Oh, The Things Your Tongue Can Tell You


I’ve known for a long time that you can tell a lot about your state of health from looking at your tongue. I just never knew what exactly to look for and what it meant, other than ridges on the side of the tongue. I grateful to The Whoot for putting together this article that’s a great source of information about “all things tongue.” 🙂

Tongue Health Diagnosis

You’ll be amazed what your Tongue has to say!

Tongue diagnosis is an ancient Indian diagnosis technique which many health issues can be diagnosed. When the tongue is examined a number of things are taken into consideration. The color of the tongue body, its size and shape, the color and thickness of coating is indicated to location of abnormalities and moistures or dryness of the tongue. These signs reveal the overall health to specific organ function, especially in the digestive system.

Have you ever wondered why your visit to your doctor or health professional usually starts off with ‘Say ahhh’?  You’ll be totally amazed at what your Tongue reveals about your health. The tongue is an important indicator of health and being aware of which body part each area of your tongue is linked to and what the different colors, shapes, bumps and textures of your tongue indicate gives you a brilliant early warning system that should not be ignored. The back of the tongue reflects your bladder and kidneys, the tip is linked to heart health, the tongue center is the spleen and the sides are the liver.

If your tongue is red with cracks on the surface, this usually indicates a fungal infection in the body, and it’s often accompanied by night sweats, problems sleeping and irritability. A pale tongue surface can suggest anemia or a hormonal imbalance in women. Antibiotics can often have an adverse side effect on your tongue too. Be sure to also check out how to use coconut oil (oil pulling) to improve your dental health and hygiene plus detoxify your body using all natural ingredients.

Tongue Diagnosis

See What Your Tongue Reveals About Your Health

A thin yellow layer in the middle of your tongue can suggest problems with digestion and skin diseases.  Swollen edges on your tongue and a thin white layer is usually an indicator of digestive system problems and susceptibility to water retention.

Scraping the tongue has cumulative benefits: fresher breath, less plaque buildup, and healthier gums. It’s easy to do, totally painless and a tongue scraper is very inexpensive. The Ayurvedic name for  tongue scraping is Jiva Sodhana. Ayurveda or Ayurvedic Medicine is a very ancient traditional health technique which assists in keeping both the body and the mind healthy and well balanced. – Source

The tongue has color, texture and shape independent from the apparent qualities of the tongue coating. A healthy tongue is normally pink or light red in color. Here are some of the things the body of the tongue can indicate :

• A pale tongue indicates the excess cold • An overly red tongue indicates the excess heat • Pale purple indicates stagnation related to cold • Reddish purple indicates stagnation related to heat • Bright red color may indicate the lack of iron or vitamin B12 • Red tip of tongue may indicate heat in heart  • Pale tongue body indicates blood deficiency

The shape of the tongue is also a source of information: 

Which Tongue Are You?

Did you know that the tongue is the strongest muscle in your body? It’s not just there for your sense of taste! The above infographic  illustrates some of the most common conditions that your tongue reveals about your health. The video below will explain in detail….

Source: http://thewhoot.com.au/whoot-news/diy/tongue-health-diagnosis?omhide=true&ut



p.s. Be sure to give Self-help Health a follow so you don’t miss out on future posts. Also check out the To Your Health page at my website Evolution Made Easier and my other blog for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please not that any information provided here is as a guideline only, and not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Free Alkaline Cooking Class, 2 Great Sounding Recipes AND a Free Cookbook!


I saw this soup recipe on Facebook earlier today and can’t wait to try it. With all the ingredients it includes, the taste should be right up my alley, plus so healthy, to boot. At the end of the video she mentions that for today they are offering a free pdf of the 56-page Cooking With Coconut cookbook where the recipes are geared toward fat-burning, boosting metabolism, and regaining energy, so act quickly and take advantage of that!


Here’s the link to ask for the free Cooking With Coconut Recipes e-book pdf:
And Ross from Energise For Life has an invite to his free on-line cooking class taking place on 8/31 at 3pm or 9/1 at 7pm. Here’s what he has to say about The Alkaline Cooking Class: Making Nourishing Alkaline Meals a Breeze…….


This is the last time this year that I will be running this workshop (the previous two in Feb and May were both totally filled)…
During the cooking class I will share with you my top, most-easy-to-implement strategies and hands-on-tools on how to make living & cooking alkaline SO easy, simple and effective…
By the end of the workshop you will be able to easily integrate nourishing alkaline meals into your life without it taking hours or being hideously hard work!
There will be two sessions to cater for different time zones/schedules so pick which works best for you 🙂
During the workshop we’ll be covering:
  • The Automatic Menu Plan: how to save HOURS planning and shopping with my simple 3-step strategy
  • How to Get 5 Serves of Greens on Autopilot: smash the five-a-day recommendation by having five serves of GREENS a day, giving you wiggle room with the rest of your diet
  • Discover The Silent Killer: The Most Commonly Consumed, Acidic, Thyroid-Damaging Inflammatory Foods that you’ve been told was HEALTHY & How to Avoid Them
  • Easy Simple Swaps: how to eliminate the seven most acidic, commonly consumed foods with nourishing, delicious alternatives
  • Master the Sweet Tooth Saviour: How to Make Alkaline, Delicious Desserts to Satisfy Even the Sweetest Tooth on Earth
  • The Top 8 Most Easily Added Alkaline Foods: these take no time to add into your existing meals but they will make a world of difference
And a whole lot more! Click here to register now
And something else of interest from Ross…..a sweet potato brownie recipe :-)…..
closeup of sweet potato brownies

Sweet Potato Brownies

This is the the easiest sweet potato brownie recipe you’ll ever see! It includes alkaline, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant rich ingredients and only takes 15-20 minutes to make!

I love this for it’s speed, ease and deliciousness – gets you out of a bother when you have a sweet tooth but contains only 3-4 g of sugar per serve!That’s practically nothing!


1 whole medium sweet potato
2 cups almonds (or cashews or a mix)
5 tablespoon raw cacao powder
1 pinch Himalayan salt
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
*¼ cup rice malt syrup

Optional: 1 tablespoon coconut flour (optional but adds to texture)

*Personal Note: After learning about how so many rice-based products are filled with arsenic, I’m thinking I will try substituting a different sweetener…..maybe coconut nectar or maple syrup, since their consistency would be similar.


1) start by peeling and chopping the sweet potato into large, rough chunks and then boil until soft (about 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the chunks)

2) Set that aside and cool and in the meantime, blend the nuts, cacao and salt until reasonably fine.

3) Put this in a mixing bowl with the coconut oil, coconut flour (if using) and rice malt syrup and mix through thoroughly.

4) Once the sweet potato has cooled, mash this and then stir and fold this into the mixture.

5) Put everything into a lined or lightly greased pan and press it down firmly, and then put into the fridge or freezer (depending on how you’re going to use it – see below).

This makes about a dozen decent slices (or more if you want them for snacks) and contains zero fructose and very little sugar – BUT – lots of protein, fibre and healthy fats to keep you going for hours.

If you are going to eat all of them between yourself, family, guests etc these within a couple of days, put straight into the fridge. However, if you are planning on having them slowly over a week or two, cover and put in the freezer as sliced, individual serves. You can remove them and enjoy within just 10-15 minutes of taking them out of the freezer.

Source: http://liveenergized.com/alkaline-recipes/sweet-potato-brownies/



p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my website Evolution Made Easier (and its To Your Health page) and my blog of the same name for more helpful information, tips, tools and resources.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

MORE On The Coconut Oil/Alzheimer’s Connection

On 5/23/13 I did a post about the benefits of using coconut oil as an all-natural form of prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s (you can read that post here). I recently came across even more information on the topic, this time from Sayer Ji at GreenMedInfo.com; this adds some pieces to the puzzle and makes including more coconut oil in your diet seem like a very smart move to make….

by Sayer Ji, Founder Green Med Info

MCT Fats Found In Coconut Oil Boost Brain Function In Only One Dose

Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), the primary type of fat found within coconut oil, have been found to boost cognitive performance in older adults suffering from memory disorders as serious as Alzheimer’s — and not after months or even days of treatment, but after a single 40 ml dose!

A groundbreaking 2004 study published in the journal Neurobiology of Aging found that the administration of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), the primary fat type found in coconut oil, almost immediately improved cognitive function in older adults with memory disorders.

The study involved 20 subjects with Alzheimer’s disease or mild cognitive impairment who, on separate days, were given either emulsified MCTs or a placebo.  The researchers observed a significant increase in blood plasma levels of the ketone body beta-hydroxylutyrate (beta-OHB) after only 90 minutes of treatment, and depending on the apolipoprotein E genotype of the subject tested, beta-OHB levels either continued to rise or held constant between the 90 and 120 minute blood draws in the treatment condition. Remarkably, cognitive testing revealed that this brief MCT treatment facilitated improved performance on the Alzheimer’s Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-cog) in 4 subjects within the study group. Moreover, “higher ketone values were associated with greater improvement in paragraph recall with MCT treatment relative to placebo across all subjects (P=0.02).”[i]

The details of the study procedure was described as follows:

The study was conducted with a double-blind placebo controlled design with two study visits. During each visit, subjects received one of two isocaloric conditions (690calories) in a randomized order: emulsified MCTs, or emulsified long chain triglycerides as a placebo. NeoBee 895 (Stepan, Inc.) was used for MCTs. To increase palatability, heavy whipping cream was used as a source of long chain triglycerides and as a source of long chain mono- and di-glycerides for emulsification. MCTs (40ml) were blended with 152ml heavy whipping cream to create the emulsified test sample. Heavy whipping cream alone (232ml) was blended to create the placebo.

Subjects fasted from 8:00 p.m. on the night prior to the study visit. They arrived in the morning and blood was drawn to determine plasma β-OHB levels and APOE genotyping (first visit only). Subjects then consumed the test beverage and rested quietly for 90min, after which blood was drawn and a 30-min cognitive testing session ensued. After testing, a final blood draw was taken.

How Medium Chain Triglycerides Work

How could a single dose of MCTs (40 ml or 2.7 tablespoons) cause an almost immediate improvement in cognitive performance in those suffering from cognitive impairments as serious as Alzheimer’s disease? The explanation is found both in the unique metabolic needs of the brain and in the configuration of MCTs themselves. Whereas the primary fuel source for the energy-hungry brain is glucose, when insulin resistance and suboptimal metabolism (hypometabolism) develops in the brain, both the brain’s structure and function are compromised. Ketone bodies provide a much needed alternative fuel source to glucose that can recharge metabolic processes within the brain, resulting in an almost immediate improvement in cognitive function.

MCTs are not like most fats we consume. For instance, due to their smaller size they do not form micelles and are not stored in adipose tissue. Whereas up to 97% of the dietary fats we ingest are made up of long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) which have been 14 and 18 carbons,[ii] MCTs have relatively shorter chain lengths of 5 to 12 carbons, making them easier to absorb and utilize. They are preferentially oxidized by the liver, and when provided in large enough quantities, they give rise to ketone bodies.[iii]

What is the best way to take MCTs? As we are advocates of whole food nutrition, coconut oil is our preferred source of these triglycerides, containing approximately 2/3rds MCTs by volume. Coconut oil also has a broad spectrum of other health benefits, which we highlighted in our previous article “13 Evidence-Based Medicinal Properties of Coconut Oil.”

Also, instead of treating coconut oil or MCTs as some new nutraceutical “magic bullet,” almost as if we are just loading natural bullets into the same old outdated allopathic gun, try incorporating it into your diet in a way that displaces less healthy fats. For instance, replace that rancid, pro-inflammatory ‘vegetable oil’ (e.g. soy, grape seed, peanut, canola oil) you are using to fry an egg or bake with, with sublimely saturated, rancidity-resistant coconut oil.

Or, enjoy a delicious curry with coconut milk as a base. Because 25% of coconut milk is fat, and about 66% of that fat is MCT, you are still getting a healthy dose. It is always better to eat smaller amounts of truly therapeutic foods, enjoyed in the context of sharing, preparing and enjoying good food, so that you will ideally never have to use the heroic “food as medicine” approach after a serious disease has had the opportunity to set in. Think: use food so that medicine never becomes necessary.   

For additional information view the testimonial of Dr. Mary Newport who discovered the benefits of using coconut oil to treat her husband’s Alzheimer’s Disease.

FYI, you can get organic, unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil at discount prices at Vitacost.com, one of my favorite on-line places. If you shop at Vitacost, sign up for a free account at eBates.com beforehand, if you don’t already have one. That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost and earn cash back on your purchases. Plus, if you are new to Vitacost and spend a certain amount (I believe it’s $25), you will get a $10 coupon to use; eBates also gives a gift card or some other “prize” when you place your first order of $25 or more. How does it get any better than that?!

 iHerb.com is another good discount place to shop (use code CJG192 if you are a new customer and spend more than $40 and you will get $10 off and free shipping, plus can choose something from their free samples and take advantage of their wonderful trial offer section).

For more on natural ways to prevent and help reverse Alzheimer’s read these additional posts:





And here is a good read from Dr. Joseph Mercola that provides more on how coconut oil helps with Alzheimer’s, plus the protocol Dr. Mary Newport used for reversing her husband’s condition, AND it talks about using peanut butter (yes, you read that right!) to diagnose Alzheimer’s in its early stages:



p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

Healthy Fats and Butter vs Margarine

I’ve known for a number of years that butter (especially if it’s from raw, organic milk from pasture-raised cows) had been given an undeserved bad rap and that margarine was not the healthier alternative it was cracked up to be, but this article from FoodMatters.tv by Wellness Mama adds pieces to the health puzzle I didn’t have before…





By Wellness Mama

When it comes to the butter aisle, picking the best product for your health can be a confusing decision that ends up leaving a lot of people stumped. It’s no wonder so many people don’t know whether they should be opting for butter or margarine as years ago we were continuously told that butter was a big no-no.

This caused vegetable-oil based margarines to increase in popularity as doctors started warning patients about the dangers of saturated fats and recommending that margarine was the safer alternative for heart conditions.

We’re going to stop this confusion and reveal why you should never consume vegetable oil or margarine! Aside from “healthy whole grains,” vegetable oils and margarine are some of the most misunderstood and over-recommended foods in the health community.

You’ve probably heard these referred to as “heart healthy oils,” a good alternative to those “artery clogging saturated fats.” These oils are supposed to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, increase weight loss, and somehow improve overall health.

Only one problem… again, science doesn’t back these claims up!

What Are Vegetable Oils / Margarine?

Vegetable oils (and margarine, made from these oils) are oils extracted from seeds like the rapeseed (canola oil) soybean (soybean oil), corn, sunflower, safflower, etc. They were practically non-existent in our diets until the early 1900s when new chemical processes allowed them to be extracted.

Unlike butter or coconut oil, these vegetable oils can’t be extracted just by pressing or separating naturally. They must be chemically removed, deodorized, and altered. These are some of the most chemically altered foods in our diets, yet they get promoted as healthy.

Vegetable oils are found in practically every processed food, from salad dressing to mayo to conventional nuts and seeds. These oils are some of the most harmful substances you can put into your body, but more on that in a minute!

How Vegetable Oils Are Made

Vegetable oils are manufactured in a factory, usually from genetically modified crops that have been heavily treated with pesticides.

Take for instance, the common Canola oil, the beauty queen of the vegetable oil industry. It was developed by making a hybrid version of the rapeseed, and it was given its name in the 1980s as part of a marketing effort organized by a conference on mono-saturates.

Rapeseed oil contains high amounts of the toxic erucic acid, which is poisonous to the body. Canola oil is an altered version, also called Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed (LEAR) and it is commonly genetically modified and treated with high levels of pesticides.

Canola (modified rapeseed oil) is produced by heating the rapeseed and processing with a petroleum solvent to extract the oil. Then another process of heat and addition of acid is used to remove nasty solids (wax) that occur during the first processing.

At this point, the newly created canola oil must be treated with more chemicals to improve color and separate the different parts of the oil. Finally, since the chemical process has created a harsh smelling oil, it must be chemically deodorized to be palatable.

If the vegetable oil is going to be made into shortening or margarine, is undergoes an additional process called hydrogenation to make it solid at cold temperatures. Unlike saturated fats (butter, coconut oil, etc.) vegetable oils are not naturally solid at these temperatures and must be hydrogenated to accomplish this. During this process of hydrogenation, those lovely trans fats we’ve heard so much about are created.

The chart below outlines the process:

Nothing like petroleum produced, overheated, oxidized, and chemically deodorized salad dressing for dinner…. yum.

(Compare that to butter… Step 1: milk cow. Step 2: let cream separate naturally. Step 3: skim off cream. Step 4: shake until it becomes butter.)

What’s Wrong With Vegetable Oils?

There are many problems with vegetable oil consumption, and in my opinion, no amount is safe. To understand why, let’s look at a few of the biggest problems with vegetable oils:

Our Bodies Aren’t Meant To Consume Them!

The fat content of the human body is about 97% saturated and monounsaturated fat, with only 3% Polyunsaturated fats. Half of that three percent is Omega-3 fats, and that balance needs to be there. Vegetable oils contain very high levels of polyunsaturated fats, and these oils have replaced many of the saturated fats in our diets since the 1950s.

The body needs fats for rebuilding cells and hormone production, but it has to use the building blocks we give it. When we give it a high concentration of polyunsaturated fats instead of the ratios it needs, it has no choice but to incorporate these fats into our cells during cell repair and creation.

The problem is that polyunsaturated fats are highly unstable and oxidize easily in the body (if they haven’t already oxidized during processing or by light exposure while sitting on the grocery store shelf). These oxidized fats cause inflammation and mutation in cells.

In arterial cells, these mutations cause inflammation that can clog arteries. When these fats are incorporated into skin cells, their mutation causes skin cancer. (This is why people often get the most dangerous forms of skin cancer in places where they are never exposed to the sun, but that is a topic for another day!)

When these oils are incorporated into cells in reproductive tissue, some evidence suggests that this can spur problems like endometriosis and PCOS. In short, the body is made up of saturated and monounsaturated fats, and it needs these for optimal health.

Vegetable Oils Contain High Levels Of Omega-6 Fatty Acids

I’ve talked before about how the body needs Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats in balance, preferably a 1:1 ratio. Most people consume a much higher ratio of Omega-6 fats, and this can lead to problems.

Unbalanced levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats have been linked to skin cancer and many types of cancers. An article by the Institute For Natural Healing explains:

In one study performed at the University of Western Ontario, researchers observed the effects of ten different dietary fats ranging from most saturated to least saturated. What they found is that saturated fats produced the least number of cancers, while omega-6 polyunsaturated fats produced the most.

Numerous other studies have also shown that polyunsaturated fats stimulate cancer while saturated fat does not, and that saturated fats do not break down to form free radicals.

Chemicals And Additives In Vegetable Oils And Fats

Since vegetable oils are chemically produced, its not really surprising that they contain harmful chemicals. Most vegetable oils and their products contain BHA and BHT (Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene) which are artificial antioxidants that help prevent food from oxidizing or spoiling too quickly.

These chemicals have been shown to produce potential cancer causing compounds in the body, and have also been linked to liver/kidney damage, immune problems, infertility or sterility, high cholesterol, and behavioral problems in children.

Vegetable oils also contain residues of the pesticides and chemicals used in their growth and manufacture and most often come from genetically modified sources.

Reproductive Problems And Problems In Children Caused By Vegetable Oil Consumption

Vegetable oils are extremely damaging to the reproductive system and the developing bodies of unborn babies and children. Because the reproductive system in both men and women is constantly producing and dividing new cells, there is potential for mutation and problems when these cells are made of the wrong kind of fats and are oxidized.

This same thing applies to unborn babies and children, whose cells are dividing at high rates. There is more potential for mutation because there are more cells dividing. This article by Healing Naturally By Bee reveals:

“What the scientific literature does tell us is that low fat diets for children, or diets in which vegetable oils have been substituted for animal fats, result in failure to thrive–failure to grow tall and strong–as well as learning disabilities, susceptibility to infection and behavioral problems. Teenage girls who adhere to such a diet risk reproductive problems. If they do manage to conceive, their chances of giving birth to a low birth weight baby, or a baby with birth defects, are high.”

Excess consumption of vegetable oils also causes problems with hormone production, since hormones are dependent on certain fats for their manufacture. Vegetable oils that are hardened by hydrogenation to make shortening or margarine are especially damaging.

Other Effects Of Vegetable Oils On The Body

Because vegetable oils oxidize easily, they deplete the body of antioxidants since the body must use these to attempt to neutralize the oxidation. People with high consumption of vegetable oils and their products are at risk for Vitamin E deficiency and other deficiencies.

Vegetable oil consumption has been linked to a host of other problems, among them (from the same article above):

“In test animals, diets high in polyunsaturates from vegetable oils inhibit the ability to learn, especially under conditions of stress; are toxic to the liver; compromise the integrity of the immune system; depress the mental and physical growth of infants; increase levels of uric acid in the blood; cause abnormal fatty acid profiles in the adipose tissues: have been linked to mental decline and chromosomal damage and accelerate aging. Excess consumption of polyunsaturates is associated with increasing rates of cancer, heart disease and weight gain.”

In light of all that information, how do you sort out which oils are healthy, and which ones aren’t. Even more important, how do you know how much of each one to consume to be healthy?

Oils And Fats To Avoid:

Vegetable Oils and their fats should be avoided completely. There are much healthier alternatives and there is no reason or need to consume these types of fats. The main culprits to watch out for are:
• Canola Oil
• Corn Oil
• Soybean Oil
• “Vegetable” oil
• Peanut Oil
• Sunflower Oil
• Safflower Oil
• Cottonseed Oil
• Grapeseed Oil
• Margarine
• Shortening
• I Can’t Believe Its Not Butter (You better believe it!)
• Smart Balance (Not a Smart idea!)
• Any fake butter or vegetable oils products

There is no nutritional need for these oils and healthy fats can be found in higher amounts and better ratios in many other types of fats.

These foods in particular often contain one of the above unhealthy oils:
• Salad Dressings
• Store Bought Condiments
• Mayo
• Chips
• Artificial Cheeses
• Store bought nuts and snacks
• Cookies
• Crackers
• Snack Foods
• Sauces
• Practically anything sold in the middle aisles of the store

What To Do With The Vegetable Oils You Have Already?

If you already have some of the unhealthy vegetable oils in your house… don’t eat them! I’m not a fan of waste either, so use them up in other ways. They can be used to make homemade play dough or floor cleaner. You can also stick them in your shed for oiling tools. (Did I mention, don’t eat them!)

More on why to avoid canola oil: http://www.truthaboutabs.com/the-canola-oil-deception.html


10 Healthy Fats We Love!

There are so many wonderful and healthy fats that are beneficial to the body, so there is no reason to consume the unhealthy vegetable oils above. Fats that can be consumed freely for optimal health are:

1. Coconut Oil

Filled with Medium Chain Fatty Acids and Lauric Acid, coconut oil is an all star of the saturated fats. Since the fat composition in cells in the body is largely saturated fat, it is important to get enough of it from healthy sources. Coconut oil does not oxidize easily at high temperatures or go rancid easily, making it a good choice for cooking and baking. It also makes a great natural moisturizer and can be substituted for butter.

2. Avocados and Avocado Oil

A good source of monounsaturated fats and great on salads or in guacamole. Avocado oil is milk tasting and can be used in salad dressings.

3. Olive Oil

High in monounsaturated fats and low in polyunsaturated fats, olive oil is a great oil for salad dressings, homemade mayo,  and cold recipes. It shouldn’t be used for cooking since its high monounsaturated fat content makes it susceptible to oxidation at high temperatures.

4. Chia Seeds & Flaxseeds

These seeds contain a good amount of Omega-3s and are great to add to salads and smoothies! I don’t recommend flax or chia oil however, as the Omega-3 is easily corrupted by heat and oxygen and can quickly go rancid.

5. Macadamia Nut Oil & Walnut Oil

These are some of my favorite tasting oils, but it is expensive. It is great in salad dressings or mayo. It has a lot of monounsaturated fats and low levels of polyunsaturated fats.

6. Nuts

Most types of nuts (remember peanuts are not nuts) are a good source of protein and healthy fats and can be eaten in moderation without problem. Just check to make sure they haven’t been cooked in vegetable oils, which is often the case. Nuts also contain phytic acid, so consuming them in excess can be problematic for tooth and bone health unless you soak them.

And for those who choose to consume animal products then the following are recommended for their healthy fat profile:

7. Pasture Fed Cultured Dairy (Kefir, Yoghurt & Butter)

If you do consumer dairy then making sure it is organic / biodynamic, pasture fed and raw where possible is best. The cultured dairy products are by far easier to digest including yoghurt, kefir, cultured butter and cheese. When prepared in the traditional way using the best raw quality ingredients these foods can impart healthy fats including Vitamin D.

8. Pasture Raised Eggs

Another all-star in the healthy fats community, eggs are loaded with vitamins, healthy fats and necessary cholesterol. Make sure the eggs have been raised in a pastured environment so that the chickens are able to eat their natural wild diet of herbs, weeds and insects which is the basis for the rich omega-3 content in their eggs. Also, most of the beneficial fats are in the yolk and it is best kept gently cooked / under cooked.

9. Wild and Grass Fed Meats

Many meats have gotten a bad rap, and unfortunately, the animals most people eat have been as mistreated nutritionally which is one of the biggest problems. If you choose to eat meat then meats like grassfed beef and free range chicken can have a very different nutritional profile than their feedlot counterparts. Grassfed and free range meats have higher nutrient levels, healthy forms of saturated fats and even omega-3s.

10. Wild Fish

Fish are naturally high in Omega-3 fatty acids and can help improve the Omega-3/Omega-6 balance in the body. Look for sustainable wild caught sources, and stick to small fish to minimize mercury.

Source Links: http://wellnessmama.com/…


PERSONAL NOTE: Be sure to read the Self-help Health posts on coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, hemp and chia seeds for more information about these good for you fats:






And an article about the many benefits of eating butter:



8/20/13 UPDATE: Just came across this chart by Diane Sanfilippo of balancedbits.com that some of you may find helpful for remembering which oils to use for what, and which ones to avoid entirely….



p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Disclaimer: Please note that any information here is provided as a guideline only, and is not meant to substitute for the advice of your physician, nutritionist, trained healthcare practitioner, and/or inner guidance system. Always consult a professional before undertaking any change to your normal health routine.

The “Top Ten” For A Strong Immune Response

Your immune response is like your own personal health insurance policy, and it’s much better to take a preventative approach than to have to deal with health issues after they manifest. Here are a number of foods and spices you can add to or increase in your diet to insure your body’s “policy premium” is always paid in advance so you have constant protection….


(From RealFarmacy.com) Staying well while those around you sniffle and sneeze requires that you extract as much nutrition from your diet as you can, loading up on the foods that pack the biggest nutritional punch.

Avoiding processed foods, grains and sugar will go a long way toward strengthening your immune system. However, you can do even more by selecting foods that are loaded with the specific immune boosting nutrients.


1. Fermented Foods
If you are serious about boosting your immunity, then adding traditionally fermented foods is essential.

One of the most healthful fermented foods is kefir. Kefir is an ancient cultured, enzyme-rich food full of friendly microorganisms that balance your “inner ecosystem” and strengthen immunity. Besides kefir, other good fermented foods include natto, kimchi, miso, tempeh, pickles, sauerkraut, yogurt (watch for sugar), and olives.

Friendly bacteria have a powerful, beneficial effect on your gut’s immune system, your first line defense against pathogens, and aid in the production of antibodies.

(Check out Cultures For Health for lots of information about kefir and other cultured foods; you can also sign up and receive free e-books on how to make your own, plus buy all “the fixin’s” there, too.)

2. Raw Organic Eggs From Free-Range Chickens
Before you wrinkle up your nose, raw eggs are an inexpensive and amazing source of high-quality nutrients that many people are deficient in, especially high-quality protein and fat. I am a proponent of raw eggs because they have been so helpful to my own health.

As long as you have a good source for fresh, organic raw eggs, you need not worry about salmonella. To find free-range pasture farms, try your local health food store, or go to http://www.eatwild.com or http://www.localharvest.com.

3. Coconuts and Coconut Oil
Besides being excellent for your thyroid and your metabolism, coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which converts in your body to monolaurin. Monolaurin is the actual compound found in breast milk that strengthens a baby’s immunity.

A great deal of research has been done establishing the ability of lauric acid to enhance immunity. This medium-chain fatty acid (MCFA) actually disrupts the lipid membranes of offending organisms.

When selecting coconuts and coconut oil, make sure you choose organic ones that are unrefined, unbleached, made without heat processing or chemicals, and non-GMO.

(Be sure to read the Self-help Health post on the many benefits and uses for coconut oil.)

4. Locally Grown Organic Vegetables
When it comes to fighting off pathogens, you simply can’t do any better than eating a variety of fresh, organic, and preferably raw vegetables for the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes they contain. However, the amount and type of vegetables you should eat daily will depend on your nutritional type.

Make sure the veggies you choose are fresh. The nutrient value drops to practically zero once a fruit or vegetable is canned. For example, take a look at the ORAC value of peaches.

ORAC Values
ORAC stands for Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity, and an ORAC unit or ORAC “score” is a standardized method of measuring the antioxidant capacity of different foods and supplements. The higher the ORAC score, the more effective a food is at neutralizing free radicals. The less free radicals you have, the healthier you will be.

Back to Peaches
A raw, fresh peach has an ORAC score of 1,814. A can of peaches in heavy syrup has an ORAC score of 436, meaning that more than 75 percent of the antioxidants are lost in the canning process.

You can check the ORAC score for many different things at www.oracvalues.com. The higher the score, the better. Please be aware, though, that the total antioxidant capacity of a food alone does not determine its health benefit, which depends on how it is absorbed and utilized by your body. ORAC score is a useful guide, but it is only part of the picture.

FYI, growing fruits and vegetables using structured water has shown to increase their BRIX index, nutrition level, size and taste. Read more about the many benefits of using structured water here: 


5. Blueberries and Raspberries
Blueberries and raspberries rate very high in antioxidant capacity (ORAC of 6,520), compared to other fruits and vegetables. Wild blueberries in particular are potent immune boosters. They contain powerful phytochemicals, such as anthocyanin, which is the pigment that gives blueberries their color. And they are lower in sugar than many other fruits.

Blueberry juice contains tons of fiber, and is also very high in Vitamin C. One of the qualities of antioxidants is that they can lower inflammation, and so there’s some indication that blueberries may have some effect on age-related cognitive abilities. And don’t forget that blueberries are very low in calories.

6. Mushrooms
Mushrooms strengthen your immune system because they are rich in protein, fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium and other minerals, and even vitamin D – one of the only foods that can provide you with this essential immune strengthener.

Mushrooms make up a large part of the fabric of the earth. According to Paul Stamets, one of the world’s leading authorities on the health benefits of mushrooms, one cubic inch of soil can contain eight miles of mycelium.

Mushrooms also contain powerful compounds called beta glucans, which have been long known for their immune enhancing properties. The beta glucans in medicinal mushrooms (especially Reishi, Shiitake and Maitake) are notable for their ability to activate/modulate the immune system.

Beta glucan enhances immunity through a variety of mechanisms, many of which are similar to those of echinacea or astragalus root. For example, it binds to macrophages and other scavenger white blood cells, activating their anti-infection activities. Numerous studies support this.

7. Chlorella
As foods go, chlorella is nearly perfect.

Chlorella is a single-cell freshwater algae that acts as an efficient detoxification agent by binding to toxins, such as mercury, and carries them out of your system. It is the chlorophyll in chlorella that makes it so powerful. Chlorophyll helps you process more oxygen, cleanses your blood and promotes the growth and repair of your tissues.

(From my research and experience, if you are using chlorella to help remove heavy metals such as mercury, you should also include cilantro because the two cover different parts of the detox/cleansing process. Cilantro is what pulls the metals from the tissues and organs and chlorella is what moves them out of the body. If you use one without the other, your detox efforts will be hampered. There are several formulas available that combine the two, such as Source Naturals’ Cilantro Detox Extract with chlorella, or you can add fresh cilantro to your diet.)

8. Propolis
Propolis is a bee resin and one of the most broad-spectrum anti-microbial compounds in the world, if not the broadest spectrum, according to master herbalist Donnie Yance. Propolis is also the richest source of caffeic acid and apigenin, two very important phenolic compounds that aid in immune response.

9. Teas

Green Tea and Matcha
Matcha is the most nutrient-rich green tea and comes in the form of a stone-ground powder, completely unfermented. The best Matcha comes from Japan and has up to seventeen times the antioxidants of wild blueberries, and seven times more than dark chocolate.

Green teas are rich in polyphenols, in the form of natural chemicals called catechins. The most powerful catechin in tea is epigallocatechin (EGCG), which was found in one study to be 25 to 100 times more potent than antioxidant vitamins C and E. And Matcha is more than 100 times as potent in EGCG as regular brewed green tea.

Tulsi tea, coming from the holy basil herb, has been used for thousands of years in the Ayurvedic medicine of India. Not only is this tea loaded with antioxidants, but it has multiple positive health benefits, including supporting your immune health, memory, heart health and vision.

White Tea
The anti-bacterial and anti-viral effect of white tea has been found to be even greater than that of green tea. White tea extract may help inactivate bacteria, viruses and fungi that affect humans.

(Read the Self-help Health post on Tea: Medicine In A Cup for more information about how teas can add to your “health insurance policy.” And FYI, I’ve always heard that because green and white teas are more delicate than black, you need to brew them using water just below boiling so that many of the antioxidants aren’t distroyed in the steeping process.)

10. Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices are at the top of the list of high ORAC value foods on planet Earth. There are simply too many good ones to summarize here! So I will simply highlight a few that deserve special mention.

Although not at the top of the ORAC chart (5,346), garlic is incredibly beneficial to your immune system because it offers a triple-whammy: it’s anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. You should be eating garlic every day. One of the best things about garlic is that bacteria, viruses, and yeast build up no resistance to it, unlike with synthetic antibiotics.

For optimal benefits, garlic should be fresh, since the active ingredient is destroyed within one hour of smashing the garlic cloves. In other words, garlic capsules are basically useless.

Garlic contains allicin, a chemical that is anti-carcinogenic. It also has been shown to lower LDL, lower total cholesterol, lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of blood clots and stroke, lower homocysteine, and even prevent insect bites — including mosquitoes and ticks.

Herbs and Spice and Everything Nice
Immunity from common infections involves not only preventing pathogens from taking hold, but also moderating the immune response to invading pathogens.

Complications arise when you experience an over-response to the infection, which is why H1N1 is taking its toll on healthy young adults. Their bodies are over responding — something called a “cytokine storm.” It’s basically a severe inflammatory response.[vi]

One wonderful thing about plants (and herbs especially) is that they don’t all stimulate the immune system—some modulate it, or act as a buffer.

Here are some of the best herbs and spices for building a strong immune system that functions correctly:

* Honeysuckle and chrysanthemum: good anti-virals

* Artemisia: anti-malarial

* Andrographis, aka “King of Bitters”: anti-viral, and helps modulate inflammatory response

* Licorice: buffers the inflammatory response by increasing steroid output by the adrenal glands; a good buffer if your immune system is over responding to the flu.

Turmeric: ORAC score of 159,277; general immune system booster due to its high antioxidant capacity, and an anti-cancer agent as well; turneric is 5 to 8 times stronger than vitamins C and E, and even strong enough to scavenge the hydroxyl radical, which is considered by some to be the most reactive of all oxidants

(Be sure to read the Self-help Health post on tumeric and prepare to be amazed at what this spice can do, including help with Alzheimer’s and dementia.)

* Black Pepper: Increases the bioavailability of just about all other foods (including tumeric)–herbs and other things

(One of my favorite superfoods is organic Sea Clear, by Shaman Shack, which includes non-GMO miso, tumeric, black pepper, fermented kelp, chlorella and raw apple cider vinegar. It took me weeks to actually get around to trying it after I first bought it because I couldn’t imagine how combining those ingredients would taste good, plus it looked sort of like green sludge. But I ended up loving it and it’s so easy to fix….just add a spoonful or two to hot structured water and you have a rich, satisfying broth….like miso with a zing! This product is based on a formula used in Russia and Japan to help remove radiation and heavy metals from the body; it also does lots of other good things for your health. I get my Sea Clear at Raw Food World, where it’s featured in their monthly specials from time to time, but you can also find it elsewhere.)

Oregano: ORAC 13,970; active agent is rosmarinic acid, a strong antioxidant; one tablespoon of oregano has the antioxidant capacity of one medium apple

Cinnamon: ORAC 267,536; powerful antimicrobial agent—found to kill E. coli and many other bacteria; also has antiinflammatory compounds

* Cloves: THE BIG ORAC GRAND PRIZE WINNER AT 314,446, highest of all foods tested! Contains eugenol; its mild anaesthetic benefits are useful for toothaches and sore throats; good anti-inflammatory

Dr. Joseph Mercola cited an interview with herbalist Donnie Yance, who shared his basic remedy for flu, should you come down with one.

Make this special tea from a combination of herbs that synergistically cause your body to sweat – which is very desirable if you want to eradicate a virus from your system. And then drink it hot and often:

1. Elderflower (used for hundreds of years for flu)
2. Boneset (eupatorium)
3. Yarrow
4. Linden
5. Peppermint
6. Ginger

By incorporating some of these fantastic foods into your diet you’ll not only evade the circulating viruses, but also improve your overall health and longevity at the same time.

Source: Prevent Disease

(FYI, organic turmeric can be found at any health food store and a growing number of regular supermarkets. However, I always buy mine on-line because it’s much less expensive that way. One of my favorite discount places to shop is iHerb.com; use code CJG192 if you are a new customer and spend more than $40 and you will get $10 off, plus can choose something from their free samples and take advantage of their wonderful trial offer section. Shipping is free on orders of $20 and up. There’s an extra 5% off on orders over $60.
Vitacost.com is another on-line favorite of mine and each week adds tons of new items to their inventory. I think they are trying to give Amazon a run for their money. Anyway, if you are new to Vitacost and make your first purchase through the link on my webpage you will receive a $10 off coupon. And if you plan on shopping again after that, be sure to sign up for a free acct. at eBates.com, if you don’t already have one. That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost (and 100s of other stores) and earn cash back on your purchases. Plus, eBates also offers some reward–I got a $10 gift card–when you place your first $25 order at a store through them. How does it get any better than that?!)


p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

CranioSacral Therapy: Another natural way of treating Alzheimer’s?

Here’s an interesting article by Carolyn Simon, a naturopath, medical herbalist, and craniosacral therapist in New Zealand, that talks about the possibility of not only using craniosacral therapy to cleanse and detox the brain, but also prevent or treat Alzheimer’s and dementia….


DETOXING FOR BRAIN HEALTH – NEW RESEARCH FINDINGS: CranioSacral Therapy Improves Glymphatic Cleansing of Brain Tissue

(From Be Well Buzz Newsletter) New research provides evidence the body has a fast-track brain cleansing system that prevents diseases such as Alzheimer’s and maintains brain health. Finding ways to support and enhance this cleansing process could lead to improved outcomes in brain injury and brain disease. Read on to find what scientists have discovered and how craniosacral therapy effectively promotes brain health by invigorating this active fluid cleansing system.

Most of us have heard of the lymphatic system, the collection of vessels and nodes running throughout the body that helps cleanse waste products and is part of the body’s immune system. Now a team of neuroscientists at the University of of Rochester Medical Center has identified a fascinating fast-track cleansing system in the brain called the glymphatic system.

Their findings, published online in the August 2012 issue of Science Translational Medicine, were only possible using the new technology of two-photon microscopy. This allows researchers to study and track the flow of blood, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and other substances in live brain tissue. The glymphatic pathways only operate in a living brain, so they were not scientifically observable until now.

Scientists named it the glymphatic system because it functions much like the lymphatic system but is managed by the glial cells within the brain. Glial cells are non-neuronal brain cells with several regulatory and protective roles including destruction of pathogens and removal of dead nerve cells.

What the two-photon microscope shows is glymphatic pathways circulating CSF efficiently throughout every part of the brain, along specialised anatomical structures. Previously scientists hypothesised that CSF slowly trickled through brain tissue and filtered out waste material gradually, but this is only part of the picture. Now we know the glymphatic system is pushing large volumes of CSF very quickly and very deeply into the brain, much faster than was previously thought, to transport waste away under pressure.

Specifically, a bulk flow process moves CSF via the arterial system right into the brain tissue, exchanging with the interstitial fluid inside the brain. As it does, it washes through the tissue collecting waste particles that are sitting in between the brain cells. The CSF then enters the venous system via veins within the brain tissue, taking the fluid and the waste it picks up away from the brain. In this way waste material is efficiently removed from the brain tissue, by the CSF, via the circulatory system.

We know accumulation of waste and toxic matter in the brain environment adversely affects brain function. The discovery of the glymphatic system opens up the research field. Neuroscientist Maiken Nedergaard said, “We’re hopeful that these findings have implications for many conditions that involve the brain, such as traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, and Parkinson’s disease”. The focus is finding how the glymphatic system might be implicated in cause and/or recovery. Here’s one example.

The Glymphatic System and Alzheimer’s Disease
One of the first extracellular waste products researched in the context of glymphatic cleansing was amyloid β. Amyloid β is a protein made and secreted by the brain cells in an on-going process and used to perform several regulatory and protective functions. Because the brain is continuously producing this molecule it needs to clear out any amyloid β it’s no longer using.

In Alzheimer’s disease the amyloid β builds up in the brain, clogging up the spaces in between the cells. Researchers think it’s these amyloid  β plaques that kill the neurons and cause the dementia that is a primary symptom of Alzheimer’s. In Alzheimer’s the glymphatic cleansing pathway may be failing, causing the increasing deposition of amyloid β. The fast-track cleansing pathway may have stopped working properly due to deterioration through ageing processes, or the effect of a previous infection or injury.

It may be possible to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s by increasing the rate of flow of the glymphatic system, thereby flushing the amyloid β out more quickly. Where deposits of amyloid β have accumulated, improving the glymphatic flow and its cleansing effect could break down and reduce these deposits and clear them more quickly from the brain via the circulatory system.
The good news is we already have an effective therapy for improving glymphatic flow.

CranioSacral Therapy Enhances Glymphatic Cleansing
Although glymphatic cleansing is a newly identified process, the concept of a stronger fluid motion through the brain is not new. Craniosacral therapy pioneer Dr. John Upledger hypothesised his “Pressurestat Model” of fluctuating CSF production within a semi-closed hydraulic system back in the early 1980s. This model of CSF moving under pressure within the dural membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord was the basis of his evolving research and development of craniosacral therapy. There is now an extensive body of evidence of the health-promoting effects of craniosacral therapy, published by craniosacral therapists among a worldwide network of practicing clinicians.

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle, hands-on body therapy that engages with the body’s craniosacral system, the interactive physiological environment surrounding and protecting the brain and spinal cord. The focus in craniosacral therapy is encouraging the release of trauma locked within the tissues, improving physiological function and promoting the body’s natural healing processes. Craniosacral techniques restore and enhance fluid movement within the brain and spinal cord and throughout the whole body. During craniosacral therapy cerebrospinal fluid motion is increased, improving glymphatic flushing of the brain tissues.

Adequate flushing of the brain environment is essential for brain detoxification, nutrition and normal range of function. Scientists’ recent discovery of the glymphatic system’s mechanism informs Dr. Upledger’s earlier hypothesis. Just as importantly, it affirms craniosacral therapy as an effective and established treatment option for enhancing brain cleansing in cases of brain disease or injury and as a preventative measure.

Source: http://www.bewellbuzz.com/journalist-buzz/detoxing-brain-health-research-findings-craniosacral-therapy-improves-glymphatic-cleansing-brain-tissue/

References: http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/4/147/147ra111

Jeffery Iliff – The Glymphatic System video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ci5NMscKJws

Dr John Upledger: http://www.upledger.com/content.asp?id=246

Be sure to check out my other posts on natural ways to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s and dementia:







p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

10 All-Natural (And Sustainable!) Beauty Tips

I use a lot of all-natural things as a part of my “beauty care” routine, including that wonderfood coconut oil, but this article from Food Matters has some great tips and things I’d never considered or heard of before….

By Sarah Wilson and Maria Hannaford

I have a troubled past with makeup. When I worked in magazines I was beholden to the beauty industry, forced to get excited about skin whiteners and lash extenders. It wore me down, one blush stroke at a time. Then, a few years later, I wore too much of the gunky stuff while working in TV and literally poisoned myself.  When I got unwell I realised I had to do something about this and swerved to chemical-free beauty and makeup products.

But there’s also the eco argument that’s worth considering in all this. Not all chemical-free products are ecologically sound. Not all organic products are chemical-free. It’s like food shopping: a knotted ball of competing messages.

I asked Maria Hannaford, from Econest to give her take unnatural beauty tips ‘n tricks. Melbourne-based Maria works for an environmental organisation that’s all about sustainable living and eating.
Maria’s personal philosophy is that “If she can’t eat it, she won’t put it on her skin, and if the product has more ingredients than I have fingers on one hand, it’s bye bye.”

Top 10 Sustainable, 100% Natural and Very Basic Beauty Tricks

1. Befriend Plant Oil

You can replace all manner of beauty products – moisturiser, body cream, hair conditioner, shaving cream, deep cleanser – with just one or two plant oils. Choose from coconut oil (my personal favourite), macadamia oil, olive oil, sweet almond, jojoba or argan oil. A lot of argan oils on the market actually contain only a very small amount of argan oil, and aren’t produced sustainably.

Just make sure whichever oil you use is organic and cold-pressed. Extraction processes using heat destroy all nutrients, essential fatty acids and vitamins and turn oils rancid, causing them to form free-radicals which damage and age your skin.

2. Make Your Face A Cuppa

Make a strong tea using pretty much any herb in your backyard and apply it as a skin toner. Lemongrass and lemon balm calm acne and even out skin tone, chamomile soothes sensitive skin and reduces redness, rosemary protects against the sun’s UV-rays and the damaging effects of pollution and lavender is uplifting, cooling and slightly antiseptic. Oily skin is tamed with a tea made with marigold petals (easily grown in the garden). I make up a tea and store it in a glass spray bottle in the fridge for up to a week. You can also use dried herbs, such as dried culinary lavender, but they need to be brewed for longer.

3. Highlight Your Hair Naturally

Lighten hair using a strong chamomile tea in the final rinse after shampooing.

To enhance dark hair, use rosemary (boiled as a strong tea). Using these natural ingredients will add shine, softness and volume as well as enhance your colour.

4. Fight Blemishes With Essential Oils

I’m one of the unfortunate few women who still get a pimple or two even in their 30s. It’s hormonal, or something. I simply dab a tiny amount of pure lavender essential oil directly onto the offending spot. The oil, which is naturally antibacterial, dries spots out a treat and also reduces redness.

5. Don’t Wear Perfume

Oh how the perfume industry gives me conniptions. A loophole in legislation allows perfume manufacturers to list only a few of the many chemicals they may be using, the true formula officially protected as a ‘trade secret’.

What we do know is that fragrances contain phthalates, which can mimic some of the body’s hormones and cause reproductive and neurological damage. I mix a small amount of essential oil with a base oil such as sweet almond, and rub this onto my wrists.

6. Go Au Naturale

Don’t wear makeup (at least not on a daily basis). A little extreme it may sound, but I remember sitting around with my 78-year old grandma and her friends one day whilst they divulged the secret to their luminous skin – ‘makeup hath not toucheth their face’. Not in their teens, not in their 20s, not in their 30s. Why not? Firstly there was no social norm to wear makeup, secondly they didn’t think it made sense to cover their skin in chemicals! They believed wearing makeup blocks pores and prematurely ages skin. Which makes sense. Granted, the social pressure to wear makeup in their tiny Greek village is pretty low, but that’s not the point. I rarely wear makeup these days, only on very special occasions. It doubles as my little salute to feminism.

7. Get Yourself Some Liquid Castile Soap

Castile soap is traditionally made of saponified olive oil, but these days most contain a few different types of plant oils. Still, mine contains only five ingredients.

It’s ultra handy in the home as it replaces a number of products – I use it as a shampoo as well as a dishwashing liquid.

Diluted, it can also be used as a spray n’ wipe. I personally use one that doesn’t contain any palm oil.

8. Once A Week, De-gunk With Bicarb Soda

Any shampoo, including Castile soap, can leave soap residue on your hair, so once a week wash your hair with a thick paste of bicarb (baking) soda, and rinse with apple cider vinegar for extra shine.

9. Eat Your Skin Conditioner

Healthy, youthful and conditioned skin requires healthy fats, so forget about low-fat foods. I eat plenty of olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, avocados and nuts (activated, of course) everyday.
Also know that fruit like pomegranates and blueberries are rich in antioxidants and promote skin elasticity and vitality.

10. Choose A Natural Toothpaste

My favorite is Phytoshield: all natural plant extracts, not overboard on the number of ingredients, no unnecessary foaming agents (consequently doesn’t foam up very much), and it tastes delicious.

It’s worth hunting around for products made in your local area – farmers’ markets generally have at least one or two producers selling their hand-made soaps and creams. That way you can ask them directly about the ingredients they use etc.

You can view the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database here: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

Do you have any of your own natural beauty tips? Leave a comment so that others might benefit from your experience.

Source Link: http://www.sarahwilson.com.au/2012/07/13-lush-eco-beauty-tric

FYI, you can get coconut oil and many of the other things listed in the tips above at Vitacost.com, one of my favorite on-line places. If you shop at Vitacost, be sure to sign up for a free acct. at eBates.com beforehand, if you don’t already have one.That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost and earn cash back on your purchases. Plus, if you are new to Vitacost and spend a certain amount (I believe it’s $25), you will get a $10 coupon to use; eBates also gives a gift card or some other “prize” when you place your first order of $25 or more. How does it get any better than that?!

And be sure to read my posts on coconut oil, if you haven’t already, as well as posts on castile soap and natural toothpastes.



p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

All-natural Suncreen Recipe With Coconut Oil

With summer upon us, at least in my part of the world, a recipe for an all-natural sunscreen is very timely. And this one from Health Impact News includes one of my all-time favorite self-help health aids….COCONUT OIL!

Homemade coconut oil sunscreen recipe

Photo by Jessica Espinoza

by Jessica Espinoza

When it comes to sun protection, would you be shocked if I said that I don’t use sunscreen? I haven’t for years. The main reason for stopping use of commercial sunscreen was because I was deficient in Vitamin D and was striving to get more sun on my skin in order to help boost my levels. Vitamin D deficiency has been proven to create a host of health problems, including increased risk of cancer. That is not to say that I go outside and lay in the sun, unprotected for hours. I am still cautious about my sun exposure and if I know I am going to be outdoors for a long stretch of time, I am careful to cover up with long-sleeve shirts, hats, pants, etc.

UVA versus UVB Rays

Too much sun exposure can damage the skin, and frequent burns can increase the risk of skin cancer, premature aging, wrinkles, and more. That said, we have all been programmed to fear sun exposure of any sort and that really is a shame. We need to enjoy the sun, we just have to be smart about it.

There are many different types of rays that the sun produces, but the two main rays that we are concerned with are the Ultraviolet A (UVA) and Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays. The UVB rays are the good guys – they are the ones that stimulate the Vitamin D production in our skin. UVA rays are the ones that are the primary risk factor for cancer. Experts believe that the optimal amount of sun exposure (and in turn Vitamin D production) each person needs is when their skin turns the slightest shade of pink. Of course, this depends on your skin color, but any exposure after that will not yield more vitamin D, as your body can only create so much in any one day. Once you start turning pink, you are also increasing your risk for a more severe burn. Sunscreens also offer a false sense of protection, as many on the market do not screen for the UVA rays, but do screen for UVB, which makes no sense at all considering UVB are the rays required for Vitamin D production.

UVB rays are at their peak around noon, and they are more easily filtered in overcast and cloudy weather. UVA rays are not filtered as well, so even when it’s cloudy outside, these rays are still shining through. Also, UVB rays are not as strong early and late in the day, but UVA rays are. Something to keep in mind if you enjoy your outdoor activities early in the morning or in the evening.

Reducing Chemical Exposure

A side benefit of my move to avoid commercial sunscreens was that I stopped exposing my skin to toxic chemicals used in sunscreens, several of which are endocrine system disruptors, increase the risk of cancer, and more. Remember, our skin is our largest organ, and what we put on it gets absorbed into our body. Since I strive to live as naturally as possible and avoid as many toxins as I can, this was a welcome “side effect” of stopping my use of sunscreen.

It’s an ironic situation that in order to protect our skin from cancer, we started using sunscreen, but studies are now finding that using sunscreen may lead to an increased risk of cancer. This is due to a variety of reasons, including the fact that many sunscreens only block UVB rays (the good ones), and not UVA (the bad ones), creating a Vitamin D deficiency. Also, research is pointing to the fact that the Vitamin A and its derivatives that are used in many sunscreens turn toxic when exposed to the sun.

The Role of a Real Food Diet and Natural Oils as Sunscreen

No one can refute the fact that diet plays a critical role in the health of our skin. The old adage “you are what you eat” rings true. You only get out of your body what you put into it, so choose your fuel wisely. I have no doubt in my mind that my high consumption of saturated fats like coconut oil and ghee play a huge role in sun protection and the overall health of my skin. In fact, I think my diet plays one of the most important roles in my skin health and sun tolerance of anything I do. Overconsumption of polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), like soybean, canola, and other vegetable oils, can leave our entire body, including our skin, unhealthy and at risk for a variety of health problems. When I started focusing on a whole food diet with plenty of saturated fats, I found that the health of my skin dramatically improved. I also find that I do not burn nearly as easy as I used to, even when I end up being outside a tad longer than I should have been.

Not only do I use coconut oil as my primary cooking oil, but I have also used coconut oil on my skin for years. I had heard a long time ago that coconut oil had some natural SPF properties and since I already used it for skin health, that was just an added bonus. When you start researching, many carrier oils have natural SPF. SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor”. SPF is mainly a measure of UVB protection and ranges anywhere from 1 to 45 or more. According to Anthony J. O’Lenick, author of “Oils of Nature”, raspberry seed oil has a natural SPF of 28-50 and carrot seed oil has a natural SPF of 38-40. Other oils, like coconut oil, wheat germ oil, jojoba oil, sesame, etc. will all have lower SPF levels, ranging from 4-10. That said, none of these oils are going to give us 100% protection from UV rays (and keep in mind that they primarily block UVB rays), so you still must use common sense when using natural oils as a sunscreen.

To boost the sunscreen to more of a full-spectrum sunscreen, you can add zinc oxide to the mix. Zinc oxide is a very common ingredient in sunscreens, makeup, and other skin care products and it does help protect against both UVA and UVB rays. All that said, there is no way to really know the true SPF of this sunscreen, so always enjoy your sun time carefully. If you choose to use zinc oxide, there are a few important things to note:

  1. Look for a high-quality zinc oxide that is specificly for cosmetic applications.
  2. Make sure it is uncoated and not micronized or classified as a nano-particle (nano-particles can be absorbed into the bloodstream, which can create health problems).
  3. It will sit on the skin, so depending on how much you use, it may leave a whitish hue.
  4. Use caution when measuring and mixing it, as to not inhale the powder. Some people will use a dust mask to ensure they don’t inhale the powder.

This recipe for homemade coconut oil sunscreen uses a variety of oils and the end product is more of a body butter. It is safe for the whole family, though you want to make sure children do not ingest any of it. The beeswax will help it be slightly water-repellent. When not in use, store the mixture in the fridge to help extend the shelf-life. You can use whatever essential oils you would like for scent, but make sure to stay away from phototoxic essential oils, which includes the citrus family and a few others. When these essential oils are exposed to the sun, they can cause the skin to burn faster. If you’re not already familiar with it, the carrot seed essential oil has a natural woody, earthy scent. This is a rich body butter, so a little goes a long way. You can find all of these ingredients online or at your local health food store.

Homemade Coconut Oil Sunscreen Recipe


1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup shea butter

1/8 cup sesame or jojoba oil

2 tbsp. beeswax granules

1-2 tbsp. zinc oxide powder (optional)

1 tsp. red raspberry seed oil

20-30 drops carrot seed essential oil

Essential oils of your choice (lavender, rosemary, vanilla, and/or peppermint are nice)


1. Using a double boiler (or a small pan over very low heat), melt your coconut oil, sesame or jojoba oil, beeswax, and shea butter together. The beeswax will be the last to melt.

2. When the beeswax is melted, remove the mixture from the heat and let cool to room temperature. If you’re using zinc oxide, whisk it in at this point, being careful not to create a lot of dust. If there are some lumps, that’s OK. They will break up when you whip the body butter in step 4.

3. Move the mixture to the fridge for 15-30 minutes. You want it to start to set up, but still be soft enough to whip.

4. Take the mixture out of the fridge and using a stand mixer or hand mixer, start to whip it. Drizzle in the red raspberry seed oil, the carrot seed oil, and any essential oils of your choice, and continue whipping until the mixture is light and fluffy.

6. Use as you would any regular sunscreen. Application rates will depend on your activity and exposure to water. Store in a glass container in the fridge between uses.


Study: Many Sunscreens May Be Accelerating Cancer”. AOL News. Accessed 5/26/13

Sunscreen Dangers”. Organic Lifestyle Magazine. Accessed 5/27/13

Could This Simple Habit Actually Reduce Cancer and Diabetes by 50%?” Mercola.com Accessed 5/28/13

The Bottom Line on Sunscreens”. Mercola.com. Accessed 5/28/13

What’s the Most Dangerous Part of Sun Exposure?” Mercola.com. Accessed 5/28/13


FYI, I’ve also read that Vitamin C has sun-protective qualities, so that might be something else to consider adding to a homemade suncreen or your other cosmetics. And don’t miss my other posts about coconut oil:




(FYI, you can get coconut oil and many of the other ingredients needed for the sunscreen recipe as discount prices at Vitacost.com, one of my favorite on-line places. If you shop at Vitacost, be sure to sign up for a free acct. at eBates.com, if you don’t already have one.That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost and earn cash back on your purchases. Plus, if you are new to Vitacost and spend a certain amount (I believe it’s $25), you will get a $10 coupon to use; eBates also gives a gift card or some other “prize” when you place your first order of $25 or more. How does it get any better than that?!)


p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.



Olive Oil & Alzheimer’s

I’ve featured several posts recently about using  coconut oil and turmeric to help prevent or even off-set Alzheimer’s and dementia. And now it looks like we can add another all-natural self-help aid to the list….good ole olive oil!

(Olive Oil

NaturalNews) The number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s dementia worldwide currently totals 30 million, with new cases expected to triple by the year 2050. What has changed over the past 50 years to account for such an epidemic rise in this once extremely rare disease, now being diagnosed more increasingly in younger individuals under the age of 40? The most obvious answer is found with an examination of the fast-paced, processed diet eaten by a growing number of people that replaces natural monounsaturated fats with hydrogenated trans-fats that compete for placement in cell walls.

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), the essential fat used as a base fat in the healthy Mediterranean diet has been associated with cardiovascular and brain health in prior research studies, yet the actual functional mechanisms have been largely misunderstood. A team of researchers from the University of Louisiana, College of Pharmacy report the results of their work in the journal, ACS Chemical Neuroscience to explain how consumption of EVOO helps reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Extra virgin olive oil boosts production of enzymes that break amyloid brain tangles

Researchers studied the effect of one active component of olive oil that helps shuttle the abnormal AD proteins out of the brain. Prior work has concluded that the health benefits of olive oil are attributable to the high concentration of monounsaturated fats, but the research team found that the actual protective agent might be a substance called oleocanthal, which helps to protect nerve cells from the kind of damage that occurs in AD.

Lead research author, Dr. Amal Kaddoumi and his team constructed a study using a mouse model to determine whether oleocanthal helps decrease the accumulation of beta-amyloid in the brain. Scientists tested the effects of oleocanthal in the brains and cultured brain cells of laboratory mice and found a consistent pattern in which the compound boosted production of two proteins and key enzymes believed to be critical in removing amyloid-beta from the brain.

The authors concluded “Extra-virgin olive oil-derived oleocanthal associated with the consumption of Mediterranean diet has the potential to reduce the risk of AD or related neurodegenerative dementias.” Nutrition scientists are now one step closer to understanding the health-promoting benefits of olive oil as this research confirms how small dietary lifestyle modifications help to prevent chronic illness. It is important to note that this study used *cold-pressed EVOO, and not ‘light’ olive oil that has been refined to reduce the critical polyphenols that characterize the oil. Incorporate one to two tablespoons of EVOO daily to halt Alzheimer’s disease progression it its tracks.

Sources for this article include:


About the author:
John Phillip is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of ‘Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan’, a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your Free 48 page copy of ‘Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan’.

* I highly recommend always using organic extra virgin olive oil whenever possible. You can find it at any health food store and most regular supermarkets. However, I always buy mine on-line because it’s much less expensive that way. One of my favorite discount places to shop is iHerb.com (use code CJG192 if you are a new customer and spend more than $40 and you will get $10 off and free shipping, plus can choose something from their free samples and take advantage of their wonderful trial offer section). Vitacost.com is another favorite; if you shop at Vitacost be sure to sign up for a free acct. at eBates.com, if you don’t already have one. That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost and earn cash back on your purchases. Plus, if you are new to Vitacost and spend a certain amount (I believe it’s $25), you will get a $10 coupon to use and eBates offers something, as well (I got a $10 gift card the first time I shopped through eBates and spent $25). How does it get any better than that?!)

And here’s a tasty way to get a little more olive oil into your diet. I like the sauce/marinade so much that I triple the recipe, plus omit the water and add more oil, and use it on a variety of things.

1 large head of cauliflower,
1 tablespoon olive oil (I use more)
2 teaspoons Tamari soy sauce ( I use coconut liquid aminos instead)
2 teaspoons water
1 tablespoon of agave nectar
1 green onion, minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds


1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Farenheit. Slice the head of cauliflower lengthwise into 3/4 inch slices.

2. Brush the cauliflower with olive oil on both sides and lay out each slice on a large baking pan.

3. Roast the cauliflower slices for 30 minutes, or until the tops are browned.

4. In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, agave, onion, ginger, water, and sesame seeds and pour over the cauliflower steaks and viola!

And another option is making zesty gazpacho, which I love!

Cool and Zesty Gazpacho

This recipe is ideal for those summer months and only takes about 10 minutes to make, plus is vegan, if you omit the creme fraiche.

1 large cucumber

1/2 avocado

2 red bell peppers

4 medium tomatoes

1 small red onion

2 garlic cloves

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tablespoon crystal salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp cilantro

1/4 cup scallion


1. Place all ingredients (except for the olive oil and scallions) into a blender or food processor and blend together on a medium setting until the contents are slightly chunkier than a puree.

2. Mix in the olive oil using a spoon.

3. Add spring water to the mixture until you’ve reached the desired consistency.

4. Pour gazpacho into bowls and garnish the top with scallions. I also like to add a dollop of creme fraiche.

And be sure to read my other Self-help Health posts related to preventing or reversing Alzheimer’s and dementia:





p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

Coconut Milk Ice Cream: A Way to “Have Your Health & Ice Cream, Too” :-)

It’s summer where I live and the season where you start thinking of ice cream more than ever. Here’s a way, thanks to Food Babe, to satisfy that craving and be healthy, too. Yea! How does it get any better than that?!



by Food Babe

As you probably know by now, I don’t have any diet related dogmas (except avoiding industrial chemicals, pesticides, toxins and other additives in food), but I do follow my body’s intuition and listen to it very closely when deciding what to eat. I have noticed not eating dairy products on a daily basis has improved the way my body looks and feels tremendously. I used to be one of those gals that SWORE by Greek yogurt for snack time… and now I can’t even think of having that stuff. My skin is brighter and less sensitive, my stomach feels flatter and my general energy soars when I pay attention to the amount of dairy products in my diet. But, if there’s one thing that gets me off my routine – it’s ice cream! I love it! And that’s why I’m always looking for ways to enjoy dairy free desserts and it’s why I created this recipe so I can enjoy ice cream all the time without sacrificing how I feel, the way I look or my energy level.

This recipe is for homemade coconut milk-based ice cream made just like your old time favorites. Yesterday, I made Pistachio Almond, because that used to be my favorite ice cream at Baskin-Robbins before I figured out all the crazy artificial colors and additives it had… I’ve made this recipe with 2 other flavor profiles recently too, my husband’s favorites – Cookies and Cream and Mint Chocolate Chip. They are both SO GOOD!


You can get really creative with this recipe because it has a common base of ingredients. I hope you have fun with it and report back your delicious results!

5.0 from 3 reviews

Food Babe’s Homemade Coconut Milk Ice Cream (3 Flavors)

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Total time: 25 mins

Serves: 10



·         1 can of full fat coconut milk (13.5 ounces)

·         1 tbsp arrowroot powder (optional thickener)

·         3 frozen bananas or ½ cup coconut palm sugar

·         pinch of sea salt

·         For Almond Pistachio Flavor: 1 and ½ tsp almond extract,1 vanilla bean seeded or 1 tsp vanilla extract,1/2 cup toasted and chopped almonds and pistachios

·         For Mint Chocolate Chip Flavor: 2 tsp peppermint extract, ⅓ cup raw cacao nibs or chocolate chips of your choice

·         For Cookies & Cream Flavor: 1 tbsp vanilla extract , 10 cacao einkorn cookies broken into pieces or cookie of your choice


1. Combine base ingredients in blender and blend until smooth

2. Add liquid flavorings (extracts) into blender and blend again

3. Pour mixture into ice cream machine and turn on

4. Mix for at least 20 mins or until ice cream is formed

5. Stir in dry ingredients – i.e. nuts, cookies, etc and serve

6. Store in an airtight container in the freezer

Note: Choose all organic ingredients if possible.

How To Make Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Step 1: Blend coconut milk with sugar of choice (frozen bananas or coconut palm sugar) and extract flavorings in a high-speed blender

Step 2: Pour into (pre-frozen) ice cream machine. The Cuisinart machine makes awesome ice cream…

Step 3: Let the machine work for about 20 mins or so

Step 4: Stir in chopped nuts, cacao nibs or cookies depending on which flavor you are making


Step 5: Store ice cream in freezer in a safe glass container


Step 6:  Serve and enjoy!

Do you know someone who is a frozen yogurt addict or loves ice cream? Share this post with them… don’t let them miss out in all this easy to make goodness :)

Thanks, Food Babe, looks yummy! And for another healthy ice cream recipe, check out my previous post on walnut cacao ice cream. And be sure to read my various posts on the benefits and ways to use coconut oil:





p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts, and tell your friends to do the same. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more helpful health tips, tools and information.

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