 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine confirmed that the phytoestrogen genistein protects against bone loss. All of this while calming the symptoms of menopause! More benefits of phytoestrogens are being discovered and discussed every day so keep in touch for further exciting information. 
Your endocrine system is the command center for all of your hormones and consists of
many small organs such as the pituitary gland, thyroid, adrenal glands and ovaries as well
as diverse tissues such as the gut, breast and skin. These various glands secrete active
hormones that take messages throughout the body to the brain, liver, heart, bone, skin and
blood vessels as well as the reproductive organs. Plant molecules can also communicate
these messages. 
Responses within your cells that originate from the plant world are known as phytocrine. Phytocrines are the bioactive molecules in plants that share features with our own hormones and “connect” with our endocrine system. 
Adaptogens are plant foods recognized for their rebalancing effect on the body. An adaptogen doesn’t have a specific effect on the body as such. What it does is support the body in healing where the body needs it; an adaptogen goes to the weak areas of the body, and helps strengthen them. In doing so, adaptogens restore homeostasis in the body. 
When combined with a healthy lifestyle  and diet, phytotherapy has the ability to reverse hormonal imbalance in menopause. Utilizing herbs for menopausal symptoms has gained popularity and information is readily available across the web. 
Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa) a plant native to Eastern North America, has been used by women all over the world for generations to help with hot flashes.


Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is rich in phytoestrogens including lignans, coumestans, and isoflavones and is used for relief of general menopausal symptoms.

Chastetree (Vitex agnus-castus) has active molecules that may affect our neurotransmitters, particularly dopamine, which acts in the brain and other parts of the body. Recent studies are showing that properties of this herb may mimic the soothing actions of progesterone and help with psychic and somatic symptoms of PMS.

Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is a member of the pea family and is native to Asia. Much like red clover, it contains phytochemicals that function in a protective fashion. These include five major
isoflavanoids that can bind weakly to estrogen receptors, quieting the body’s need for estrogen during times of hormonal imbalance. Kudzu also has been linked with anti-aging properties.

Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) has strong Native American roots and contains natural monamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI’s), which are known to have antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties.


Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is an herb with aphrodisiac and mood-stabilizing properties. Recent studies suggest this Ayurvedic herb can act in an adaptogenic fashion when androgen levels are low, activating the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis to increase the production of androgens.


Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa) is native to North America and has been used for both menopause and menstrual-related symptoms. Research suggests that it acts as a functional mimetic of progesterone.
Soy (Glycine max), like red clover and kudzu, is a member of the legume family and contains phytoestrogens. It has been extensively studied and found to be supportive for improved insulin regulation, weight loss, bone health, and nail, skin and hair health. It has also been shown to decrease frequency and severity of menopausal discomforts, particularly vaginal dryness, hot flashes and night sweats. 
Different women have different symptoms as well as different combinations of such
so what works for one may not be as effective for another. Recommendations are for
combined use with herbs and many products contain formulas specific to particular
symptoms. It is important to look for reputable companies and talk with a provider who
is comfortable and experienced in herbal remedies. 
Other key points:

  • Use consistently and monitor your progress. Nothing works if you do not follow the program
  • Discuss with your provider other medications you may be on as some may impede and /or enhance herbal effects.
  • Once you find a supplement that works, continue to use the same preparation.

Women’s health advanced practice nurses and certified nurse midwives http:// are trained in holistically approaching healthcare symptoms
and take the time to talk and listen to your needs. 
To find one in your area check Nurse Practitioners in Women’s Health or The American College of Nurse-Midwives 
Follow me @biohormonesinc

Dr. Leta Vaughan APN, CNM has been working with women and promoting healthcare for over 30 years. Dr. Vaughan is board certified and advocates an effective combination of balanced nutrition, exercise, and supplements to enhance a woman’s changing lifestyle needs.

** It's me, Jess....I just want to add that you don't need to be going through menopause to benefit from using the plants and their extracts above. Women at every age can benefit from incorporating these plants into their diet through teas and/or herbal supplements.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Re: NC Board of Dietetics/Nutrition

If you haven't read, I wrote a few days ago about how a blogger in North Carolina, Steve Cooksey, was being threatened by the state Board of Dietetics/Nutrition with jail time/being shut down. This is what they have to say for themselves:
Dear Concerned Citizen: 
Over the past week a number of inaccuracies have been presented to the public regarding a complaint that was submitted to the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition (the NCBDN) concerning Steve Cooksey, an unlicensed person. 

In July 1991, the Dietetics Practice Act, which falls under Chapter 90, Article 25 of the North Carolina General Statutes, was passed.  The mission of the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition is to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of North Carolina from harmful nutrition practice by providing for the licensure and regulation of persons engaged in the practice of dietetics/nutrition and by establishing educational standards for those persons.  Under §90-365 of the North Carolina General Statutes, the NCBDN has a duty to investigate all complaints that it receives.  The following specific points are meant to “set the record straight.” 
It has been alleged that the NCBDN is harassing Mr. Cooksey.
As noted above, the North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition has a duty to investigate all complaints that it receives, regardless of whether it is an unlicensed person or licensed person.  On January 13, 2012 a written complaint was submitted to the NCBDN alleging that Steve Cooksey was providing nutrition care services in North Carolina without a license. By law, the NCBDN had a duty to investigate this matter just as it would investigate any other complaint that is submitted to its office.  
It has been reported that the NCBDN threatened to shut down Mr. Cooksey’s website.
No legal action has ever been threatened or taken against Mr. Cooksey by the NCBDN.  On January 18, 2012, Mr. Cooksey was contacted by phone to inform him that a complaint had been filed against him and to seek further information.  On January 27, 2012 Mr. Cooksey was sent detailed comments of the Board’s concerns regarding his compliance with the law, to which the Board invited discussion.  Mr. Cooksey never contacted the NCBDN to discuss these comments.  After completing the required investigation of the complaint by examining multiple factors, on April 9, 2012, Mr. Cooksey was sent a certified letter, stating that the NCBDN was satisfied that he had come into substantial compliance with the requirements of the law and that the NCBDN was closing the complaint it received against him. Mr. Cooksey signed for this letter. Currently, there is no active complaint or action against Mr. Cooksey on file with the NCBDN. 
It has been reported that the NCBDN is threatening to send Mr. Cooksey to jail for recounting publicly his battle against diabetes and encouraging others to follow his lifestyle.
The NCBDN has no authority to criminalize any actions a person takes.  By law, if a person has violated Chapter 90, Article 25 of the North Carolina General Statutes, the NCBDN may report such an action to a local prosecutor, however, it would be the prosecutor’s decision whether or not to seek a misdemeanor charge.
In the almost twenty years of this law’s existence there have only been two instances where the NCBDN has presented information to the authorities in order to allow the authorities to decide whether or not to pursue criminal prosecution.  In both cases these persons were presenting falsified professional credentials and stolen identities. 
It has been alleged that the NCBDN is attacking Mr. Cooksey’s right to free speech and has ordered him to stop speaking, change what he says and change what he publishes.
Of his own volition, upon being informed of the complaint against him, Mr. Cooksey made changes to his site, including, making his disclaimer that he is not a licensed dietitian/nutritionist more prominent and taking down his diabetes support packages.  Later, Mr. Cooksey was sent a document detailing some of the Board’s concerns regarding his past interactions with some of his followers, however, this document was sent attached to an email that stated, “[g]iven our discussion, I believe our comments should make sense, however, should you disagree, I am happy to discuss.”   Mr. Cooksey never contacted the NCBDN to discuss these comments.  The NCBDN never ordered Mr. Cooksey to make any changes to his website.  
It has been reported that the NCBDN maintains that Mr. Cooksey needs a license to advocate certain dietary approaches.
In and of itself, advocating a certain type of diet or dietary approach is not a violation of the law. The specific diet Mr. Cooksey promotes is not, and never has been, under investigation.  However, unless a person is otherwise exempt, a license is required to provide nutrition care services, which is defined as:
· Assessing the nutritional needs of individuals and groups, and determining resources and constraints in the practice setting.
·   Establishing priorities, goals, and objectives that meet nutritional needs and are consistent with available resources and constraints.
·   Providing nutrition counseling in health and disease.
·   Developing, implementing, and managing nutrition care systems. 
It has been reported that this past January the state dietetics and nutrition board decided Mr. Cooksey’s blog violates state law.
The NCBDN never made any formal decision that Mr. Cooksey’s blog violated state law or commenced any type of legal action against him.  Under the perception that Mr. Cooksey desired to come into compliance, the NCBDN sent Mr. Cooksey a document detailing its concerns regarding his compliance with the law.  
It has been reported that a person cannot encourage others to adopt a certain type of diet unless one is licensed in North Carolina.
The Dietetics Practice Act says nothing about “encouraging” others.  A license is required to providenutrition care services as defined by the law (see above definition of nutrition care services). 
It has been reported that that the NCBDN finds talking about diet without a license to be a crime.
The Dietetics Practice Act says nothing about “talking about diet.”  Standing alone, talking about a diet, advocating a diet or sharing one’s own story regarding a diet is not a violation of the law, nor has the NCBDN ever communicated anything to the contrary. 
It has been questioned why the NCBDN decided to close the complaint against Mr. Cooksey.
Initially, it did appear that the diabetes support services Mr. Cooksey was providing at the time the complaint was submitted, included nutrition care services and thereby, were in violation of the law.  The NCBDN did indeed have some concerns regarding Mr. Cooksey’s original website and services as detailed in the document that was provided to him.    Given Mr. Cooksey indicated verbally and in writing his desire to be in compliance, combined with his voluntary actions that followed, the NCBDN concluded that Mr. Cooksey was in substantial compliance.  
In addressing all complaints the NCBDN considers multiple factors before deciding whether or not action should be pursued.  Based upon these factors, as applied in Mr. Cooksey’s case, the NCBDN determined that Mr. Cooksey was in substantial compliance.  As such, the Board concluded that no further action was required regarding this complaint.  
The North Carolina Board of Dietetics/Nutrition

I'm glad this worked out for him! Hopefully, he continues spreading the word about how changing your diet can improve your health.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Eating Well Through Cancer

This was the first book that I found on the subject of eating for health one day while sitting with Nani in the chemo office. It is full of recipes to "help" people get through chemo so they can keep their strength and calorie intake up. Before I rip this book to shreds, I would like to say that it is complements of Merck Oncology. Merck, as you may or may not know, is one of the big pharmaceutical companies that creates the chemo drugs that millions of people are given to "cure" cancer. Notice the lovely fruits and vegetables on the cover.

Now I'll tell you what they are advocating cancer patients should eat (this is just a sampling not the entire list):

  • Eat between meals with high-protein diet supplements, milkshakes, puddings or nutritional energy drink supplements. SUGAR & FAKE NUTRITION
  • Add cream or butter to soups, cooked cereals, and vegetables to increase calories. Add gravies and sauces to vegetables, meat poultry, and fish until weight loss is no longer a problem. FAT & ANIMAL PROTEIN
  • Add extra protein to your diet by using fortified milk, peanut butter, cheese, and chopped hard boiled eggs ANIMAL PROTEIN
  • Be creative with deserts. SUGAR
  • Try drinking lemonade. MORE SUGAR!
  • Increase the sugar in foods to increase their pleasant tastes and decrease salty, bitter, or acid tastes.
  • Use extra sugar with many deserts to improve the taste or to provide its accustomed taste. A teaspoon of sugar added to cooking water or glazing vegetables such as may help improve vegetable flavors. INCREASE THE SUGAR!!!
  • Fresh vegetables may be more appealing than canned or frozen ones. FINALLY!
Food Staples:
  • refrigerated biscuits SUGAR
  • butter or margarine FAT
  • fruit
  • reduced fat cheese FAT
  • skim milk DAIRY
  • sour cream DAIRY
  • fresh vegetables
  • fat free yogurt DAIRY
  • white bread SUGAR
  • pasta SUGAR
  • pizza crusts SUGAR
  • white rice SUGAR
  • cake mixes (chocolate, yellow, & white) SUGAR
  • instant pudding SUGAR
  • sugar & artificial sweetener SUGAR
  • reduced fat creamed soups WHO THE HELL KNOWS?!
Recipes for the day of chemo:
  • cinnamon rolls
  • blueberry pancakes
  • berry french toast
  • baked french toast
  • apple lasagna
  • egg noodle casserole
  • yam biscuits
  • chess pie (butter, sugar, white flower, eggs)
  • lemon angel food cake
  • chocolate eclair

OK ready? First of all I appreciate the tidbits of fruit and vegetables that are scattered across these pages. More importantly though, the majority of this book is filled with white flour and sugar. THE ONE THING THAT FEEDS CANCER IS SUGAR! HOLY S-H-I-T! This book is basically advocating eating a low fat diet that is high in sugar- which the last couple decades of American's fat free psychosis has proven  a disaster. 

How is any of this food going to help the chemo get rid of the cancer that this food is actively feeding?

Where did these people get their information? Actually, did they even research anything about what feeds cancer? and what prevents disease? Surely not! I really feel for people who take information like this at face value. Just because it is published and backed by a huge company like Merck doesn't mean it's good information. Besides Merck doesn't want cancer to go away. Then they would be out of business.

In my humble opinion, people who are dealing with cancer should be eating a plant based diet with tons of fresh fruits and vegetables in the form of salads, fresh juices, smoothies, with whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. Someone with cancer should NOT be eating deserts!!!


Please if you or someone you know is dealing with cancer, the best thing you can do for yourself is change your diet. If you have any questions please email me at 
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