5 Companies to Support Now …

Let’s face it. Health is trending. Juice Cleanses are more popular than ever. People have finally stopped counting calories and started counting ingredients. Amy’s Organic built the first completely organic “fast food” drive through in a small town in Northern California and Food Babe recently convinced Subway to remove the Yoga Mat Chemical from their breads. As happy as I am to see the results of our demanding healthier options in the last five years, there’s also a disturbing trend of corporate companies supported by Monsanto (Dean Foods), jumping on the bandwagon and releasing “healthy” options themselves, without the consumer understanding that the additives are anything but healthy, not to mention, they’re supporting Monsanto without knowing it. Horizon and Silk to be specific. Let’s take Almond Milk for example. Most Almond Milks, including brands at Whole Foods like Blue Diamond, contain less than 2% almonds, and neither are certified organic. Organic is important when it comes to almonds, otherwise you’re ingesting harsh pesticides and an almond that has lost it’s nutrition during the chemical process. Whole Foods has a great Organic Almond Milk option, but then you’re still dealing with the issue of a watered down version which should be made with mostly almonds, not water. So with all of this being said, here are my top five fave brands to support right now.

New Barn Organic Almond Milk

New Barn is the first Almond Milk I’ve found that is not only certified organic, but averages 55 almonds per bottle. Yes, the bottles are small and expensive, but often go on sale monthly for $2 off. You seriously can’t find a thicker, creamier and tastier almond milk than this. I use it for my lattes daily, and compared to all other almond milks, when I use it in my electric frother, it’s the only one that stands the true test of frothing as perfectly, rich and full as cow’s milk. More importantly, the ingredients list is short and sweet. No additives you can’t pronounce and the only Vanilla Almond Milk on the market sweetened with Organic Maple Syrup and real Vanilla Extract. I highly recommend this for iced or hot coffee. If you want to get into a discussion about the amount of water we’re using in California to deal with the increase in almond consumption over cow dairy, the documentary Cowspiracy is a great place to start. The meat and dairy industry is the #1 reason for our water problem, not growing almonds, millet and other grains, which actually ranks 11th in California’s water use. The demand for meat in America is so ridiculously high it’s literally killing us, and our planet. Not to mention, when you buy meat in a conventional grocery store, you’re at risk for contamination from very sick and abused animals. New Barn wins for taste, texture and a near perfect ingredients list. http://www.thenewbarn.com

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Jackson’s Honest Chips

I choose these Purple Heirloom Potato Chips for one huge reason. They’re the only one on the market cooked in Coconut Oil. Need I say more? I steered away from chips years ago when I went through my clean eating shift in 2011, because the majority of them are cooked in Canola Oil/Safflower Oil. Coconut Oil is a super nutrient dense oil that actually has tons of health benefits, all of which you probably know by now. Yes, we health nuts use it for everything, from makeup remover to face serum to oil pulling to baking. In fact, I replace all recipes using butter with coconut oil. Jackson’s also now has GMO free Corn Chips, cooked in Coconut Oil of course. http://www.jacksonshonest.com

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Artizan Organic Coffee Nespresso Pods (BPA Free/Recyclable)

Although I always liked the idea of owning a Nespresso to ditch my $5 a day Urth Cafe (LA) Organic Latte habit, I couldn’t justify the huge waste involved with using toxic plastic pods owned by Nestle filled with a crappy, pesticide ridden coffee. So late last year, in a last ditch effort, I did a quick Google search for “organic coffee pods” to see if anyone had yet decided to invent an organic pod using BPA free plastic and recyclable materials. I almost gave up the search. It was a hit overseas in the UK and Australia, but nothing was coming up for the USA. At the last minute Artizan popped up, and suddenly my $5 a day latte habit became a $.58 cents per pod miracle. I’m also super impressed with their email customer service and comprehensive, easy to navigate subscription option which ships monthly. For true doubles, I use two pods per latte using the single shot setting on my Nespresso machine, then top off with New Barn Vanilla Almond milk, add a little coconut sugar and voila: Cheaper than Starbucks, totally organic and environmentally guilt-free. http://www.artizancoffee.com

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Addictive Wellness Chocolates

I stumbled upon Addictive Wellness Chocolates one day while shopping at Erewhon Market here in Los Angeles. I was immediately intrigued by their “Tranquility” Chocolate, as the caffeine content in some dark chocolate can actually keep me up at night, but night time is my favorite time to nosh on this antioxidant rich superfood. I actually slept better after “Tranquility”. Creating a medicinal chocolate is brilliant in my opinion, because it’s taking my love for herbs and plant based medicine and mixing it with my love for dark chocolate. They’re actually incorporating Taoist and Ayurvedic herbs in to a super nutrient dense dark cacao, and incorporating my favorite adaptogenic herb of all, Ashwagandha. The benefits are endless, but I use Ashwagandha to balance hormones and battle stress. It has a calming effect, but not sedating. The “Energy” is perfect if you’re on the go, with the energy buzz coming from Mesquite. Sugar-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Non GMO and Soy Free. http://www.addictivewellness.com

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Raw Coconut Aminos

I use this almost daily to replace vinegars for salad dressing and soy sauce. Raw Coconut Aminos contains over 17 active amino acids and tastes sweet like soy sauce, without the phytoestrogens. Soy is no longer the health food it was once considered. Not because it didn’t start out that way, because it certainly did, but because soy sauce manufacturers utilize a chemical process known as acid hydrolysis that does not incorporate fermentation. Fermentation is super important when it comes to soy. With this process, the harmful effects of the soybean are not inactivated. I’ve brought the controversial topic of soy up in many of my blog posts since 2011 because eliminating soy from my diet completely (along with gluten) was one of the main reasons I was able to heal my thyroid completely without drugs. Functional Medicine doctors go in to detail about why and how this works if you’d like more information, find one in your area. A lot of people are also unaware that soy sauce also contains gluten from wheat. In 1997 GMO soybeans went from 17% of U.S. soybean average to 68% in 2001, to an astounding 94% in 2014. Enough said. I do a very simple dressing using Organic Olive Oil, Coconut Aminos, Himalayan Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper. http://www.coconutsecret.com

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Game Changer …

Now that Nutiva Organics has graced me with the ultimate health geek gadget, the Vitamix, I’m taking breakfast smoothies to a whole new level. I’ve never won anything in my life, and it arrived on my birthday, so I couldn’t have been more stoked! I used to be an avocado, omelette kinda chick, but eggs weren’t giving me the kind of energy I craved in the morning. Breakfast should be your biggest, most nutritious meal. It boosts your metabolism and helps keep your appetite in check the rest of the day, which is when you should eat smaller meals anyway. The whole idea of a smoothie for breakfast has never been very appealing to me. I believe you should go big or go home. I’m not into LA skinny bitch fad diets. Until I realized just how much nutrition you can get in to one blender. Vitamix to be exact. This thing is worth the $550 price tag. Now that I own one, I can actually say that. So for any of you who may have one, or anything even remotely close, I dare you to make this every day for a week straight. It’s insanely filling and again, loaded with nutrition. Nothing you cook up in the morning can even come close to the amount of protein and good fats in this one smoothie. Total Game Changer.

Soak 2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds in blender in 2 cups of Coconut Water to prep (5 to 10 mins to sprout)

Add All Supplements: 1 or 2 teaspoons of Hawaiian Spirulina

When you think of protein, you think eggs or beef or maybe a whey protein shake. None of the above-mentioned sources of protein compare to the protein delivered by Spirulina. Spirulina is 65-71% complete protein compared to beef, which is only 22%, and lentils, which are only 26%. Spirulina is also an excellent source of vital amino acids and minerals easily assimilated by your body. You would only need to consume 2 tablespoons of spirulina as a protein substitute for a meal!

Add 1 teaspoon of L-Glutamine (optional… I do this for muscle strength/muscle fatigue.)

Add 1 tablespoon of Organic Raw Maca powder

Maca is a potent, ancient Peruvian superfood highly prized by Incan warriors to increase stamina, boost libido, and combat fatigue. It energizes naturally, without the jitters and crashes of caffeine, and it can aid in reproductive function and balance hormones.

Add all foods next:

1/2 of an organic avocado

Frozen Organic Fruit (Mango or Strawberry) in place of ice so as not to water down smoothie.

2 tbspns of Organic Coconut Manna (more good fats)

1/2 Organic Cucumber

Whole Organic Banana

1/2 Bosc Pear

Freshly Chopped Ginger

Top off entire contents of blender with at least 1 cup full, if not more, of Spinach, Kale or Super Greens. I buy the “Organic Girl” brand in bulk!

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Toxic World … Toxic Girl …

One of the things I love most about my job as a bartender, is meeting and getting to know people outside of my comfort zone. My sweet little life in a bubble is so damn sweet, but often “me centered” and let’s face it, there’s nothing like human connection. You realize how important this is later in life. So, with that being said, two of my bar peeps inspired this weeks blog post.

One, a woman in her early forties, who has kicked Cancers’ ass, not two, but THREE times. She is also on Thyroid medication for life, like thousands of other women who are told that this is their only option. No one actually believes you can reverse Thyroid Disease (or any other disease for that matter) naturally. Except… I did it. I’m proof. It’s in the pudding. Ask me.

The other, a regular of mine, who’s known me long enough to see me at my absolute worst, simply said…. “I don’t know what you’re doing, but keep doing it …. You look radiant …. and HAPPY. I don’t know how radiant I actually look, but I can tell you how I feel…  and the “secret” behind it.

We live in a toxic world. Period. If we didn’t, we’d all be running around like Okinawans’, who are living well into their hundreds. I shit you not. Hundreds of them. In perfect health. Watch the documentary “Happy”. But we’re not lucky enough to live in that little corner of the world… famous in Japan for being uber healthy and toxin free. We live in America, where Starbucks and Mc Donalds reign and “health” care and the food industry are basically corruption at it’s finest. (See Monsanto). Most of you don’t know it yet, but you will. There’s a paradigm shift … and it’s happening now. People are finally understanding and grasping the truth behind the food and pharmaceutical industries and disease itself. We have the ability to reverse disease and live healthy, vibrant lives. Our bodies have this awesome ability to fight the good fight if we let it. And yes…. naturally.

All of this takes a hell of a lot of research, and I’ve personally dedicated two years of my life to finding the answers, and a hell of a lot of questions were asked and a healthy amount of skepticism was evident and, yes…. I also had to have faith. A lot of faith. I went from doctor to naturopath to holistic to acupuncturist to herbalist to nutritionist to chiropractor to therapist to neurologist and finally, I looked to myself to get to the bottom of “WHY”? Why we suffer from everything from allergies to autoimmune disorders to autism and why people are healthier in other countries and why vaccines are forced on us but not them and why we insist on genetically engineering our food, while this practice is banned in other countries… and why, why, why? If you don’t ask, you’ll never find the answer. And if you don’t ask for a second opinion, I can pretty much guarantee you’ll be lied to. And most likely, you’ll be prescribed a drug with eighteen side effects or given some diagnosis, often the wrong one, and then maybe you’ll need that drug for life, or worse, maybe you’ll need some absolutely unnecessary surgery or procedure for your lower back pain, which could be cured by simply having a few chiropractic adjustments or taking a hot yoga class. Drugs for life wasn’t an option for me. So make it not an option for you and start living the healthiest live you can live. Now.

I’m here to help you do just that. In simple terms. If you have a major disease, email me and I can help you find a good functional medicine doctor who uses NRT in your area, or if you’re simply tired of taking a medication, I can also help you understand why, how and if you can get off of them.

Here is a simple list of things you can do daily to start living a toxic free life. No hair product or TV dinner is worth death. And eventually, when toxins build up in your body, year after year, it leads to disease, and if left untreated…. death. And sure, you could die tomorrow in a car accident, and yes, I hear this all the time from people who don’t want to make these simple changes, but while you’re here on this earth, why not live happily and healthy? Afterall, “Radiance” is a beautiful thing.

1. Reverse Osmosis Water or Spring Water: Water is THE most important thing for your body. Unfortunately our water supply is loaded with chlorine and fluoride, and that’s just the beginning. Fluoridation of our water is a huge controversy right now, and some states are finally banning it as an additive, especially because it’s even more toxic for children and yes, it’s the stuff that’s in your toothpaste, and it actually causes severe thyroid issues after long periods of use. I stopped using Fluoride Toothpaste over two years ago when I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism. The absolute best thing you can do is get your water from a local spring using http://www.findaspring.com/. This is untouched water from the earth, exactly as it should be with all the good minerals your body needs and zero chemicals. I know that this can be inconvenient, depending on where you live, so in that case, buy Reverse Osmosis water from Whole Foods, because it’s the only system that removes the chlorine and fluoride completely. Brita doesn’t do shit, so don’t waste your money. Make sure you fill up a BPA free container. For more information on the dangers of Fluoride, visit http://www.fluoridealert.org/.

2. Nonstick Pans and BPA Free Plastic: This one is simple, although may seem tough at first. Nonstick pans are chemically treated and those chemicals are seeping in to your food every single time you cook. Switch to Stainless Steel cookware or an Iron Skillet. Worried about the stick? NEVER cook with olive oil (always use Raw) because Olive Oil cooked at very high temps actually goes rancid and you lose the health benefits completely. DO cook with Coconut Oil, which is extremely good for you, and in fact, the best oil out there, because it’s high in Linoleic Acid and can withstand super high temps. Also, voila…. non stick. Canola Oil and Vegetable Oil should be banned. These two items shouldn’t even be in your kitchen. They are two of the most chemically altered “foods” in the American Diet. Say buh-bye.

3. Beauty Products! I don’t care how attached you think you are to Miss Estee Lauder, you couldn’t possibly be more attached than I was when I started this journey. Give up my products? Hell no. But seriously. Hell YES. Parabens, Phthalates, SLS, Triclosan, Aluminum, Glycols, etc. ALL of these ingredients seep in to your skin and over time cause major damage, like speeding up the aging process, hormone disruption, breast cancer and even dementia and early onset Alzheimer’s. Again, this is because we insist on using these things daily, especially deodorant, which we apply, sometimes to broken skin, every single day for like fifty freaking years. Let it go. Let it all go. I blog about the alternatives. They’re amazing. Make the switch. Use Josie Maran or Mineral Fusion for makeup and for hair, go with Shikai, Andalou Organics or the higher end salon line, Oribe, which is my personal fave. As for deodorant, understand that it takes four to six weeks to sweat out the toxins that have been building up in your body, where aluminum has kept it trapped, so it’s not that the hippie Crystal stuff doesn’t work, it just takes awhile! And trust me…. it’s a good thing getting all that junk out once and for all. I apologize in advance for your stink, but I promise you, it’s worth it. Hands down, the best deodorant is Herban Cowboy for Her. Apply a few times daily until your natural scent is no longer offensive, then once daily is fine. Or make your own using coconut oil, essential oils and baking soda. This one works wonders.

4. Tampons: Without getting too detailed here, why is it considered the norm to put an object inside of your body that can potentially cause something called “Toxic Shock Syndrome”, which if left untreated, can cause death? I’m sorry, come again? It’s a tampon. What a crappy way to die. Buy Chlorine Free tampons and pads. Seventh Generation makes them with no warning message attached.

5. Food: Hate to say it, but if you’re shopping in a conventional grocery store, you’re in trouble… unless you’re shopping the perimeter and buying organic. So give up Ralph’s, Von’s, Safeway, Harris Teeter, etc. Why? Because if it’s in a box and you can’t pronounce the ingredients, your body doesn’t know WTF it is or how to process it. Not only that, all that “food” your eating is loaded with processed sugar, lecithins, chemicals and pesticides. Talk about disrupting the body and causing disease, this is the main culprit. Put down the Oreos and for the sake of the next generation, that Coke, or even worse, that Diet Coke you’re drinking, is literally killing you. High Fructose Corn Syrup and Aspartame are absolutely linked to the obesity and cancer epidemic that continues to rise in this country. The research is done and out there. Coke is feeling the pressure and trying to decide whether or not to use Stevia as their new sweetener. They’re feeling the backlash. They’ve even tried fighting the research and the controversy by putting out their own campaign against it, but it failed. If you do consume animal foods,
switch to grass fed beef, organic, free range eggs, Organic Milk, or even better, Raw Milk and stay the F away from fast food. The CAFO’s where the meat in your Double Double comes from is a breeding ground for E Coli and sick, mistreated animals. Also, these animals are grain and soy fed, and in most cases, loaded with antibiotics.

6. Toxic Relationships: This is a tough one, even for me. I have a long history of repeating this pattern. But I promise you, as my friend Brianna recently said, “A toxic relationship can make you ill and keep you there.” This couldn’t be more true and evident in my own life. If someone in your world, whether they are a friend or lover, doesn’t have the ability to be totally supportive, loving, caring, emotionally available and there for your highest good, please…. Let. Them. Go. At a recent wellness conference in NYC, the speaker asked the audience to tell him what the turning point in their journey to “perfect health” was. Most comments had to do with certain healing modalities or a certain supplement taken or doctor seen, but one woman raised her hand and simply said, “The best thing I ever did for my health was to leave my asshole of a husband.” Everyone laughed, but the speaker spoke intensely about the mind/body connection and how toxic relationships can absolutely lead to physical illness. So say goodbye to Mr. Big and find your Aidan, or better yet, go find yourself and recognize your own self worth first. Yes, I just referenced “Sex and the City” and I’m oddly at peace with it.

Happy Toxic Free Journey!

CURLS