The Healing Power of Exercise

About 33 years ago, a lazy farmer was given 6 months to live. He was in his late 60’s and he had cancer. In his distress, he put a few of his belongings in a wheelbarrow and decided to walk. He was going to walk around Australia.

It took him 2 years.

How long did the doctors tell him he had to live? Six months.

When he got back, he felt fantastic and he felt vibrant. His body no longer moved slowly but almost sprinting. The energy it took to sprint was less than when he first started to walk.

Amazing things start to happen in the body when we move it.

He was tested. No cancer.

This is a true story and it made headlines again just recently in an Australian paper.

Movement. It is one of the cheapest remedies there is. Movement is life. Stagnant pools breed disease and stagnant bodies breed disease.

Because activity is not a necessary part of most people’s lives, many people are getting sick because their bodies are not moving.

Blood is the river of life because wherever the blood touches it brings life. It brings nutrition, it brings water, it brings oxygen and it takes away waste from every part of the human body.

Any of you have cold feet? Our toes should be as warm as every part of our body.

Perfect health needs perfect circulation.

At night, everything slows down a bit. That’s when the body starts to revive and recharge. The river of life slows down to a nice, slow pace.

When you wake up in the morning, the blood has pooled to the internal organs. The best time to exercise is in the morning because it brings the blood out to the extremities.

In order for exercise to be a powerful, healing remedy, it must be done in the morning and it must be done regularly = FREQUENCY.

It takes 20 years of not maintaining your body before it breaks down quite badly. Fortunately, it does not need 20 years to get it better again. Take a month for every year you’ve done it wrong. image

Blood is a healer and anything that stimulates the blood moving a little bit faster is square one. It is paramount. A half hour of exercise a day will keep our body in good working order and one hour of exercise a day will reverse major problems. What problems? You name it.

How many hours are there in a day? It’s not much, is it?

Exercise causes our body to release a certain and important hormone and we will talk about it in my next post.

 

Golden Milk – Can A Single Beverage Change Your Life?

About a week ago, I found myself in the kitchen all afternoon and most of the evening when a change in my work schedule freed up some time for me. I don’t know if it’s this cooler weather but there was lots of cooking and baking and recipe experimenting! But I finally sat down to a comforting cup of Golden Milk and thought I’d share this magical tonic with you.

Anyone ever had Golden Milk before? It’s not actually milk at all, in the dairy sense, but it’s a combination of coconut milk, turmeric, black pepper and coconut oil. It’s delicious and soothing and I think it’s this fall weather that has me craving it.

Turmeric’s health benefits have been well documented in medical literature. It is the most potent anti-inflammatory and exhibits over 150 potentially therapeutic activities which include anti-microbial activity. It also has potent anti-cancer properties that have been intensely studied.

In India, it is known as the “spice of life.” It has so many beneficial properties, it would be difficult to briefly describe this incredible spice, but a special mention goes to curcumin – the pigment in the spice and one of the most well-studied bioactive ingredients in turmeric. It has been found to promote health and protect against a wide variety of health conditions.

Curcumin has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, which may explain why India has the lowest prevalence rate of Alzheimer’s in the world. It has been shown to influence about 700 genes. Research has shown that curcumin inserts itself into the cell’s membrane where it changes the physical properties of the membrane and makes it more orderly.

The medicinal properties of turmeric aren’t absorbed well due to it’s rapid metabolism in the liver and intestines, unless consumed with black pepper. The piperine in black pepper enhances the bioavailability of the curcumin in turmeric by up to 2000%.

Note: Black pepper may inhibit drug metabolism so should be used with caution, if at all, by those taking pharmaceutical medications.

Safety: Turmeric should not be used long term or used medicinally by those with congestive heart failure. Those prone to kidney stones, gallstones, bile duct obstruction, or certain GI disorders (check with physician) should not use turmeric. It should not be used medicinally by pregnant women. Stop using turmeric two weeks before surgery.

While there are many variations of golden milk, most of them are made with coconut milk, which is the way I prefer it because of its health benefits. I like to take fresh coconuts and blend the coconut meat and water together. There really is nothing quite like fresh coconut milk!

About 50% of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is rarely found in nature. Our body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which can destroy lipid-coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, influenza and measles. Lauric acid is a medium-chain fatty acid (MCFAs), which is easily digested and is immediately converted by our liver into energy rather than fat.

Ready to make some golden milk?! It’s easy to make and so incredibly good for you!

I start by making “golden paste” ahead of time so that I can quickly whip up a cup of golden milk.

Golden Paste

Ingredients:                                                                                                                                          

  • 1/2 cup organic turmeric powder                   image
  • 1 cup water
  • 1.5 teaspoons black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons cold-pressed, unrefined coconut oil

Directions:

  1. In a stainless steel pot, cook the water, turmeric and black pepper until it forms a thick paste, stirring and cooking for about 7 to 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and add virgin coconut oil, using a whisk to fully mix in the coconut oil.
  3. Transfer the Golden Paste into a glass jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

You will use this paste to make your Golden Milk.

Golden Milk

Ingredients:                               image

  • 1 teaspoon Golden Paste
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • Sweetener of choice (raw honey) (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a stainless steel pot, gently heat 2 cups of milk with 1 teaspoon of the golden paste.
  2. Fully mix the paste into the milk.
  3. Add sweetener if desired.

Enjoy!

Fluffy Pancake Mix

Now that my show is done and my other job as mom is in full effect, one of the things I enjoy that I get to do again is cook breakfast for my family.

My kids love pancakes. Chocolate chip pancakes to be exact. There was a time when a box of Bisquick was a staple in my house. I mean, c’mon, all you had to do was add water!

Let’s take a look at what’s in a box of Bisquick:

Enriched Flour Bleached (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Leavening (Baking Soda, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate), Dextrose, Salt.

Does that make anyone else’s eyes pop out of their head? I’m not going dissect this ingredient list, that’s a whole other blog post, or two.

Let’s see, Bisquick was invented in the early 1930′s to save time for busy cooks by premixing the ingredients needed for baking biscuits…

But it’s really easy to mix your own bisquick equivalent.

Processed with Rookie

Ingredients

  • 6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (I used 100% whole wheat flour for my mix)
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar (or you can use cane sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons baking powder (aluminum-free)
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt

*Use organic whenever possible

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.

To make the pancakes:

  Yields 4-6 pancakes Processed with Rookie

  1. Whisk 1 cup of the pancake mix + 1 cup of milk (nut milk of choice) + 1 egg (to make vegan, use a flax or chia egg) + a handful of fruit or chocolate chips (opt.)
  2. Heat a skillet or griddle and grease it. Pour the batter onto the hot griddle about 1/4 cup at a time.
  3. When the top of the pancake bubbles, flip and continue cooking on the second side.

 It doesn’t get easier than that! Enjoy!

Xo,

Kristine

Vani Hari, aka the Food Babe: Real Food Superhero, Warrior, Defender

The first time I ever heard of the Food Babe was about two years ago. I was researching the different baby formulas and was trying to figure out which was the best formula to put my daughter on after I was done nursing her.

Being in the entertainment industry, especially in the beauty aspect of it, I felt the pressure of losing the baby weight as quickly as I could. I had decided that I was going to breastfeed my daughter for a month-and-a-half, maybe two, and then I was going to switch her to formula. I was determined to lose the baby weight before I started my show which would start production four months after I had her.

I stumbled across an article by the Food Babe that she had written literally two days before the birth of my daughter called “How To Find the Safest Organic Infant Formula” that completely horrified me. I spent many sleepless nights afterwards researching absolutely EVERYTHING about baby formula and my different options. My findings turned me into a very angry mom and sparked my fierce crusade in the movement to better our food supply and to enroll in nutrition school to deepen and better understand food and our body chemistry.

When that month-and-a-half came and I had to decide whether to continue breastfeeding her or not, it was in that moment that I decided that my daughter’s well-being was way more important than trying to fit back into my size 3 jeans and I was going to nurse her for as long as I possibly could. I was not going to poison my daughter. It was also in that moment that I learned to TRULY love my body – the body that told the story of carrying two amazing and beautiful human beings.

I did eventually have to introduce formula after six months of exclusive breastfeeding when she started to wean herself off of me, but I was able to make an informed decision on the best baby formula for her.

Since reading that article by Vani Hari, the Food Babe, I have followed her fearless in-depth food investigations and campaigns. Hari brings transparency to our food system and holds food manufacturers accountable for the food products that are making us sick.

I view Ms. Hari as a pioneer in the food movement. To her critics, registered dietitians and food scientists say she lacks the credentials to speak with authority. But there is a reason big food companies are terrified of the Food Babe. She holds food companies accountable and exposes the truth about what is in your food.

As a certified holistic health coach who has studied over 100 dietary theories with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts, I can say that you don’t need my type of training or a degree to figure out how to be healthy. Anyone can pick up a food item, look at the food label and figure out whether it’s going to harm you or benefit you. Vani Hari is a fearless leader in this food revolution movement.

In her new book, The Food Babe Way, which releases today, Vani outlines the dangers that lurk in your food, shows you how to decode food labels and offers advice on what to eat and how to shop healthy and organic without hurting your pocketbook.
photo (4)
I received an advanced copy of the book by Ms. Hari and I highly recommend it for anyone who needs an easy-to-follow reference and guide in navigating the thousands of food products lining our store shelves and takes the guesswork out of shopping for healthy and nutritious food. So if you’re tired of your taste buds being hijacked by the food industry and you want to take matters into your own hands and become your own food investigator, nutritionist and food activist, The Food Babe Way will show you how to live a more energetic and vibrant life while still being exposed to our current food system.

Hari lays out a 21-day flexible eating plan with dozens of recipes along with a list of pantry staples and a snack list. She will take you step-by-step through 21 simple changes that will help rid your body of toxins, lose weight without counting calories and restore your natural glow. These fundamentals are so much more affordable than expensive supplements, workouts and gym memberships.

In The Food Babe Way, you’ll learn how to:
~ Avoid the top 15 ingredients that wreak havoc on your weight, beauty and health
~ Develop 21 simple, lasting habits that will get you off chemical-laced food for good
~ Spot manipulative marketing and manufacturing techniques the food industry uses to get you to eat processed foods or hide questionable ingredients
~ Replace the foods that make you fat, look older and sap your energy with helpful, delicious substitutes
~ Prepare dozens of additive-free meals with easy and delicious recipes

Order your copy of The Food Babe Way here:
http://thefoodbabeway.com
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Eat well. Be well. Live your most beautiful life!

Xo,
Kristine

A Pink Ribbon Culture: Pinkwashing

My grandmother had breast cancer. She had a mastectomy and I can still vividly see the empty space in her clothing.

I was nineteen when I had a lump removed from my breast. I remember the day I felt the hard mass. I was eighteen and it was a cool November evening. It was a daily bedtime ritual for me to check for any unusual lumps. I remember the panic rise in my throat. Any chances of a good night’s sleep were just sabotaged by the thoughts that were running through my brain.

My mom took me to the doctor that week and since she is in the medical field, I was taken to the best physician on the subject. I was checked and he concluded that it was nothing to worry about. I knew my body. I have always been very aware of it and my gut instinct told me something was not right.

I insisted on a biopsy. It was benign, thank goodness, but I still wanted it removed; solely for my peace of mind. My surgery was scheduled a month after the biopsy. It was supposed to be a quick procedure and they were not expecting to find what they found when they opened me up. It had grown from the size of the tip of my thumb to the size of a softball. I had an aggressive fibroadenoma. Needless to say, I wasn’t administered the correct amount of anesthesia and I woke up in the middle of the surgery.

“Doctor, she’s awake… ” …and fade back to black. That was not a pleasant experience.

Yearly mammograms were expected of me post surgery especially because I had a family history. I haven’t had one yet for reasons that I will talk about in another post, but fear being the main culprit. Fear of them finding something.

All of that being said, I was a big Pink Ribbon supporter. Emphasis on the WAS. When an opportunity presented itself, I contributed to the breast cancer advocacy movement. That was up until I met my friend Angela. She is the mother of three young, beautiful girls, an Emmy award winning makeup artist and a two-time breast cancer survivor. Our conversations at work lifted the “pink haze” that clouded my view and gave me an authentic perspective. I have seen the scars on her body, a daily reminder of the worst year of her life. But you would never guess that she had this ugly disease. She is a ray of sunshine and I always find it a pleasure to bask in her strength and endurance.

Angela and I

Angela and I

Coming soon to the blog – she will share her experience with us and the monstrous face of breast cancer. Her view of all this Pink Ribbon “awareness” will make you reevaluate your standpoint on the matter. What also fueled many of our conversations was her decision to opt out of chemotherapy and choose a natural approach to treatment. Using food as medicine was a common thread between us.

We are all aware of this cancer but do we really know what it is? I think it is also important for us to see the faces of those who have or have had this cancer. We should not only be aware but we need to know WHAT it is.

Pink heralds that October is here. Pink ribbons everywhere, football players wearing pink garb, hundreds of people coming together to Walk or Run For a Cure, people sporting bracelets with the slogan “I (heart) Boobies.” I noticed though that Breast Cancer Awareness Month has extended itself to more than just October, making it more of a Breast Cancer Awareness season. And as of late, I feel like the Pink Ribbon has become more of a brand, just like the swoosh of Nike or McDonald’s golden arches.

If given a choice, people would rather give their money to a good cause. But have you ever thought about where the money actually goes and how much goes to the actual research? There have been campaigns from big corporations whose contribution was a penny for every purchase. A penny? Really? Wouldn’t it be easier to just write a check or donate directly to the organization?

I started to dig deeper into this thing called “pinkwashing”. There is a great documentary on YouTube called “Pink Ribbons, Inc.” that I highly recommend.

Also, as people are becoming more aware of what is happening to our food supply, companies are using marketing strategies that tug at our heart strings to help increase sales on the very products that cause cancer. So they make the product pink or they slap a Pink Ribbon on the packaging. There is a great article about this on the Huffington Post called “Think Before You Pink: Stop the Distraction.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karuna-jaggar/think-before-you-pink-sto_b_5910696.html

In the 1940s, a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer was 1 in 22. In 2011, it is 1 in 8. The risk factor? Being a woman. But this disease does not discriminate. We have yet to find a cure because we have yet been able to pinpoint the cause. There are so many factors that contribute to this disease. So what is the best course of action? Because I believe we need to start DOING MORE THAN JUST THINKING PINK.

Your thoughts?

‘We the People’ not ‘We the Corporations’

Before I had kids, I had the worst diet imaginable. I just didn’t really think much about it. As long as it tasted good, it was fast and it was convenient, I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I was clueless about nutrition and the powerful effect food has on us and I didn’t know the ugly truth about the food industry.

The birth of my first child, however, inspired an urgency in me because I now had to make decisions on his behalf. And if you are a parent, I am sure you can understand where I am coming from. One of my jobs is to provide him with the very best and to protect him from anything that could possibly harm him.

On top of that, I wanted to have the energy and vitality to keep up with him. I wanted to be my healthiest and live as long as I could to be there for him through this difficult life and to live long enough to see my grandkids.

Not only are those some of the things that propelled me down this path of health and wellness, but what also triggered it is that many people that I loved and cared about have been taken too soon from disease or cancer, or suffering from it. It got me thinking and I started to question what was causing this rampant plague that was ravaging people all over the country.

Is it fate – our genes? Is it what comes with age? I needed to know.

All directions kept pointing me towards our diet and lifestyle.

When it comes to the food that we eat, it is very important that we know where it comes from, who grows it and what the ingredients are. I know I sound like a broken record but I just can’t stress it enough!

Food is a very powerful thing!

The food that we eat becomes us.. literally! It becomes the substance of our muscles, our skin, our hair, our bones – basically every cell of our body. We gain the qualities of the food. Not to mention that our brain, which is a very hungry organ, absorbs around 60% of the food that we eat – and, yes, you’re connecting the dots here – there is a food/mood connection as well.

Our lifestyle and the foods that we eat, have the ability to turn genes on or off. Genetics load the gun, but lifestyle pulls the trigger.

As I mentioned in my post The Junk Food Generation, there are 600,000 food items in America today.

Last week, General Mills announced they were buying Annie’s for 820 million dollars. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Annie’s, it is a natural and organic food company who is best known for their macaroni and cheese line.

As people are becoming more and more conscientious of their health, the organic and natural foods industry is steadily growing and going mainstream. We live in a world in which food companies are extraordinarily competitive with each other. Their job is to sell more product; and if they are a publicly traded company, they have shareholders to please. And organic is profitable.

Most of the iconic organic brands today have been bought and are now owned and controlled by the titans of the junk food industry.

Coca-Cola owns:
• Honest Tea
• Odwalla
• Zico Coconut Water
General Mills owns:
• Cascadian Farms
• Muir Glen
Pepsi owns:
• Naked Juice
Colgate now owns:
• Toms of Maine, the toothpaste company

Some say that it is a good thing that the natural foods industry is growing. Others say it is in danger of losing its very soul.

What goes through your mind when you see corporate America taking over the natural and organic food business?

These corporations like Pepsi-Cola and Coca-Cola and Monsanto and others poured 22 million dollars into fighting the GMO labeling battle. How does that make you feel that the profits that they are earning from the organic brands they now own are being used to fight our access to information?

Why are they fighting tooth and nail to keep this information from us?

We don’t all need to reach the same conclusions but there are beliefs that we all share. There are certain decencies that matter to all of us.

Do we choose to close our eyes and ears to it? Or do we choose to engage in it? These are not radical positions. They are not Democratic or Republican positions. They are not old or young or urban or rural positions. They are fundamental human concerns.

I have strong opinions and I hope that my kids will share my opinions but I wouldn’t insist on it. I am not trying to create an ethical replica of me and it is not to create somebody who acts on my beliefs. It is to help somebody to become an adult who can act on his beliefs. I want my kids to be aware of the choices that are in front of them, be aware of their ability to makes choices and to be confident when making choices that are outside of societal norms.

The extent to which there is corporate control of our food policy and of our food supply has massive implications to the health of the people. What bothers me the most is the enormous effort that food companies are doing to try and sell their products, regardless of the effects of their products on health.

I just want to say, though, that they are not out to poison the world. They will sell whatever sells.

Food choices – how we eat, what we eat and what we buy is a form of activism. When people buy organic, more farmers will produce organics. When people complained that tomato pickers weren’t getting paid enough money, Walmart raised their wage to a penny more per pound.

Think about women’s rights or even slavery. Slavery didn’t end because people started buying sugar-free foods. It happened because people advocated to make it unacceptable and to end it legally.

Anthony Gucciardi said, “There’s a reason that mega corporations like Monsanto are afraid of you, the activist. They know that despite their billions, despite their deception, that you as a consumer ultimately control their fate. Because by changing a single purchase at the grocery store, you change the world.”

So eat well. Be well. Vote with your fork!

Xo, Kristine

Free Workshop – Health Food Store Tour

The first time I ever went to a health food store it was a little intimidating. It is a whole different beast than mainstream grocery stores! I mean, they have a completely different set of foods. It is very important to keep in mind that even though it is a health food store, does NOT mean that everything in there is good for you. Even if it proudly displays a USDA Organic certified seal of approval on its packaging does not mean it deserves a place in my shopping cart.

I try to provide my family with as healthy of foods as I possibly can, but I know that to completely remove certain foods out of their diet is unrealistic. So I have scoured the grocery shelves and scrutinized the information on the packaging of chips, cookies, pastas, candies, pantry items, frozen foods and the personal care section to make sure that the damage is as little as possible.
Many times, I have stood in a grocery aisle and watched people stare at all the different brands of shredded coconut or canned goods trying to decide which one to buy and I have gladly offered my advice, much to their relief.

I know many people want to be healthy and they want to provide their families with the best food… but they need a little guidance. I want to share my knowledge with you so that you can do that and so that your money is spent in the best way possible.

If you live in the Los Angeles area, I will be holding a free workshop – a Health Food Store Tour at Sprouts in Woodland Hills on Saturday, September 27 at 11:30AM. If you are interested, please email me at theroguevegan@yahoo.com by Wednesday, September 24. We will stroll through the different aisles to discover which foods are the healthiest.

Transform your plate, transform your life.

Eat well. Be well. Vote with your fork!

Xo, Kristine