JP Sears Takes On The American Heart Association, Plus The Health Benefits Of Almonds


Okay, today we’ll interject some humor into the mix with one of the latest videos in JP Sears’ Ultra Spiritual series. This time he uses his tongue-in-cheek delivery style to focus on coconut oil, heart health and the terrible job the American Heart Association is doing in providing us with unbiased, accurate information. He always manages to stimulate, inform and get his point across, while making me laugh at the same time.

Hey, they say laughter is the best medicine, so you might end up a little healthier just from watching this. 🙂


Related Self-help Health post:  Coconut Oil:Yummiest Health Aid Ever

And speaking of foods that help prevent or off-set heart disease, look no further than tasty, versatile almonds. I remember years ago reading where Edgar Cayce, aka “The Sleeping Prophet,” recommended eating 2 to 3 almonds a day as a cancer preventative, but this article from the Food Revolution Network focuses on the heart and cardiovascular benefits of eating a handful daily. Eating almonds on a regular basis could also help with type 2 diabetes, eye issues, weight loss and more…….

Health benefits of almonds

By GreenMedInfo Research Group • Originally published on

Almonds are familiar to many people as a healthy food, but how exactly do they affect our health? Rich in many compounds that can be lacking in a Standard American Diet (appropriately abbreviated S.A.D.), almonds can be a tasty solution to many of the chronic health conditions and diseases seen today.

Almonds are one of those nutrient-dense foods that can be hard to stop munching on once you’re crunching on the first one or two. Whether you’re sipping on a glass of creamy homemade almond milk, taking your first bite of strawberry-topped almond meal pancakes, or enjoying stir fry sprinkled with slivered almonds, you’re not just satisfying your appetite, you’re deliciously optimizing your health.

Seeds carry all of the nutrients and genetic information required to grow and develop, so too does the almond bring vital health knowledge in the form of antioxidants, heart healthy fats, protein, and inorganic compounds like minerals, which are crucial to life as we know it.

How can something so small have effects so large when it comes to addressing serious health concerns? While we may never know the full biochemical explanations behind each way the almond fulfills its triumphant quest for homeostatic health, we can continue to sing its praises and enjoy a handful a day without remorse.

According to the CDC, over 600,000 people succumb to heart disease every year, which accounts for roughly 25% of the total annual deaths. So why don’t doctors prescribe a daily handful of almonds instead of a pharmaceutical for cholesterol issues?

High cholesterol has been seen as a primary cause of heart disease and is often treated with a class of drugs called statins. While statins shut down the enzyme pathway that synthesizes cholesterol, they also wipe out the highway to producing CoQ10 (an essential enzyme for producing energy in the body), and sometimes that damage is irreversible.

But naturally, there is a much safer solution that can be grown at home, purchased at the local grocery store, or health food store. One of the clinical studies on almonds and improvements in HDL cholesterol used only 10g of almonds per day, which is roughly 12-15 almonds, and this study was in patients who had pre-existing coronary artery disease.

Not only did HDL cholesterol improve, but there were reductions in triglycerides, total cholesterol including LDL cholesterol and VLDL (very low density lipoprotein), and the atherogenic index, which is strongly correlated with chronic inflammation and the development of vascular diseases [Jamshed, 2015].

Another health crisis emerging onto the global stage is type 2 diabetes, which is justly titled a pandemic [Hu, 2015]. The number of people worldwide projected to have type 2 diabetes by 2035 is almost 600 million, what a staggering statistic, and that’s not even considering the health care costs associated with diabetes.

While an imbalanced diet can be a causative factor in type 2 diabetes, nutritional improvements can reverse some of the harmful changes. Diabetes is a disease of improper glucose (sugar) metabolism, and is generally preceded by a cluster of conditions called metabolic syndrome. While the pharmaceutical model may target a disease from one pathway or direction, the almond has innumerable approaches to countering imbalance and restoring homeostasis.

Consuming just 60g (about 2 ounces) of almonds daily for four-weeks showed reductions in insulin resistance, fasting insulin and glucose. Other health outcomes that demonstrated improvements were cholesterol ratios, body fat percentage, and nutritional status (magnesium, fiber, fatty acid profile, etc.) [Sing-Chung, 2011].

The doctrine of signatures, dating back to the first century AD, is upheld in the carrot and almond’s uncanny resemblance to the human eye. While carrots may be the best-known food that benefits the eyes, almond’s have their own pedestal to stand on. Not just an adjective for eye color, almonds are incredibly important for proper functioning of our eyes. Our eyes are exposed to numerous chemicals and toxins that evade our five sense detection. The vasculature of our eyes contains some of the smallest blood vessels in our body, and when damage occurs, repair can be difficult, if not impossible.

Rich in vitamin E, almonds can help prevent abnormal changes to the lens, which can accelerate the development of cataracts. A study conducted in Finland concluded that, “a low plasma vitamin E level (lower quartile) was associated with a 3.7-fold excess risk (95% confidence interval 1.2-11.8) of the progression of early cortical lens opacities compared with the highest quartile (p = 0.028)” [Rouhiainen P, 1996].

We know the old adage, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away,” but imagine what an apple covered in almond butter would do to the pharmaceutical industry.

In a 2015 study, eating ⅓ cup of almonds (43g) with breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a standalone snack reduced blood sugar, and the snacking group of participants actually showed the largest decrease.

“DISCUSSION: Snacking reportedly increases the risk for weight gain, but such a broad generalization may mask differential responses to selected foods. This study compared the acute post-ingestive and the short-term effects of incorporating almonds in a meal or consuming them alone as snacks. It also allowed the assessment of possible physiological adaptations to almond consumption that could accentuate or diminish behavioral responses after 4 weeks of daily ingestion [Chen, 2015].”

It’s best to find imported Italian or Spanish almonds and sprout them for several hours or overnight (read more here). Depending on which health outcome you’re searching for, a mere 10-60g of almonds (the range used in the aforementioned studies) incorporated into your diet can ameliorate type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, eye issues, and many other health conditions.

Food should taste good, but more importantly, it should relay valuable biologic information that with each bite can positively affect our state of being. So keep almonds in your desk, purse, backpack, cupboard, and close to your heart, because they’ll be protecting yours.

From the editor: An important note about raw almonds:

In the last decade, it has become difficult to find healthy, raw, organic almonds. Almonds grown in the U.S. make up 80% of the world’s almond supply. But in 2007, the USDA made it a requirement that all almonds commercially sold in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico must be pasteurized. If they’re not steamed, they must be fumigated with a chemical called propylene oxide or PPO.

Pasteurized almonds and almond butter may still confer significant health benefits – but if you prefer truly raw almonds, what’s the best option?

You may find almonds that claim to be “raw,” but companies can make this claim, even if it isn’t true, because no labeling requirement exists. In reality, “raw” may simply mean pasteurized with steam, as opposed to the “roasted” flavor in roasted almond butter. If the almonds you find are grown in the U.S., most likely they are pasteurized. If you want truly raw almonds, you may have to choose almonds that are imported from Spain or Italy because they are not subject to these same requirements.

As pointed out in a GreenMedInfo article, there is one “secret” exception to the U.S. mandate about almond pasteurization. The only way to purchase raw, unpasteurized almonds grown in the U.S. is to buy directly from the farmer who grows them. The author mentions Bremner Farms as an option for raw, organic, unpasteurized almonds and other nuts. You can find other options online as well – including potentially through a farmer’s market.


AND another way to promote cardiovascular health is by taking a certain type of probiotic called Lactobacillus plantarum. You can read more about the research behind it here:



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.

Elderberry + Another Great Health Resource


With winter weather (at least in my neck of the woods) and what they refer to as cold and flu season just around the corner, not to mention Ebola looming on the horizon, I’m going to be featuring a number of posts in the near future that focus on strengthening the immune system. Today’s post features information on elderberry, an effective remedy for viral and bacterial infections, plus I have another great free health resource for you to check out! Yea!


Elderberries. Photo by me'nthedogs Their flavor is a cross between blackberry and currant with a...

(from Elderberries are one of the most effective remedies for viral and bacterial infections, such as colds and flu, and can substantially shorten the duration of your illness if you get sick. They contain special proteins and bioflavonoids that have the ability to destroy viruses on contact that infect cells in the body.

Elderberries also are known to have the ability to significantly enhance immune function by boosting the production of cytokines in the body. In addition, the are very beneficial for bronchial and respiratory problems and can help loosen and expel congestion in the lungs. Elderberry juice is known to relieve neurological spasms and tics in the face and body, as well as alleviate pain of neurological conditions such as sciatica.

Sambucol, a type of elderberry extract, has potent antioxidant abilities and has been shown to increase the production of lymphocytes, or immune cells, which are needed to fight off infection and are particularly beneficial for shingles, hepatitis, HIV, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and heart and cardiovascular conditions.

There are several ways one can take elderberries. Dried elderberries can be steeped in hot water to make a healing and immune boosting tea for daily preventative use. Elderberry syrup is a popular cold and flu remedy and is typically formulated in a honey or glycerin base, making it a sweet remedy that even children enjoy and take willingly. Elderberry tinctures and capsules are another convenient way to use this powerful berry in your health regime.

Some additional info on elderberries from….

Elderberries (Sambucus nigra) contain organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, sugar, rutin, viburnic acid, vitaman A and B and a large amount of vitamin C. They are also mildly laxative, a diuretic, and diaphoretic. Flavonoids, including quercetin, are believed to account for the therapeutic actions of the elderberry flowers and berries. According to test tube studies, these flavonoids include anthocyanins that are powerful antioxidants and protect cells against damage.

Elderberries have been a folk remedy for centuries in North America, Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, hence the medicinal benefits of elderberries are being investigated and rediscovered. Elderberry is used for its antioxidant activity, to lower cholesterol, to improve vision, to boost the immune system, to improve heart health and for coughs, colds, flu, bacterial and viral infections and tonsillitis. Bioflavonoids and other proteins in the juice destroy the ability of cold and flu viruses to infect a cell. People with the flu who took elderberry juice reported less severe symptoms and felt better much faster than those who did not. Elderberry juice was actually used to treat a flu epidemic in Panama in 1995.

And a note of caution from an article by Underground Health Reporter:

Elderberry extract doesn’t act as a preventative as much as a remedy.  For best results, you’ll want to take within 24 hours of the first signs of the flu.  However, experts advise caution when purchasing your elderberry extract.  The raw or unripe fruit of the elderberry plant can carry an ingredient related to poisonous cyanide.  Therefore, they recommend you look for Sambucus nigra on the label, and avoid Sambucus ebulus, a type of dwarf elderberry plant that has toxic properties!

Elderberry extract also acts as a diuretic, and can trigger a blood glucose-lowering effect.  Consult your medical practitioner to make sure elderberry extract is safe for you.

A yummy-sounding way to incorporate more elderberries into your diet by way of a smoothie recipe featured on the Abe’s Market website….

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein
  • 1 TBS flax oil
  • 1/4 cup dried elderberries (you can also use an elderberry syrup)

Want a green boost? Add a handful of spinach or kale into the blender or pop a teaspoon of a green superfoods powder, which contains a full daily serving of greens and other helpful vitamins and minerals.

[ed. note: Some people have commented that eating dried elderberries have made them nauseated or ill. If you have concerns, you can always cook the elderberries before using them in a smoothie. Never eat red elderberries as they’re always toxic, and never eat ripe blue or purple elderberries as they can be toxic. See this University of Maryland write-up for more information on elderberries.]

And here’s a recipe from 30 Ways to Kill A Cold & Prevent the Flu, which you can download for free (just check the end of my post on vaccines for details) using elderberries:

Organic Super Cleansing Tonic For Strong Immunity

Ingredients (Organic):
• 2/3 cup dried Elderberries
• 4 cups water
• 2 tea bag of Rooibos tea
• 1 tsp of Cinnamon
• 2 tbsp fresh or dried Ginger
• 1/2 tsp of Cloves
• 1/2 cup raw Honey

1. Pour water into saucepan and add all ingredients except for honey
2. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes
3. Remove from heat, let it cool
4. Pour through a strainer
5. When completely cool, add honey and mix completely
6. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator

Take daily during flu season for immune support; 1 tsp for children, 1 TBS for adults. If the flu does come on, take suggested dose every 2-3 hours until symptoms disappear.

Tonic ingredient benefits:
Elderberries: High levels of Vitamin A, B and C, high in antioxidants,
immune system stimulate, helps with digestive system, anti-inflammatory.

Rooibos: From South Africa, this red bush is excellent for you. Very high in
antioxidants, lowers blood pressure, protects the heart, inhibits brain aging,
improves immunity.

Cinnamon: Reduces pain linked to arthritis. Contains fiber, calcium and
iron. regulates blood sugar levels. Reduces cholesterol.

Ginger: Anti-inflammatory, helps digestive issues, rids throat and nose
congestions, reduces flatulence.

Cloves: High levels of antioxidants. Encourages healthy teeth and gums.

Raw Honey: Antibiotic properties which treats conditions like the cold, sore
throats, indigestion and acne. Treats allergies, helps support and protect the
growth of bacteria in our gut. Relieves constipation.
Copyright © 2014 Halcyon Publishing

Want to make your own elderberry syrup?  Check out this link:

FYI, you can get organic dried elderberries, elderberry syrup/Sambucol, capsules, tincture, extract, juice, lozenges and the rest of the ingredients for the tonic at one of my favorite places to shop; use code CJG192 if you are a new customer and spend more than $40 and you will get $10 off, plus can take advantage of their wonderful Specials and Trial Offers section. Shipping is free on orders of $20 and up, and there’s no sales tax. There’s an extra 5% off on orders over $60. is another on-line favorite of mine and also has a huge selection of elderberry-related products.  If you are new to Vitacost and make your first purchase of $25 or more 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, if you don’t already have one. That way you can use the eBates portal to shop at Vitacost (and 100s of other popular 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?!

And here’s a free resource I think you’ll be interested in….


For the next few days the folks at Food Matters are offering  FIVE health movies for free on FMTV..…and you’ll get the movies as they’re released one day at a time!

You just have to register here 

These are the free movies:

  • Super Juice Me (Jason Vale)
  • Food Matters
  • Hungry for Change
  • Carb-Loaded (Dr Perlmutter – Grain Brain)
  • Love Bomb

Plus live Q & A calls with Jon Gabriel, Jason Vale, Dr Perlmutter, Dr Andrew Saul & Dr Rhea Zimmerman Komarek.

And, knowing James & Laurentine at Food Matters, there will be other freebies and bonuses. Invite your friends and family along for the fun – who know’s who’s life might be changed forever after watching these movies 🙂 The event runs from Oct 21st thru Nov 2nd.

P.S. James & Laurentine at Food Matters are also giving away over $10,000 of health & wellness prizes – you gotta be in it to win it!

Find out more about this free online event here!



p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. Also check out my new website Evolution Made Easier and 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.



Free Qigong Healingfest Starts June 10th!

Here’s an invitation from Learning Strategies and an opportunity to learn some self-help tools for free…

Spring Forest Healingfest

If you suffer from any pain, disease, fatigue, stress, or the effects of aging, you may have just found the answer you’ve been searching for thanks to a system of healing called “Spring Forest Qigong” created by Qigong master and healer, Chunyi Lin.

Back by popular demand, the very same program that has helped a quarter of a million people unlock inner health, healing, natural beauty, higher energy, and happiness will be available free over the internet for six days only beginning June 10th.

Here are just a few of the many problems that have been helped through this system:

• General pain: neck, shoulder, lower back, knee, arthritis, joints

• Migraine headaches, sinus problems, allergies

• Weight control, high cholesterol, and digestion problems

• Hearing or sight problems

• Female or male organ problems

• Kidney or liver dysfunction

• Strokes

• Diabetes and high blood sugar

• Heart disease, high blood pressure, and circulation problems

• Cancers

• Lung problems

• Autoimmune dysfunction such as AIDS and lupus

• Mental and emotional disorders: depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, addictions, obsessive/compulsive disorder, hyperactivity, dyslexia

When you get your Free Pass today, you can listen to 10 professionally produced audio sessions (all up to 30 minutes long) and watch two video sessions (about 60 minutes) absolutely free. It is designed to help you learn the art of self-healing so that you can immediately feel better, have much more energy, and be happy. You can sign up here.


p.s. Also check out my website’s To Your Health page and Evolution Made Easier blog for more self-help health tips, tools and information.

Downward Dog Your Eyeballs!

Wow,  just  found this interesting article in the Healing Lifestyles & Spas newsletter.  Eye yoga sounds like an easy and relaxing way to improve your eye health and relieve stress and strain…



Want to See Clearly, Start Your Eye Yoga Today

By Heather Vuchinich, Editor, Spaliciously

Our eyes are working overtime these days, as we navigate a cyber world that is hugely dependent on what we see and read, all of which adds up to eye trouble.

Meir Schneider, a vision and self-healing expert, reversed his own legally blind status using eye yoga techniques that he developed as a teenager. Now a world renowned teacher and healer, Schneider shares his work in books, cd’s and workshops.

Start your eye yoga workout today with a few of Schneider’s tips for better vision and eye health.

These 3 eye yoga practices only involve time, your body and a little bit of sunshine. Practice daily for about a month and notice how your vision has changed!

1.) Sunning- Sit outside in the sun with your eyes closed and turn your face in the direction of the sun. Move your head slowly from side to side (roughly 30 times) while you breath deeply and relax your shoulders. Intersperse with rounds of palming (see below) for best results.

2.) Computer strain relief- For every ten minutes of computer use, take a break to gaze away from the computer while you wriggle your hands on either side of your head. This helps you develop and strengthen peripheral vision and relieves eye strain from gazing at a fixed direction for too long.

3.) Palming- Rub your hands together and close your eyes. Place your warm palms over your eyes and relax. Continue to rub and palm for about 15-20 minutes (if you have glaucoma, don’t do for more than 5 minutes, instead do more often). Palming

 Related self-help eye techniques:



p.s. Be sure to subscribe to Self-help Health so you don’t miss any future posts. 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.