Foodbytes Blog

Time for a New You – Spring’s Here




Spring is here.  We’ve cleaned the house, washed   the windows and are checking our bicycle tires and planning our gardens.  Now, let’s remember the most important item on the “cleaning” list – our own bodies!

Did you know that most people don’t even think about their bodies and how they function until something malfunctions or we get sick?

Since prevention is highest on my list of health care, let’s look at a basic diet- which means anything that passes through your lips-  ideas that can cleanse your body and bring about not only healthy short-term results, but encourage long term lifestyle changes which may prevent the onset of nasty colds, some allergies and chronic dis-ease.

Whole foods are a vital part of this process!  Whole food can be defined as food that is consumed closest to its natural state, closer to its raw, uncooked form and therefore at its highest quality.  In this condition, all the enzymes are found intact.  The amino acids are in their finest form.  The minerals, trace elements, carbohydrates and “life force” are present.  This life force in food is capable of reproducing healthy tissue and replacing body parts damaged by an empty nutrient diet.

Remarkable things begin to happen in your body as well as your mind when you improve the quality of food you consume.  There is an amazing intelligence present in every cell of our bodies.  When the food coming in to our bodies is of higher quality than the tissues which the body is made of, the body begins to discard this “old material” to make room for the superior material which it uses to make new and healthier tissue.  In simple terms, “out with the old and in with the new” high-test fuel for the body. You are worth it!

It’s a simple Law of Nature that our bodies try to produce healthy cells unless we interfere by putting excess “empty nutrition” into our bodies.  Some examples of “empty nutrition” are processed and packaged foods, additives and unpronounceable substitutes, diet drinks and carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, alcohol, coffee, candy etc.

As we cleanse our bodies of these toxins,  some cleansing symptoms may (sometimes referred to as a healing crisis)  occur,  such as headaches, especially when kicking caffeine, nausea and skin breakouts, which may last anywhere from 3 days to several weeks.  You might say, “I didn’t have these conditions when I was into my old way of eating”.  Please realize that your body needs time to clean out an accumulation of those bad substances.  Is your life worth giving your body the chance to experience renewed energy both physically and mentally?

Foods that help the body detoxify naturally are fresh dark green leafy vegetables, kale, chard, Crucifers; cabbages and Brussels sprouts, asparagus, beet roots & greens, raw seeds and nuts and partly unsaturated oils like olive, walnut, coconut and grapeseed.  Some fruits and whole grains, mainly millet and brown rice, also help clean out our systems.

Adding these foods to your regular diet – a little at a time, like one or two per week – may help kick-start the cleansing and change your mind and your bodys’ desire for junk foods.  Also try eliminating or at least cutting back on some of the junk at the same time- replacing it with the good stuff.

It’s a good idea to check with your health professional before beginning any cleanse.  As a health coach, I suggest a regimen of certain foods and filtered water that can be eaten to help cleanse and replenish the body’s energy, vital organs, systems and functions.

Our deep love and enjoyment of our beautiful surroundings should begin with loving ourselves enough to take care of our bodies and minds with food – first!

Happy Spring!


RAW Food ENERGY…Tip of the week

For all you RAW and Gluten FREE loving foodies out there,  and for anyone who wants a clean raw soup for a change and a tasty shot of energy…

It contains avocado, which is high in EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) and Cucumber, which is known for its cleansing, diuretic properties.  Spinach has minerals & vitamins, garlic, lemon and lime are alkalizing and great for boosting your immune system       It’s also refreshing and tastes great!

It’s also a “big favorite while on a cleanse or detoxification program”.   Check my page on the 5 step program.

Alkalizing Raw Soup (Serves 2)

1 Avocado,  2 green onions (scallions), 1/2 red or green pepper,  1 cucumber,  2 handfuls of spinach,  1/2 /clove garlic, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos to taste (like soy sauce),  100 ml Light vegetable boullion (yeast free),  Juice of 1 lemon or lime, Optional:  Coriander, parsley, cumin.  An apple, cored and cut up.

Blend the avocado and boullion to form a light paste.  Then add all the other ingredients and blend all together.  Serve in bowls or mugs with crackers and hummus or almond butter….

NOTE:   Herbs such as Parsley have great cleansing properties and add flavor.  Coriander or Cilantro is a good heavy metal cleanser, and cumin adds great taste.   Use according to your individual preferences.

Your feedback is welcome!


A quick write on packing  “Fast Foods”  into your day now that it’s Spring.

With Spring come the new crops of veggies and fruits, salad greens and a boat-load of fresh new choices for your lunch box and snack bags… SO, head for your favorite fresh produce store and look around, or I should say “sniff” around as the aromas can be exhilarating.

Especially for us Foodies, the arrival of Spring greens,  Romaine, and other  crispy lettuces, dandelion greens*, and a host of other good green stuff is a treat to be treasured after a winter of roots and shoots – even though they are great too.

It’s such a pleasure to take home some new vegetables with which to create my salads, soups and accompaniments to fresh organic chicken, fish and other meats.  And it’s always fun to whip up a vegetable medley or veggie stew.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, those “fast foods” include most of the freshest vegetables and fruits that are starting to appear in your markets.  Wash, cut and combine them with hummus, almond, peanut and other nut butters, as well as the nuts themselves.

If you’re a yogurt fan, and most of us should be,  (it’s plain Greek yogurt and Kefir that help keep your gut functioning well),  you can combine either with the fresh and dried fruits, nuts (chopped) and seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, etc.) and eat them for breakfast, take them to work with you for snacks.  Fee free to eat them at anytime as a small meal too.

Think of a stir-fry as fast food.  Pop all the cut-up ingredients ( meats, chicken or tempeh for vegetarians,  first until they are almost cooked the way you like them) into a wok, or a large skillet with some sesame, walnut or olive oil or coconut oil for a little sweeter taste, and saute them on high for about 5-6 minutes.  the whole procedure should take about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Hint:  Wash, Cut and Store cut veggies and meats ahead of time so when you arrive home from work it only takes washing your hands and grabbing the ingredients from the refrigerator and popping them in the pan.  It’s not a bad idea to marinate the meats or chicken the day before for some extra flavor.

A quick marinade:  Your favorite salad dressing!  Usually makes a great piece of meat or tempeh taste even better.  Cut up your protein into bite-sized pieces and marinate in a securely sealed heavy duty baggie or glass bowl with a tight cover.  Reason for tight cover:  you can turn it upside down a couple of times to make sure everything is marinated on all sides without making a mess in the refrigerator.

BTW, you can always take some of the stir-fry for a cool lunch the next day and re-season it with the salad dressing or put it on a bed of arugula or spinach as a cold salad.

Ok, that was quick and easy.  And here’s a quick easy recipe for a tasty and healthy salad dressing when you’re too tired or lazy to mix a complex one:

Take your bottle of Bragg’s Aminos and sprinkle your salad lightly with some, grab the bottle of either olive oil or flaxseed oil and drizzle some over the salad and mix.  Tha’s all you need.   The flavors blend well and if you insist, grind some fresh black or white pepper on top and enjoy!









The Glycemic Index of foods helps your energy consumption…If you’re competing, your intake of high quality protein begins before you ride…


Bicycling in Spring

Check those tires, dust off the frame and wheels, grease where needed and you’re ready to ride the trails and roads this spring — almost.  What’s in your pack beside plenty of water, a tire patch kit, portable air pump, bandaids and sunscreen?  If you’re looking for the right energy foods, here are a few ideas for you to consider.

First of all, eating 5 to 6 meals a day, your nutrition program should make your body healthy enough to accomplish recovery and tissue repair speedily and efficiently. Ideally, everyone should be in that kind of condition. Second, it’s important for you to maintain lean muscle mass without adding body fat, and do this while maintaining a high strength-to-weight ratio. Eating 5 to 6 small meals means taking in the right amount and correct ratio of carbohydrates, protein and fats for your body and drinking plenty of water.

What’s a meal? Hold out your palms, face up with your pinky fingers touching. If you filled both hands about 2″ high with a combination of foods – that would constitute a meal for the average person. In hard and fast competition, you may need more. Third, a meal can vary according to each individual; your size, rate of metabolism, whether you are competing in a mountain bike marathon, road race or just riding for pleasure.

A snack, or 2 of the 5 or 6 meals is about 1/2 to one handful. Eating mostly low glycemic index* foods will keep your metabolism going and your energy on a more even keel.  Eat a “different breakfast” (see my blog “A New Idea for Eating Well”)  combining carbs and protein for long term energy.

For most of us, myself included, it’s the pleasure and exercise of rolling along on a sunny day watching the scenery change as I pump the pedals.  Besides downing all the water I can while riding, I usually stop and munch a meal somewhere along the way.

While resting in a sunny spot, my favorite energy foods are raw and roasted nuts, fresh and dried fruit and usually a wrap with humus and/or avocado and tomatoes sprinkled with cayenne, garlic and salt. The tomatoes add moisture, as well as flavor to the wrap, which is easy to pack and eat al fresco. The nuts and fruit are munchable any time, even while riding a flat spurt.  Cayenne and garlic are good for circulation and your heart.

Speaking of spurts, muscles rely on 3 major sources or systems to supply the energy they need: The immediate, for short-term, explosive strength output, the glycolitic, for medium-term energy for repeated near-maximum exertion and the oxidative, for long term endurance.

If you’re competing, your intake of high quality protein begins before you ride or in your pre-workout time.  It should be about 20 – 25% of your meal for effective recovery and adequate repair of damaged muscle tissue. About 20% of your meal would be fats for the average competitor.  High-quality COMPLEX carbohydrates should be about 55 – 60% in pre-season and for competition.

Remember, this varies with each person and their activity level. An overload of carbs and calories adds weight and inches we do not want.

Consuming Low glycemic index foods about 2 or 3 hours before workouts and competitions will help sustain the blood-sugar level. These include butter beans, green beans, black-eyed peas apples, yogurt, tomato soup, kidney beans, lentils, soybeans, almonds, peanuts.

Moderate glycemic index foods include whole grain bread, brown rice, muesli, bananas, raisins, buckwheat, spaghetti, sweet corn, biscuits, yams, oatmeal, potatoes, peas, oranges and fresh whole orange juice.  Eat these about 3-4 hours before competition.

If you’re like most of us, riding to enjoy the scenery, take along your favorite munchy foods and plenty of water.  Supplement your food intake at breakfast time with a combination of nutrients, multivitamins, multiminerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. Go for it and enjoy your ride.

For more details about the glycemic index and lifestyle menus, please feel free to email me at: Please include “Glycemic Index” in your subject line.

Just for Fun – Planting with the Kids :)

Another adventure with the youngest grand kids that was fun.  They do grow quickly and there’s a lot one can miss when not there.

Mr Smiley, otherwise known as Gabe, is adorable and at 7  months he’s beginning to eat things like rice and some fruits .  Miss Sophia, an energetic almost 3,  is a hoot.  Very vocal and interested in just about everything!  Especially playing soccer on the lawn.

She also helped us shop, she loves to go shopping… for vegetables and fruits at the farmers’ market, acclaiming with delight at all the wonderful vegetables and “punkin” seeds.  She now knows the names of many fruits, veggies and plants.

What a wonderful opportunity to teach her – or any child –  about vegetables and fruits and how they help her grow strong and smart and healthy.   If you take your kids to a farmers’ market they may begin to understand how those wonderful foods are grown.

One thing you can do, now that Spring has sprung, is either buy some seeds and plant them in your garden…if you haven’t a garden, consider clay pots and window sills for planting in the house.  It’s an exciting adventure to watch a plant grow from a seed.  Even for adults.

Or, if you are not sure about seeds, get a few seedlings, the tiny little plants like basil, parsley or chives.  Those are usually very hardy and will grow just about anywhere.  And they are edible, which makes them all the more rewarding, especially for kids.   Do explain that NOT ALL plants are edible please, especially for little ones.

I remember the first time we planted something we could eat.  My kids were about 5 & 2 and their most annoyingly wonderful questions were, ” How long does it take to grow?  Why is it taking so long?”   And every day they would check the pots to see if anything had sprouted.

They got to water the plants and learn that they needed food too.  Good chance to teach them  gardening and responsibility for their project.

When we finally, after about 7-10 days saw some teeeny green leaves beginning to surface,  that was amazing.  A triumph for them.  They began to see their work (preparing the soil, planting the seeds, watering) coming to fruition – well, beginning to anyway.

It was exciting and they loved watching the leaves grow and change into a mature plant that we used for cooking, especially the basil.  Smelled and tasted wonderful too.

If you plant even one little pot of basil or parsley, the rewards are amazing.  If they really grow well, you may need to transplant in to larger pots.  Planning ahead for success doesn’t hurt and you can always surprise your gardening geniuses with a new plant, pot and extra soil as a reward for their work.

It is wonderful how good those fresh little veggies taste compared with much of the stuff we get from the store…especially tomatoes.  All my friends agree, there’s a vast difference in the aroma and taste of a tomato fresh from the garden and the store-bought kind – even the organic ones.  It’s work that’s well rewarded at harvest time!

Just as a side, I am no expert in gardening.  But I have found if I follow the instructions on the seed packet and the informative hints from the local garden shop staff, I’m able to grow delicious greens, herbs, and yes, tomatoes too.  It is soooo satisfying to walk out on my patio and grab a handful of arugula, lettuce and a tomato from my pots and make salad from the “garden”.

Impresses the heck out of guests, even when they too have a garden.  In the mountains, our growing season is preciously short, so the rewards are treasured.   Take a few moments and thank Mom Nature for what you are able to plant and then reap the rewards with gratitude.   I improves the flavor you can savor and share with your neighbor…

Happy Spring!




Since it’s February and I have a delicious line of homemade soups with  LOVE as the first ingredient, I thought I’d elaborate on that subject…love that is.

Love is the first and foremost ingredient in Mchealthy’s Organic Soups -for good reason.

When I began making the soups and encouraging my clients, who were struggling with weight and other  health issues, we talked about how they felt about loving themselves first.  Didn’t seem like a nutritional issue until they realized that nourishment comes in many forms.

How many of us take time and effort to make everyone around us happy and comfortable and well-fed and find there’s no time left to take care of ourselves?   It’s the typical “mother-the-world”-first actions that leave us – especially women – feeling depleted, pooped, left out and depressed.

Have you heard that YOU come first?  Yes, it’s true.  Not in a selfish way, but in the way that enables YOU to be more relaxed and actually more available to those you love and care about.

Remember the airlines’ instruction about putting your oxygen mask on first before you help your children or others?

It applies in a lot of other situations, particularly with a family or a partner/loved one.   Ever think of saying this:   “what part of NO  or  NOT NOW  do you not understand?”    Have you ever wanted to say that to your kids or partner or a friend who kept bugging you while you were trying to get something done – especially for yourself?  Yep, we’ve all been there and done that.

Years ago I heard of a concept called Tough love.  The toughest part is learning to create your boundaries with those you think you have to accommodate all the time.  And, not feeling guilty about taking the time for yourself!  That’s part of loving yourself so you have more love to give to others.

When I began suggesting soups and stews to my clients as easy to prepare and filling meals, the thought occurred that these dishes are a great way to love oneself and be able to share the bounty.  (It’s hard not to make enough for a small army once you get started).

Take  some vegetables, onions, leeks, scallions to start and saute them in a pot with either olive, sesame or coconut oil.  Then, using your nose and what’s in the refrigerator that looks and smells good to you  start adding to the mix.

Other vegetables, a hunk of leftover ham or meatballs, the chicken wings and thighs left over from the game Sunday, some water, salt pepper and garlic or other spices you love.  If you’re into beans or lentils, pop in a handful or more with some extra water and watch- er-  smell what happens in about an hour.

Oh, yes, the tomatoes and bell pepper that were not eaten can go in too.   Got potatoes?  Scrub a few- no peeling needed-  chop coarsely and add.  And while I’m on the subject, almost all vegetables and fruits may be cooked in their skins in soup – well,  except for bananas….

Note: with dried beans (kidney, white,  adzuki, etc.)  cooking them separately for several hours (without salt) before adding them to the pot is a good idea as it helps with digestion.  Making them the day before is good too.

Note 2: Fruit may be used to add sweetness and depth with chicken, curry, and vegetables especially apples and raisins.  Are you getting the idea?

Without much fuss, you come out with a filling and satisfying meal, use up the leftovers creatively and have a one pan meal or two made with love.

Note 3: Most soups can be frozen for enjoying another time.

Loving yourself, the meal is already 80% done, Just add salad and perhaps a chunk of your favorite bread and a good bottle of wine….need I say more?

Regarding the “other nourishment” we referred to earlier, taking the time to create a fun soup means you have to focus on nothing else for a short time, 1/2 an hour or so to begin, and that gives you a relief from work,  the computer, laundry, running around in the car and any other errands or stuff that had your attention.

One thing you can do to nourish yourself in several ways is to pour your soup in a mug, get your favorite book and curl up in a chair and read.  If no one else is around, who’ll see you snarf up the chunky veggies from the mug with your tongue or schlurp from your fingers?  Just enjoy!

HINT:  When you bring home the veggies and fruit, wash and store them clean and ready to use.  It takes a few minutes longer at first, but it saves lots of time and effort when you get home from the office and “have to fix dinner.  And, if your loving family is starving, smile and hand them some raw veggies or nuts to chomp on for a couple of minutes or a tool to help you prepare their food while you create the main course.  Keeps ’em busy and out of your way.

So that’s how the LOVE got into the soup recipes.

This month is Lover’s Soup month, which in my house means a smooth blend of beets, leeks and other veggies that is the most gorgeous color and has a smooth satisfying texture and taste that fills the mouth and the heart with love.

Truly, the taste and satisfaction that comes from a comfortably full tummy  make it easy to lose weight and feed yourself healthfully with soups.

You’ll enjoy the souper experience as you gain energy and feel the love that goes into every morsel and maybe even lose a couple of pounds too 🙂

Here’s our February Lover’s Soup Recipe:        Roasted Beet & More

3 lbs large red beets with greens, scrubbed and separated from greens & stems.   Cut 1+1/cups of the stems and reserve.    1 +1/2 cup Swiss chard, chopped with stems.      1/2 cup celery, chopped.   1 cup leeks green & white parts, chopped.  1 cup onion, chopped.  3 TBS butter, 3 TBS olive oil, 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth, 4 cups water, 1 bay leaf, 1/4 cup parsley leaves and stems,  1+ TBS dried thyme,  1/4 tsp EACH: ground ginger, allspice and pepper, salt to taste (please don’t over salt!)

Preheat oven to 375′.  Cut beets into chunks and spread in a baking pan on a sheet of aluminum foil.  Drizzle lightly with olive oil and cover with another piece of foil and roast for about 40 minutes or until tender.   (If you’re in a hurry you can skip the roasting, but it does make a difference in the flavor.) Remove from oven and have ready to add to the soup pot.

While the beets roast,  put the beet stems in a pot with 2 +1/2 cups water and bring to low boil for about 10 minutes,  Chop the other vegetables.  Melt the olive oil and butter in a heavy soup pot  and saute the vegetables  on medium high until the chard stems begin to brown lightly.  Stir frequently, about 15 minutes.   Stir in the spices and roasted beets and turn the heat up higher and cook until the vegetables all begin to almost stick to the pot (caramelize) takes about 10-15 minutes.  Add the 4 cups water and 6 cups broth, bay leaf, thyme and parsley and bring to a boil.   Add the rest of the liquid, including the water with the beet stems and bring to boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer about 25 minutes.    Remove bay leaf and  blend soup with a hand blender or in several batches in a regular blender until thick & smooth.   The parsley and thyme sprigs will all blend well.    Serve warm or cold with some plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Bon Appetite and may your hearts be filled with LOVE and soup. Call 970-618-7607 for more information.

McHEALTHY BRINGS YO U MORE SOUPS EVERY MONTH or so…..  check it out by joining our e mailing list

The Arrival of the “Season of Guilt”….

Are you “digging your grave with your teeth”? The food you eat becomes your skin, your nails, hair, eyes, teeth, organs, etc. Get the picture?

Ah, here it comes again – January and the beginning of the “Season of Guilt“, as my friend Mary calls it – is here.

Whether you believe it or not, stressing yourself out due to weight gain, weight loss, etc., can lead to feeling guilty about gaining those 5-7 lbs (on the average) during the holidays.

So  what do you do about it??  Don’t kick the cat or strangle the dog since they didn’t have anything to do with what you put in your mouth at the parties.  In fact, if you’ve continued to walk the dog or chase the cat, you might have staved off some of those lbs and maintained your weight.

Made the usual New Years’ Resolutions did you?   Ok, now let’s see if they are reasonable and do-able…. But before I go there, I’d love you to check out Mary’s Tip of the Week  for the New Year:

If you’re still laughing and/or planning a leap from the nearest chair in your red undies,  please read on.  There’s a method to this madness.

First, forget the guilt thing, it’s mind over matter and your mind does matter!  Oh, yes, it’s also exercising a little “won’t power” which involves thought and planning (yeah, you gotta DO something to make it work).

Speaking of exercising, just about 30 minutes a day of doing something that resembles exercise – like stretching and some dancing can benefit your whole psyche as well as your body.   If every day doesn’t work, go for at least 3 -4 days/week – and don’t chastise yourself if you miss a day (the guilt thing again).

If you can, take a hike – somewhere in the sun.  It’s good for grabbing some vitamin D and will refresh your soul as well.   (BTW, there’s more to this on the effects of Vitamin D on cancer and other disease prevention coming soon).

Run with the dog – outside and dance around the block.  The neighbors will wonder what you’re up to and smile as you go by.  If you can get the cat to run let me know how you do it…

While you’re gathering rays, you’re boosting your immune system, which has probably been sugared to death in the past month and needs to be cleaned out or cleansed as we say in the preventive care industry.  It’s that circulating system that helps keep you from “catching colds” or other nasty dis-eases of the season that you want to boost.

So clearing out the sweets and the lingering fats is a great idea whose time has come.   This will help get your immune system on track again and let you get through the winter in good shape, feeling good about yourself and others.

The food you eat becomes your skin, your nails, hair, eyes, teeth, organs, etc. and gets re-newed every year.     Get the picture?

Now, about those resolutions, or re-solutions as they are called…  A good buddy of mine once said to make a new start at this time of year and followed it with some suggestions that I’ll list below.

Think of NEWSTART  as an acronym, so each letter gives you part of the new start:

N – Nutrition, MOST  IMPORTANT Are you “digging your grave with your  teeth”?   Who and what you are comes from the food you eat.

E – Exercise, moves fluids through the body, gives flexibility & stamina. Whether it’s walking, dancing, yoga, stretching, choose a form you’ll stick with for at least 3 days /week.

W – Water, We are 70% water, The brain is 90% water.  WE NEED WATER. Drink at least 6-8 glasses /day, add lemon or orange juice and DRINK.

S – Sunshine, full spectrum light helps balance the body,  it’s the best source of vitamin D, and supplementing D can help your immune system.

T – Toxins, Cleanse your system of toxins; read ALL labels, check your cosmetics, toothpaste, shampoos etc. for chemical additives, preservatives and especially plastics and BPAs.  Get a stainless steel water bottle…

A – Air, Breathe deeply of fresh clean air whenever possible.   Take deep breaths while driving, sitting, walking.  Breathing deeply helps metabolism, and your brain.

R – Rest/Relaxation, are both important to a healthy body and mind.  Sleep at least 8 hours a night, take 5-10 minute breaks from your work routine and make sure your shoulders are not up to your ears….stretch, take a “dream minute” or a laugh break.  Laughter is wonderful medicine for the soul.

T – Trust/Triune, in Spirit, the Energy of the Universe, renew your body, mind and spirit and believe in yourself and your abilities.

That’s a bunch of things to consider, so if you can choose 1 or 2 of these and begin – that first step is the toughest, and you can do it, one step at a time.  Just DO  one something differently and see what happens!

Like instead of the soda to boost your 3 pm slump, drink a glass of water with lemon or a sip a juice mixed with water.  OR  grab a piece of fresh fruit and chomp on it slowly until each bite is liquified, then swallow.

May not sound like a major step at first, but watch what happens within a week of changing just one thing at a time.

Health is much more than the absence of disease…it’s vitality & energy to keep going all day and half the night.  Its KNOWING that you have the energy reserves and endurance to accomplish your goals, at work or play.

Guilt serves no one.  So dig in and challenge yourself – enlist a buddy to play along with you and see who sheds the most pounds first, if that’s your goal…  and enjoy the new year and newstart.        Feedback welcomed!

Happy 2011.

Achooo, Maybe FLU? Prevent it NOW!

Give your body what it needs – nutrient dense REAL FOODS

Food is powerful medicine. Food and drink strengthen your body and help it resist dis-ease.

Or food can gradually break down your immune system, leaving you susceptible to infection from  bacteria, viruses, the flu and chronic diseases.

Prevention comes in several forms.  Personally and professionally, I prefer food and essential oils to medications and flu shots as year-round preventives.

Having read a lot about flu vaccines I believe that no one can truly predict which one of the strains of influenza will be this years agent of “ahchoo.”.. and therefore what vaccine will combat it.  And to be truthful, the stats on how effective vaccination against a flu are not great.

The key to resisting the flu is a strong immune system.  Your skin is the largest and first barrier to discomfort and disease; keep it clean and moisturized.  As a child, your thymus gland (behind your breastbone) developed as the mainstay of your immunity.

White blood cells, bone marrow and your lymph glands, (found throughout the body, especially under the arms and in the groin area), are a circulating immune system.  They help push the nutrients, and other “stuff” that we consume and inhale, around our bodies and eliminate toxins.

Feed your entire immune system – your body – well and you strengthen its natural response to the invasion of germs, bacteria, viruses, parasites – what my grandma called “bugs”.

Poor nutrition is one of the most critical factors affecting infection susceptibility*.  According to a report in Primary Care, people between the ages of 65 and 85 with chronic conditions in which food plays a major role, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are more prone to infection.  Older adults and those on drug therapies may be at risk for immune suppression, which rises with the number of drugs prescribed.

Many health problems of children from 0 to 5 years old are related to food. Infants raised on breastmilk are less prone to infections than formula fed children*.  Allergies or intolerance to food can lead to chronic mucus secretion in the middle ear, lungs, sinuses and nasal passages, which provide “ripe environments” for the growth of bacteria, yeast, and viruses.

A child who has persistent infections (ear, nasal or bronchial) should be evaluated for food allergy or intolerance, which may help them avoid antibiotics and associated problems.  A beginning step in determining the cause of these infections might be to eliminate all dairy products, which cause and exacerbate mucus.  Check with me or your health professional please.

Strategies for prevention: Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly – cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.  Increase your “prevention quotient” by reducing toxins in your body.

Recognize any of these common symptoms of toxicity: Fatigue, depression, headaches, allergies, muscle aches, frequent colds, insomnia, nervousness, joint pains?  Consider a cleanse, with the aid of a health professional.

When the immune system is alerted to any damage, from toxins or foreign substances, the inflammation process comes into play naturally. It activates various substances and cells to  “sequester” the affected area, eliminate dead or damaged cells and allow for new healthy cells to grow.

This “work” by the body is a natural process –  that results in elevated temperature, increased blood flow to the area, mucus production and discomfort – beginnings of the repair process.

Symptoms are regarded as a nuisance…so relief of these  symptoms is “the common rationale”.   A review of flu symptoms mechanisms by Dr. Ron Eccles, MD  has shown that some symptoms are “an integral part” of the body’s initial response and “may aid in recovery”  from illness – they are part of the body’s attempts to overcome the illness.  It may be debatable whether elimination of these symptoms with drugs is beneficial.

Simply put, why not give your body what it needs, like natural nutrient-dense real foods?

The consumption of refined sugars in drinks, snacks, desserts, and other processed nonfoods with artificial chemicals, pesticides or drug residues all stress your immune system, create inflammation (the cause of many acute and chronic illnesses),  and set you up to become ill.

A variety of commonly used drugs suppress the immune system including aspirin, ibuprofen & antibiotics.

You’ll be amazed at how good you can feel when your body is pollutant-free and fed with clean, vegetables and fruits like broccoli, spinach & organic greens, brown rice,  apples, pears, carrots, oranges, berries, organic chicken, and other fresh foods not likely to provoke allergic reactions.

Whole foods like these have the ability to support the immune system and inflammation/repair processes, since they are full of nutrients and phytochemicals that keep cells healthy and support healing.

A good whole food multi-vitamin/mineral supplement* and extra vitamins A, E, & C, & D, citrus seed extracts and certain essential oils, give your body additional protection.  Catalyn, from Standard Process is one I recommend, plus extra food source Cataplex D & magnesium.

Think: an orange a day keeps the colds away.  Bananas, peaches, apples, berries, melons, etc. add to the basket of nourishment and prevention you’ll want year round.

Yams are loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium and fiber- (cooking will not destroy the intrinsic value of this food).  Garlic and oil of oregano are powerful antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial agents.

Legumes, beans,  are rich in protein, iron, folic acid, and fiber – good as side dishes or snacks, in a tortilla, with salsa or in soups, chili and stews.  Fatty fish, the omega 3 fatty acids in salmon, swordfish, and rainbow trout can help reduce the risk of clogged arteries (that start in pre-adolescents!) and help process other fats.

Spinach, kale and collards  are loaded with vitamin C, carotenoids, calcium and other minerals  and fiber.  All these, lots of good water, exercise and washing your hands frequently, may help prevent the nasties from invading your system and you’ll enjoy the holidays.

For more specific information for your individual body type and constitution,  please contact me Phone consultations are available at reasonable cost.   Happy Holidays.

Here’s To Your Good Health.

Just for Fun — Grandma’s Adventure

Ah, vacations.  Ever been on one and were not sure how to handle the invitations for eating with friends? or even worse, family?

Ok, so here I am with mom, brother, kids and (gulp) grandkids and they are serving up the spicy TexMex stuff made with Cheesewhiz…yuk. It’s not even cheese!  Well if you put enough spices in it, heat it and stir in some cilentro, red peppers and a couple of jala penos it might pass as a dip.  Don’t even mention the salt content.

And I just lost some weight and have visions of it coming back with a vengeance….but it’s family and I’m on vacation, right?  Ok, so easy on the dippy stuff and I can handle the chips and live through it for a couple of days.

And then my body says, “greens, give me greens”!   So, off I go to the store and get some chard, green beans and real butter and a dozen eggs.  Breakfast is now steamed chard and green beans and a couple of fried eggs and I’m feeling more normal.  Whew, I will survive.

Oh, yes, water and organic juice for smoothies, thank goodness mom has a blender and there’s fresh fruit in the kitchen and yogurt in the refrigerator.  I’ve made it through the first round.

Taking the grandkids to the Aquarium tomorrow and we’ll see what kind of fare is available there.  Maybe they have fresh fish?…only kidding.  Gotta remember to take the bag of nuts and dried fruit with me as part of my survival kit.  And a couple of bottles of water for me and the kids.  Ok, the lemonade is probably palatable so that’ll work.   And a pretzel would be fun, carb city here we come….

And tomorrow is another adventure.  Will let you know how it goes.  Until then….

On to the Aquarium and rooms full of fish and other aquatic animals.  After oooh-ing and ahh-ing  through the passages filled with strange fish,  a 20′ long python and frogs of all types, and a couple of white tigers, (yes, live tigers) we rode through a hall where we were surrounded by water on both sides and above us.  Watching a saw-tooth shark swim above your head is a strange experience while sitting on a train.  The kids and I loved it.

And then, on to the restaurant where we shared “sliders” for lunch (little hamburgers on buns) and the usual French fries, which were chunky and good, and a grilled cheese sandwich that was on fat “Texas toast” (a  1.5″  THICK slice of toasted white bread) and some apple juice.

My Lettuce wraps were great- filled with chunky chicken sauteed with SALT and marinated vegetables, cabbage, cucumber, and something else I don’t recall…  As I said, grandkids are fun and did I mention work?  Especially the 2 yr old, in a restaurant surrounded by walls of water with LARGE fish swimming by as we ate.

You can imagine the pointing and ‘ooohs and wows’  between bites of food.    It was worth every dropped spoon and fork!  We found a huge yellow eel, but  never did find the Little Mermaid…

Not too bad for restaurant fare, but we were glad to get home to their usual dinner with green and red vegetables.  They really do like their snow peas and tomatoes.

Friday and  I’m back home.  Managed to maintain my weight pretty well, but not sure about the sanity.  However, grandkids are definitely fun and worth the trip many times over.

And they do eat well, I’m proud to say.  My children are doing a great job with their offspring – I believe they did listen to some of the advice from mom Mchealthy nagging them regarding the care and feeding of children.  Smart bunch of kiddos!  I love them all a LOT!