Inflammation: Friend or Enemy


I have so many conversations with clients about inflammation and it always comes down to the negative side effects of too much inflammation. So I ask the question, is Inflammation: Friend or Enemy?

Inflammation is designed to help or aid our bodies into healing itself. Think about whenever you’ve cut your skin. What happens? In a couple of hours it looks red around the cut. That’s the “red cross” of the body doing what it’s designed to do. Attack and defend.

What happens when it attacks and defends too much because it’s under constant attack? Too much inflammation leads to all kinds of illness and disease. Perhaps things you didn’t know where associated, like auto-immune diseases, heart disease, stroke, thyroid issues, dental issues, migraines, ADD/ADHD, diabetes, joint issues or even cancer.

If you or a loved one suffers from any of these and other illness, the culprit is too much inflammation.

The biggest natural fighter is bone broth. Consuming on a daily basis, allows the body to calm itself and it helps to heal and seal the gut lining. If you suspect that you are plagued by Leaky Gut Syndrome or want to know more about what it is and what causes it…go watch a webinar that I made for you here.

Other foods, herbs and spices that you may find at your local Farmer’s Markets which help fight inflammation are such things like:

  • Cloves
  • Ginger
  • Rosemary
  • Turmeric
  • Cinnamon
  • Oregano
  • Marjoram
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Gourmet Italian spice
  • Animal-based omega-3 fat (found in fatty fish)
  • Leafy greens – dark (kale, spinach, collard greens and Swiss chard)
  • Blueberries
  • Tea (Matcha and Tulsi are loaded)
  • Fermented veggies and traditionally cultured foods
  • Shitake mushrooms
  • Garlic

The overall goal is to reduce chronic inflammation and your diet is key to doing that. Use these high quality herbs, spices and foods liberally. They are inexpensive and should be your “secret weapon” in your fight against inflammation.

Processed foods will trigger inflammation. Ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, soy, processed vegetable oils and other chemical additives are the enemy of your body.

Also avoid refined sugars as much as possible and foods cooked at high temps, especially cooked in vegetable oils (peanut, corn and soy oils).

Replacing processed foods with whole, ideally organic foods will automatically address most of these factors, especially if you eat a large portion of your food raw.

Just as important is making sure you’re regularly re-seeding your gut with beneficial bacteria. I prefer by food the best and that’s ingesting daily fermented veggies and/or fermented drinks.

Taking baby steps towards cleaning up your diet will pay you dividends in regards to your life and your health.

Go shop your local markets, support your farmer by purchasing as much whole, organic foods as possible. There are good spices and herbs to be had.

Live it up! Go clean up and clean out!

What’s been your biggest challenge in fighting inflammation? Share your thoughts and comments below.

To your health,


Holistic Wellness Mentor

Autoimmune Disease: 3rd Leading Chronic Disease


If you’re like me, reading that Autoimmune Diseases are now considered the 3rd leading chronic disease, right behind right heart disease and cancer is eye opening!

Over 50 million Americans are affected and a large percentage of that number is women. They are the top ten leading cause of death in women under the age of 65 and they come in more than 80 different varieties.

These include things such as Lupus, Psoriasis, Multiple Sclerosis, Thyroid Disease, Thyroid Disease, Type I Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis and so many more.

If you’re not familiar, autoimmune disease is a disease of the immune system and one of the biggest problems with diagnosis is that Doctors don’t look or recognize these immune diseases as diseases of the immune system as whole but instead they are looked at as diseases of particular organs.

What this means really, is that you’ll be shipped to different specialists for different issues. Many people who suffer from one autoimmune disease also suffer from a few and that means many specialists.

Our current medical beliefs are that once someone is afflicted with an autoimmune disease, they are no cures or ways to reverse the affects, only treatments of managing the symptoms, which means some really harsh meds that are supposed to suppress the immune system.

The problem with suppressing your whole immune system is the side effects that often arrive too. Things like depression, weight gain, fatigue, more chance for infection and even cancer.

My belief and that of many others who believe in holistic health and functional health believe that our bodies work together. So when one area is affected, it affects other areas. The same is for a healthy system or area.

When you can treat the root causes of diseases and not the symptoms, it’s possible to reverse many of the effects of these often debilitating diseases.

I believe, having my focus on the gut, plays an integral part on your whole body health.

If you were to look at the reasons that often times lay hidden behind other things, there really are only a handful of places to start paying attention to.

The first thing I look at is Gluten Intolerance. I think many people think of the gut first, which it is damaging to, but it’s also detrimental to our neurological system too, like pain, sleep, fatigue, depression, brain fog and others. Many don’t associate these symptoms to so many autoimmune diseases.

Let’s also think about the term “leaky gut”. Many times our gut is so damaged by things like stress, gluten, meds and infections that our gut becomes  permeable, which means it allows our food particles to escape through the gut walls into our bloodstream, which then means we’re not absorbing the nutrients that your body needs to function properly.

The escape of toxins and gluten starts to form inflammation which then leads us right to autoimmune diseases.

I just mentioned toxins as a culprit. We are surrounded my much in our current environment. Heavy metals, like mercury are a factor. Think of exposure from sources like mercury fillings you might have in your teeth. Some fish are heavily exposed.

Let’s not forget stress. While some stress isn’t harmful, chronic stress is. It leads to inflammation that is on all the time, which over time leads to autoimmune disease.

So, I hope you’re now wondering how one helps themselves to better health other than conventional medicine.

My answer; gut health healing is a great place to begin.

What this means is this, elimination to begin with. You have to learn what the culprits are. I’m not by any means saying to eliminate foods from your diet forever. You need to find out what the triggers are, heal the gut, which controls about 80% of your immune system, and then you can start slowly introducing foods back in.

The whole idea isn’t to eliminate gluten forever; the idea is to become gluten tolerant.

Dairy and grains is another culprit for many. The idea isn’t to eliminate forever.

Your body needs to heal. This means managing stress, treating any possible infections, and reducing toxins in your system.

The overall idea is to get to the root of the problems, treat and reverse those, and not to suppress your entire immune system, which leads to other problems.

I believe that you aren’t intended to be living a life of mediocrity and feeling bad or not living your life at all.

How many people do you know that are afflicted? We all need to ban together and spread the good news. There is hope and healing.

To your health,


Holistic Health Coach

PS: Are you personally affected or do you know someone who’s suffering with an autoimmune disease(s)? Give yourself hope or someone you know. By clicking here, I would be happy to talk with you to determine where you are today and make a plan to get your life back. Not one filled with pain and suffering and fatigue. Light and Love are being sent your way!


Inflammation and Gut Flora – From Brain to Gut

shocked business woman

From Brain to Gut – Inflammation and Gut Flora – about now you’re probably saying “What?”


Hang with me if you will and I’ll explain.


You see, our bodies are designed to run like a really well-oiled machine. They are complex and diverse. The problem arises when we think we know what’s best and put in the wrong fuel, fuel filter and we don’t change the oil.


What do you suppose happens over time? We don’t get very good gas mileage, the engine is missing badly, the exhaust is smoking and polluting up the place and eventually the engine just stops.


Hmmm….we then run to the doctor and cry for help. “Something’s just not right” you say! The Doctor asked you a few questions and writes something illegible on a pad, hands it to you and sends you on your way. BUT, not before charging you for ½ days wages and then you get to the pharmacy and they want another ½ days wages to fill your meds.


Something’s wrong with this picture. But it’s the truth isn’t it? When we continue to eat prepackaged and commercialized foods, we are causing our bodies to work extremely hard to process ingredients that the body doesn’t know what are and quite frankly has no use for.


Even though the food industry and big Ag will tell you that their products are the best on the market and are “good” for you, your body knows best! It’s now fighting with everything it’s got, day after day after day. Over time, it’s being demanded to overwork continually, and what happens to you when you work really hard continually? You fizz out, you’re tired, and you can’t keep doing it. You quit!


Guess what your body is doing too? It’s fizzing out, it’s fighting back the only way it knows how. It’s been giving you red flags for some time now and you aren’t listening. So it then gets serious and knocks you out with its defenses, called inflammation. Which really is a necessary part of the body’s defense mechanisms, but when overtaxed and overworked, it goes into overdrive and causes major problems.


  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Heart Disease
  • Autoimmune Disease


If it’s killing people, increasing health care costs and reducing your quality of life, inflammation is probably involved at some level.


Because our 2nd brain relies on good healthy gut flora to balance things out, what do you suppose happens over time when all the “not so good for you foods” keep getting put in, antibiotics, anti-bacterial soaps, chlorinated water, pollution and agricultural chemicals keep bombarding your gut? The bad guys take over.


You want to have more good guys than bad and in order to do that, you must be feeding your gut a healthy dose of probiotics daily or my favorite influx of good foods like yogurt, kefir and fermented veggies, like Kimchi, Sauerkraut and the like.


So you might be wondering what inflammation and gut flora have to do with one another. Simple. When the bad bacteria take over the gut, this is thought of as bad stimuli. When bad stimuli are running the house, you get inflammation. Gut inflammation is at the heart of many diseases, such as a number of autoimmune diseases, leaky gut, and many others.


Without going into great detail of the inner happenings within the intestinal walls, the idea is that we want and need to keep the ratio of good bacteria over bad bacteria running smoothly.


You might be asking, well what happens when my gut has been compromised? The answer, it’s quite possible to reverse and heal. Will it be immediate? No, BUT, you can and do often times see some pretty amazing results quickly.


Don’t let all this information overwhelm you or paralyze you. Realize that it does take you to jump in the driver’s seat, put in the proper fuel, get regular check-ups and stay the course, even when you don’t feel like it.


Your body does need your help! Are you willing to do what it takes to be well again? With the assistance of others who have been down this path, amazing healing is possible. All you have to do is say “It’s time.”


What’s been your biggest health challenge and how do you see yourself getting well?


To your health,




PS: If you’re truly ready to take the next step and say that “It’s time”, click here to schedule some time to discuss your next steps in the healing process. Remember, we truly only get one shot at this life, what’s yours saying about you? Are you just getting by or have you decided you’d like to claim your life back? Click here and let’s talk!


Heal thyself….how important is this to you?

Yoga and fitness

Have you ever asked yourself what it would feel like to be pain free, have an abundance of energy, be at optimal weight and not have all the stress that comes with not feeling well?

I have and that’s why it’s been on my heart to share the information that I know regarding our amazing body’s ability to heal itself.

When you allow the body to be free of all the “junk” that we are told is good for us by the “food” industry and the “big ag” industry and supply our bodies with good wholesome nutrients, it’s really amazing how the body knows what to do.

It’s not my accident, it’s purely by design. I’ve often thought about an architect and their abilities. They envision what something will look like in their mind and then design the outcome. I believe our bodies were created in much the same way.

Everything is “designed” to work seamlessly together and it doesn’t let us down unless we let it down. Do you understand what I mean by that?

For example: when I eat foods that I don’t normally eat, like commercial potato chips and overly processed foods that are either greasy or sugar laden, I know it. Why? Because my body wasn’t designed to be fed these things and it’s objecting to the fuel source.

Another way to think about this is to think about your car. It has an engine that obviously makes it run, whether it’s fueled by fuels or electricity, it still needs fed. So if you a put in the wrong kind of fuel, it’s not going to perform as you’d like it to.

Yet another way to think about this is the fuel filter in your car. The purpose is to filter out all the dirt and debris that would otherwise stop your engine from functioning. This is kind of like the purpose of your liver. It’s the filter for our bodies.

So, do you see how if we continually feed ourselves bad fuel, that our liver gets overworked, clogged and overtime our bodies can’t do the functions that they were designed to do?

In other words, it rebels against us. Often times it shows up in the form of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, depression, auto-immune diseases, arthritis, etc., etc., etc. Do you get the idea?

So, what are you feeding your body? Is it the proper fuel needed for optimal efficiency or are you feeding it cheap fuel that’s just breaking it down over time?

I know it’s not easy to always eat the right things. I’m not perfect either. I love sweets and pizza and my wine and beer. The key really is moderation AND making better choices.

An example, when I make sweets, I use better choices for sweeteners and really reduce the amount of sweet needed to pull it off and still be satisfying. As for pizza, well, yes I sometimes enjoy my favorite pizza place and I buy organic wine and the beer, it’s just nice on a hot summer night after you’ve worked hard all day.

The idea is to not punish yourself. I would love for you to get to the 80-20 place. What do I mean by this? 80% of the time you’re putting in great fuel, no processed foods, sugars and pops, etc. and foods that actually help your body heal, like bone broth, fermented and cultured foods and consuming sourdough breads instead of white and most wheat, as examples.

The other 20% of the time, leaves you open to the human factor, which is we’re all accustomed to eating fast food, buying packaged foods and when you eat out, the food quality isn’t always top notch.

Do you think that if you had a plan to get you to 80% you’d follow it? What if you were recently diagnosed with a serious illness or disease? Do you think you’d be able to ditch all the “crap” you’ve been putting in and seek out the help you need to allow your body to start healing itself?

If this interests you, I’d love to hear from you, as I have solutions and my kitchen is brimming with healing foods. Use the contact me box on this page and I’ll get back with you soon. Please feel free to share this as well. We’re here together.

I’m in this for you and your health and I have soooo much to share! From my kitchen to yours!


Do you believe food can harm you?



Do you love to eat? I do and I’m not afraid to tell everyone that. I love everything about it, the relationship, the camaraderie, the laughter and of course the food. Do you know what I mean?

When was the last time you sat down around a dinner table with family or good friends and enjoyed the laughter, the stories about the day or week, the really bad jokes and just plain catching up?

I sometimes think that this has become a lost art form. I remember growing up and we all sat down for meals at the kitchen or dining room table. There was never any thought about eating in another part of the house in front of the TV or the computer.

For most, our lives get to be fast paced and hectic, especially if you have children or grandchildren that you are involved in transporting to and from events. That’s why it’s even more important to plan a meal or two together per week just to enjoy each other.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been sharing a lot about Inflammation. What it is, how it affects our bodies, both positively and negatively and last week I shared what some of the best foods are for lowering inflammation that occurs.

I prefer upbeat, positive news, don’t you, rather than negative, dreary things? I also know that you can’t stick your head in the sand and pretend not to want to know things you should, which really is considerable when it comes to your health.

I find it to be one of the most complex issues in our lives today. Not to say that there aren’t others, as I know there are, health though is a tough one for so many people, including me at times.

We are all barraged with what we should and shouldn’t do what we should and shouldn’t eat and at the end of the day, we need to acquire a good firm foundation, which includes a wealth of great information, patterns and habits that resonate with you and take one step at a time.

Taking in everything at once is insane and often results in failure. Let’s tackle this together, one step at a time.

Since I focused on the good stuff to put in last week, read that article here, let’s tackle the not so pleasant list of foods that are some of the worst offenders for our health and for causing or exacerbating an issue currently with inflammation.

On top of the list is….

 1. Foods high in sugar and saturated fat can spur inflammation. “They cause over activity in the immune system, which can lead to joint pain, fatigue, and damage to the blood vessels.

2. Trans Fats, think hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils

3. Sugar

4. White bread and pastas (these break down slowly into sugar)

5. Alcohol (over moderation can cause leakage from the gut and sugar content in some cases)

6. Omega-6 Fatty Acids – our diets generally have too much

7. MSG (monosodium glutamate) – this little sneaky item is in a lot of foods and most labels don’t tell you that it contains MSG. You need to look for these following ingredient words, which means MSG it is ALWAYS present:

  • Monosodium Glutamate
  • Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein
  • Hydrolyzed Protein
  • Plant Protein Extract
  • Sodium Casein ate
  • Calcium Casein ate
  • Yeast Extract
  • Textured Protein (Including TVP)
  • Autolyzed Yeast
  • Hydrolyzed Oat Flour
  • Corn Oil

Because this is a big problem for everyone, I’d like to spend another article discussing MSG in general. You’d be surprised just what it is and what it does.

What is one thing you can agree to remove from your diet from this day forward that may be on this list, like sugar or white bread?

Remember, we’re in this together and we’re taking baby steps.

Until next time, make your day spectacular and healthy!



Do you believe foods can heal?


I’m so glad you’re here. Last week I introduced the inflammation concept. Inflammation is both a great healing part of the body, it’s the body’s immune response and without it, we couldn’t heal. And it can also be a detriment to our bodies if left unchecked and out of control, as in rheumatoid arthritis, it can damage our bodies. Plus, it really is thought to play a role in obesity, heart disease and cancer.

If you didn’t get the chance to read it, I highly suggest you do. It gives a pretty straightforward outline of the roles inflammation plays.

This week, I thought I’d introduce some of the best foods for fighting inflammation. You might be saying, why food, why wouldn’t I just take some supplements or pharmaceutical drugs to combat this? Well, my answer would be that I personally know and believe that foods can and do heal our bodies.

So lets’ begin this food journey….see how many of these things you can incorporate on a daily basis.

Salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines (often called oily fish) are especially high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are shown to reduce inflammation. To really reap the benefits, we need to eat fish several times a week and obviously baked or boiled vs. fried.

I personally love fish, but one of daughter’s just doesn’t like fish and you may be like her. My suggestion is then to consume a high quality fish-oil supplement.

Another food that’s great for fighting inflammation is whole grains and that’s because whole grains have more fiber, which has been shown to reduce levels of C – reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation in the blood, and they usually have less added sugar as opposed to refined, white bread, cereals, pastas and rice.

Just a quick side note about grains, remember that preparation is just as important. They need to be soaked before they are consumed. I’ll share more on this topic in another article.

Vitamin E studies have shown it may play a major role in protecting the body from pro-inflammatory molecules call cytokines. Dark leafy greens, like kale, spinach, broccoli and collard greens are great examples. These same greens are also higher in vitamins and minerals, like calcium, iron and phytochemicals that fight disease.

Nuts are another great source of inflammation-fighting healthy fats, especially almonds. They are high in fiber, calcium and vitamin E and don’t forget about walnuts, which have high amounts of alpha-linoleic acid, which is a type of omega-3 fat. If we speak about antioxidants, all nuts rank high, which help your body fight off and repair the damage that’s caused by inflammation. Make sure you soak these before consuming. Here’s a great how to.

Earlier I mentioned colorful vegetables as being a healthier addition, but what I didn’t mention was peppers, which are also known as nightshade vegetables. Some say this bothers those with rheumatoid arthritis, others don’t see any problem. This is where it’s important to pay attention to how your body reacts to specific foods. Hot peppers are really rich in capsaicin, which is a chemical that’s often used in creams that reduce pain and inflammation.

Tomatoes are high in lycopene, which helps to reduce inflammation in the lungs and throughout your body. Did you know that when you cook tomatoes, they have more lycopene than raw tomatoes? These are also considered nightshade vegetables.

Beets are other really bright colored vegetables. Most of the time, they are red, my favorite color. Remember we said colorful vegetables are higher in antioxidants. They have also been shown to protect us from cancer and heart disease. They are also high in fiber, vitamin c and plant pigments called betalains.

You can eat these, cooked, fermented or think Beet Kvass, yum!

Who loves garlic and onions? Me and probably you too! Did you know that in studies, garlic has been shown to work like NSAID pain relievers like ibuprofen, which is often prescribed for inflammation. Onions have similar anti-inflammatory chemicals, including the phytonutrient quercetin and the compound allicin, which breaks down to produce free radical-fighting sulfonic acid.

There are also some spices that work incredibly well, like ginger and turmeric, which are really common in Asian and Indian cooking. Turmeric, think bright yellow curry, works in the body by helping it turn off a protein that regulates the immune system and triggers inflammation. I also mentioned ginger which has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the intestines when it was taken in supplement form. I prefer fresh myself and it’s so easy to incorporate, like in fresh juices and kombucha. Another yum!

Again with the colorful fruits and vegetables, think bright pretty berries. They have really powerful chemicals that give them their bright colors also help fight inflammation. Some of my favorites are blueberries, which help protect against intestinal inflammation, red raspberries have been shown to help with arthritis and strawberries have helped women have lower levels of CRP in their blood.

Let’s not forget a good quality olive oil, which is a plant-based fat. There is a compound called oleocanthal, which is where olive oil gets its taste, also acts similarly as NSAID painkillers in the body, like ibuprofen. I would recommend the extra-virgin kind of olive oil.

The last, and probably my absolute favorite are tart cherries, which have been shown in studies to have the highest anti-inflammatory properties of any food. Athletes often use tart cherry juice to improve their performance and reduce their use of anti-inflammatory pain meds. What I’ve seen recommended is consuming about 1 ½ cups of tart cherries or drinking a cup of tart cherry juice per day to reap the benefits. If you haven’t noticed, I didn’t say sweet cherries; they haven’t gotten the same results as the very delicious tart varieties.

Next week, I’ll share with you some of the worst offenders of the inflammation and why each of them the bad wrap that they do have.

What are some ways that you could incorporate more of the anti-inflammatory foods into your daily food plan? Remember, you can start small, so perhaps it’s just adding one, what would it be?

Until next time, here’s to your health!


Deadliest diseases caused by this, do you have it?



This is the definition of inflammation, so what exactly is it and is it bad for me? Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve probably heard the word inflammation thrown around quite a bit. You might even think it’s a bad thing.

The body truly is a miraculous healer. Inflammation plays a critical role in this manner, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. The body does know how to take care of itself.

Things like heart disease, obesity, depression, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, insulin resistance, etc. are all linked to inflammation in some form or other. I get that most people think that it’s really bad right?

As I mentioned earlier, it’s there for a purpose. Have you ever cut your finger or sprained an ankle? What happens? It gets red, swollen, and hot and it hurts right?

What this means is that our body is telling you that it intends to tackle this problem, it intends to take care of the source of pain. All of which is truly magical when you think about it and if you didn’t have the pain indicators, you’d continue to damage your body further and its absolutely necessary for the injury to heal.

Acute inflammation is the initial body reaction to some kind of trauma, like being hit, kicked or cut. There is also infection, sun burns, or skin burns, frostbite, allergic reactions and chemical exposure.

Symptoms of acute inflammation are increased blood flow that causes a warm sensation and it turns red, which brings leukocytes that are like the cleaning crew and oversee the healing process. Swelling typically occurs because extra fluid like plasma and leukocyte is brought in for the cleanup. Pain is another necessary symptom; otherwise you’d likely injure yourself further. Also losing some of your previous functionality happens too, just so you can heal properly.

So, if the body’s natural healing is inflammation how does it also play a role in heart disease, obesity, depression and the other things I mentioned?

When we have constant chronic and systemic inflammation, which is now beyond an acute immediate response and becomes turned on all the time and fully engaged, huge implications and problems happen. The whole process of the inflammatory process is supposed to be short lived, like several days or less. This isn’t obviously meant to be turned on all the time.

A lot of what the healing process is doing is breaking down the tissue and targeting damaged tissues and invading pathogens, before it starts to build it all back up, this same response had the ability to also damage our body. This normal system approach of healing is specific, targeted and short term and for this reason, we don’t want it getting out of hand and targeting healthy tissue, which is exactly what happens when our inflammatory system is turned on all the time.

There are many “stressors” that cause inflammation to get out of hand. Below are some of the problematic causes, which are reason for concern:

  • High sugar, high processed foods, bad fats (highly commercialized), high gluten coming from processed foods
  • High omega-6 and low omega-3 levels. Omega 3 is a really big part of the inflammation response. Our typical diets are typically too high in 6 and not high enough in 3.
  • Poor sleep or lack of sleep is another big problem. You know who you are.
  • Sedentary lives and not enough activity cause low-grade inflammation. We don’t even get out and walk like we should.
  • Chronic exercise also causes inflammation. If you run high mileage, your body is taking a pounding and you become chronically inflamed.
  • Poor gut health is another culprit because up to 80% of our immune system health comes from our gut and this also then control your inflammatory system.
  • Lack of down time and just being outdoors. Have you ever thought about how your senses come alive when you just unplug and enjoy nature?
  • Let’s not forget about stress and chronic stress. We all have some stress, but the real problem arises when we have repeated high, chronic stress with no release or lowering mechanisms in place.

So, I’ll end this segment with this. Now you know what inflammation is, what it does, why you don’t want it long term and what causes it.

In a future article, I’ll share some ways to help your body return to its normal inflammatory response mode and foods that will help this process!

Have you been diagnosed with heart disease, depression, obesity, auto immune or any other chronic illness or disease and what are you doing about it?

To your health,