4 Roots of Optimum Wellness

There are four essential parts to being healthy: Diet, Exercise, Sleep & Attitude.

Vitae Elixxir Healing Herbs

A proprietary combination of ten disease-fighting herbs used for more than 40 years and helping thousands of people with serious health issues.

Books by Author & Health Coach Chris Pedersen

In a world of adventure and imagination, kids’ books in print and digital that encourage a healthy lifestyle.

6 Tips to Lose Weight

Don’t count calories—take a serious look at the food you want to eat, then ask, ”Is this something that will give my body good health?”

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Day Visit To A Cancer Clinic

My dear friend is coming home today from a cancer clinic in Tijuana, Mexico. Lu was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer mid-August—a mere 6 weeks ago. After much prayer, looking for clarity and experiencing several clarifying signs, she decided to forego the chemo recommended and go to Hope 4 Cancer in Mexico.

I was thrilled!

I know from many people I have met, that going straight to a holistic treatment approach is the best possible scenario to heal the cancer. It is difficult to heal cancer after the body has been compromised via chemo, radiation and surgery. These treatments weaken the immune system and cause permanent damage. Weakening the immune system deals a blow to the body—you need a strong immune system. The body is created to heal itself given the right fuel and environment (diet, sleep, exercise and attitude).

Hope 4 Cancer is my suggestion to anyone looking to heal their cancer. I have met and listened to Dr. Tony Jimenez, MD, ND, CNC, Founder and Chief Medical Officer for Hope 4 Cancer. Check out his bio as well as other doctors at the clinic.

Before going on about my visit and what I learned at Hope 4 Cancer, I'll let you know that Lu experienced an improvement in her test numbers and a 66% reduction in the cancer mass after 3 weeks at the clinic.

My Adventure to Mexico
Turns out my schedule for last week took me to Anaheim. My husband was attending a conference there. When Lu signed up to go down to Mexico for treatment, I immediately began to plan a side trip to go visit her at the clinic. Despite being a bit hesitant to cross the border by myself, everything fell into place to make it happen.

I drove to San Diego from Anaheim and stayed with a friend who lives 3 miles from the border. On Thursday morning she dropped me off at the border pedestrian bridge. I walked across and met Lu's husband and the clinic driver at the other end of the bridge, then was transported to the clinic, which is across the street from the ocean and 1/4 mile from the border.

I got a quick tour of the facility then met up with Lu in her spacious room with ensuite bathroom in time for her next therapy. The Indiba machine is radio frequency-based. In general it accelerates healing and restores the body to health. It generates two different frequencies (one hot and one cold), which are administered one after the other. The hot frequency disrupts the cancer cell membrane (a cloaking mechanism that keeps the cancer cell from being identified by the immune system) and destroys (burns) it. The cold frequency penetrates the cancer cell and destroys it from the inside. This is serious "kick butt" therapy!

Scripture for Lu from a fellow patient.

A vision I had for Lu.

Lu had already done her Full Body Hyperthermia treatment (her least fav therapy) before I arrived. This therapy is nicknamed The Pizza Oven. Can you see why? It heats up to at most 104°F. The extreme heat kills cancer cells... and you sweat a lot, which becomes a good detox.

The next treatment was the Lumen Photon Therapy, used to excite an enzyme in the cell's mitochondria to increase natural healing energy.

And every day Lu saw the in-house therapist to help identify any issues that may be blockages to healing, such as childhood trauma, unforgiveness, anger, etc.

Dr. Tony's 7 Principles dictate the path to healing at the clinic. It's also the emphasis of his new book Hope for Cancer—available on the clinic website.

Hyperbaric Oxygen (HBO) treatment uses high pressure to increase the amount of oxygen a person can breathe, which puts more oxygen into the bloodstream. Cancer does not like oxygen—it grows in an anaerobic environment. One hour in the HBO capsule (See Lu waving from inside?) is another part of each patient's protocol.

I was able to do a few rounds of the Pulsed Electro Magnetic Fields (PEMF) machine—a device that sat outside Lu's room. Each round is only 3 minutes. By stimulating tissue at a cellular level, this machine is used to improve circulation and cell metabolism. PEMF reminded me of my TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) device at home, which I use to stimulate healing when I have tissue injuries. It makes my muscles twitch and jump.

I enjoyed lunch at the clinic. Wow! All organic and very fresh. Lunch was a piece of wild-caught salmon over a bed of perfectly cooked zucchini topped with a turmeric sauce. Plus I made a small salad at the salad bar (lettuces, sprouts, carrots, beets, peppers and pumpkin seeds).

 Lu was finishing her IV Vitamin C drip (3 hours long) during lunch. She also did B17 drips.

I enjoyed a walk outside to the border where a really good band played—it appeared they were filming a music video. A small crowd gathered to enjoy the sounds.

For dinner Dave and I went down the street to the Huerto Urbano Kitchen—an all organic restaurant. I chose the portabella mushroom sandwich on gluten-free bread and a delicious shake with strawberries and cacao. Everything they serve is made fresh in the restaurant.

A few other therapies Lu did every day included:

  • Near Infrared Sauna for detoxing heavy metals, industrial chemicals and even chronic infections.
  • Coffee enemas to detox the liver and gall bladder so they can do a better job of removing additional toxins released from the body tissues during treatments.
  • Near Infrared Heat Lamp, which penetrates 3 inches into the body, heals hard to reach areas of viruses, bacteria, parasites and cancer cells.
  • Sono-Photo Dynamic Therapy (SPDT) works with a non-toxic sensitizer that adheres to the cancer cells thus allowing light and sound of selected wavelengths to instantly kill them. 
I know she had a few other therapies selected specifically for her, many supplements that build the immune system and help kill the cancer cells, plus a personalized diet plan.

Once Lu is home, she will continue therapies she brought back with her. She will go back to the clinic periodically to adjust things and check progress of the healing for the next year.

I am certain that with God's grace and mercy and all the many people praying for her, she will be healed and enjoy a long life.

Have you experienced going to a clinic that offered non-toxic, non-harming healing therapies for yourself or a family/friend? Tell us about them.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Week 4 March Makeover 28-Day Challenge

Week Four (March 21 - March 28)

We're at the home stretch. Now that you've locked in a new healthy lifestyle doing the Challenge, what do you do when you’re on vacation and eating out? Good news! Over the last 10 years, I’ve seen lots of changes in restaurant menus that accommodate vegan diets.

Besides avoiding fast food, here are 10 Survival Tips to make eating out work for your Healthy Lifestyle:

  1. Plan ahead. Where will you be eating? Consider what meal options are available.
  2. Go online and explore the menu to discover possible selections. Look for a section of healthier choices.
  3. Ask for smaller portions. Restaurant portions are typically too large.
  4. Split your order. Share with a friend or spouse or take half home for another meal.
  5. For a lighter meal, check out the appetizers. I find many a yummy, healthy meal in the appetizer section. Warning! That's where all the fried stuff can be, so be wise.
  6. Order toppings and dressings on the side. Most dressings have added sugar, so drizzle on sparingly.
  7. Don't be afraid to make special requests. Keep them simple. At a 5-star restaurant I asked the waiter to have the chef lightly steam whatever veggies they had. They brought me a huge plate of lovely, assorted veggies.
  8. Tell the waiter to nix the bread or just take one piece and have the rest removed from the table. Remember! Bread is like sugar, especially white bread, and it ends up around your middle in the long run.
  9. If you've eaten healthy for the day (sticking to plant-based, non-processed foods) then don't fret too much over your meal out. It's not the amount of calories you consume, but the KIND of calories that matter. All calories are not equal.
  10. Limit any alcohol to one drink. It's empty calories and tends to increase your appetite.
It's not the amount of calories you consume, but the KIND of calories that matter.
For vacations and other occasions, bring your own food:
  • Bring homemade Trail Mix and healthy plant-based meal bars (e.g. Epic, GoMacro, Amazing Grass) on trips.
  • For potlucks, bring a dish that fits your eating needs so you have at least one thing you can eat.
  • Eat something before going to events so you’re not hungry. You can pick and choose appetizers and plate items that fit your diet.
Do a search for vegan restaurants in your area. You may be surprised to find a few you never knew existed. Then go out and support them.

This is the last step in the March Makeover 28-Day Challenge. If you stuck with the plan, CONGRATULATIONS! If you did this Challenge to make health changes (heal a chronic disease or lower your cholesterol or blood pressure), you might want to make an appointment with your doctor and have your "numbers" checked. The results could make your doctor a believer—Food is Medicine

For further reading and education, you might want to pick up Dr. Greger's book How Not To Die and his cookbook by the same name. Also, watch movies and videos on the subject on NetFlicks, Amazon Prime Video and iTunes. Watch movies like Eating You Alive, Plant Pure Nation, Chow Down and if you have not seen it, the classic Forks One Knives.

And with that, I hereby claim you are now plant-based certified. Go and spread the word.

Tell me what did you find most difficult during the challenge and what did you find was easy?

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Week 3 March Makeover 28-Day Challenge

By now in the challenge, you should be feeling pretty good. You may have lost some weight. No longer have headaches. Your foggy thinking is gone. That's what happens when you clean up your diet.

If you feel you’ve been bad, don’t beat yourself up. Keep going. Change happens with baby steps and persistence.

If you haven’t already downloaded Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen app on the App Store or Google Play, get it now to help you add more plant-based foods to your meals and snacks. Add one or two more vegetables to your meal and only fruit for dessert. Steam, stir-fry, or roast veggies or use raw in a salad or smoothie.

If you like avocado, toast a whole grain sprouted or sour dough slice and spread with avocado. Don’t stop there. Add cucumber, tomatoes, greens, sprouts, onion and top with a sprinkle of sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Mmmmmm!

Have you made a Buddah Bowl? Start with a grain/seed (e.g., quinoa, farro, freeka, teff, barley, millet, etc.), add toppings (grated carrots, beans, chopped peppers, pepperoncini, sauerkraut, anything goes). Drizzle with apple cider vinegar and oil.

What About Smoothies?
Everyone loves smoothies, but do you drink veggie smoothies? Start by adding a handful of spinach to your fruit smoothie. BE CREATIVE. Build up to adding more and different veggies to acclimate your taste buds to more green. Here’s a basic recipe to start with:

Basic Green Smoothie
1 Banana
1 C Berries (frozen or fresh)
Lemon wedge (skin and seeds included)
Spinach (big handful)
1 Tbsp Fresh mint
1 C of ice, cold water or coconut water
Blend all ingredients. Optional: Add 1/2 Tbsp fresh ground flaxseed to thicken.

A note about the detox effect. You may feel pretty bad during the initial phase of your lifestyle change. Headaches, diarrhea, achy muscles—these are all symptoms of your body releasing toxins that have built-up in your tissues. Keep going. You really need this Makeover. You'll begin to feel so good, you'll never look back.

So let's review.

Week 1:
Clean-out your pantry and fridge. Eliminate unhealthy, processed foods. Begin a clean diet by eliminating dairy and meat. Dump household chemicals.

Week 2:
Restock your pantry with organic, healthy basics. Stock your refrigerator with organic plant-based food. Begin adding healthy recipes to your daily eating that include plenty of veggies, beans, nuts and seeds, and whole intact grains.

Keep it going! Your body will thank you with great health.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Week 2 March Makeover 28-Day Challenge

Welcome to Week Two (March 7 - March 14)

Did you have fun throwing out all that bad food. I would not even use the word "food" to describe anything with artificial ingredients that interfere with your body's metabolism and function plus cause inflammation and weight gain. 

Now that you've cleaned out your pantry, time to shop. Here is a list of items to restock it:

Stocking a Healthy Pantry
Buy organic, no sulfites, non-gmo’s as much as possible.
Artichoke hearts (jarred or frozen)
Beans (dried and canned) black beans, chickpeas/garbanzo beans, kidney beans, navy beans, black-eyed peas, pinto beans, lentils, split peas, and cannellini beans (When buying canned beans look for products without preservatives, such as calcium disodium EDTA, use low-sodium, and without added sugar)
Chipotle chilies in adobo (if you like spicy)
Cocoa powder/cacao (unsweetened)
Dried fruits: dates, raisins, apricots, goji berries, figs, papaya
Flour: chickpea, coconut, almond, sprouted wheat, spelt
Grains: red, brown, or black rice, red or black quinoa, old-fashioned rolled oats/steel cut, millet, barley, bulgar
Miso paste (white)
Nut butters and tahini
Nutritional yeast
Nuts and seeds: raw almonds, cashews, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, hulled hemp seeds (hemp hearts), pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds 
Organic veggie broth (low sodium)
Pasta and noodles: 100% whole-grain or bean-based spaghetti, linguine, lasagna, soba
Roasted red peppers (jarred)
Spices and dried herbs
Sauces and Condiments: hot sauce, coconut aminos, tamari, mustard, olives, pickles, sauerkraut
Sweeteners: Pure maple syrup, dates, raw honey
Tomato products: salt-free jarred, BPA-free canned, or Tetra Pak tomato products (diced, whole, puree’, paste, marinara sauce)
Tortillas: 100% whole-grain and corn, sprouted wheat
Vanilla beans/vanilla
Vinegars (apple cider, balsamic, rice)
Superfoods: hemp seeds, maca powder, flax seeds, chia seeds, spirulina

Stock your refrigerator with plant-based food:
  • Use Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides and Produce from EWG to pick healthy produce.
  • If you eat meat (I recommend that you go 100% plant-based for at least a month), buy meats that are 100% organic and grass-fed. Buy fish that is wild-caught (not farm-raised).
  • Buy ingredients for basic juice: 
    • Carrots
    • Kale, Cabbage or Broccoli
    • Celery
    • Apple
    • Ginger (optional)
  • Buy veggies for making healthy, chunky salad:
    • Cucumber
    • Zucchini
    • Beans (black or garbanzo)
    • Red onion
    • Cilantro
Healthy Chunky Salad

Black or garbanzo beans (rinsed and drained)

Cut veggies into bite-size pieces. Add beans. Dress with Apple Cider Vinegar and Olive Oil and your choice of spices—optional: add lemon juice and/or Balsamic Vinegar. Mix together and ENJOY!

Add walnuts, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, apple or pear chunks for variation. BE CREATIVE!

Make a healthy Super Food Green Smoothie. Click here for the recipe.

Prepare juice drinks, big veggie (Healthy Chunky) salad and Super Food Green Smoothie to eat/drink as you adjust to a plant-based, clean eating routine. Note: do not juice fruit—it concentrates the sugars. Juice vegetables then add to blender and add fruit if you find the taste too green. This will help you adjust your palate as you eat more veggies.

There are plenty of recipes to explore on this site for your new healthy lifestyle. So start exploring.

Continue your healthy makeover and see you here next week.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Week 1 March Makeover 28-Day Challenge

Boy have I been busy. I recently moved to a 55+ retirement community and since many baby-boomers live here, I figured I must share my passion for health. Last summer we kicked off a club called Healthy Lifestyle Living and many people came to find out what keeps me healthy. After all they see me running on the trails in the community—I'm one of only a few residents who run.

My brother and sister-in-law moved to the community as well. Last year they went through a detox program with a naturopathic doctor and as those programs have a tendency to do—they lost significant weight and look amazing now. That fact has not been lost on the other residents of the community. My sister-in-law, Marion, is my team partner in the Healthy Lifestyle Living Club.

We've had many who come to out meetings, but only a few have taken our teaching to heart and changed their lifestyle to get healthy. Wanting to up the game, I decided to create a challenge for the month of March.

I'm sharing this with you in case you wanted to take the challenge and get healthy too. I'll post the action guide for each week and you can comment with questions and achievements.

Welcome to WEEK 1!

Week One (February 28 - March 7)

  • Clean-out your pantry and fridge. Eliminate unhealthy, processed foods. Here are 11 unhealthy food additives to look for:
  1. Artificial Sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, etc.), generally food called Diet…
  2. High Fructose Corn Syrup
  3. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)oftentimes masked as "natural flavors"
  4. Trans Fats/Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils
  5. Food Dyes
  6. Sodium Sulfite
  7. Sodium Nitrate/Sodium Nitrite
  8. BHA and BHT
  9. Sulphur Dioxide
  10. Potassium Bromate
  11. Sugar 
Here’s a post on my website to help you — Eliminating Unhealthy Food

  • Begin a clean diet by eliminating dairy. No cheese, milk, cream, etc. Don’t panic! Often dairy causes a number of issues especially gut problems and inflammation. You may find you feel better in a short time. After a month without dairy, you could begin to add it back, but ONLY organic, grass-fed dairy. However, you’re better off without the dairy.
  • Dump household chemicals.Throw out any cleaning products that have harmful ingredients. You may need to take them to a hazardous waste disposal facility. Replace with more Green products (brands like Planet and 7th Generation). Don’t forget white vinegar mixed with water is a good all-around cleaner. 
Re-stock with healthy items. For good prices, shop Thrive Market (https://thrivemarket.com). They offer free shipping and free gifts.


Let me know how Week 1 is going in the comments below.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Book Review: Chris Beat Cancer by Chris Wark

First let me say, EVERYONE needs to read this book: Chris Beat Cancer. Seems we all hear of a friend, family or acquaintance just diagnosed with cancer every month—even every week. You have to ask, "Am I next."

Then you hear of so many dying of the disease... or is it the disease? I had two family members recently tell me that their loved one died from the treatment—notably the chemotherapy. One actually heard this from the oncologist.

So what does one do? Answer: Be informed and ready to take massive action if the diagnosis hits home. I did and many of you know my story. I'm a living testament to the information in this book. Information that Chris so expertly lays out. His direct, yet folksy style makes reading the book an easy exercise.

Chris' Cancer Story
Chapter 1 covers Chris' story in detail not previously told. If you've ever heard Chris speak (listen to the many great video interviews of cancer conquerers on his site Chris Beat Cancer) you'll "hear" his voice throughout the book, but especially when telling about his personal experience. Chris followed his gut and paid attention to things placed in his path as he went against the normal treatment direction and his doctor's warning. His story might be summed up by this quote from the book:
"I eliminated everything in my life that may have contributed to my disease, and changed the internal terrain of my body—making it a place where cancer could not thrive." 
Current Standard Treatment
Chapter 2 addresses the history of disease and the contributing factors, such as poor quality food stripped of nutrition and pumped with artificial ingredients, added to our lack of activity. The sad facts about treatments that result in death because of mistakes, communication errors and over diagnosis are looked at in Chapter 3. Plus, studies show that treating cancer with chemotherapy does not extend life any significant amount, but can do permanent damage to the patient.

Throughout the book, information is marked with references to copious endnotes that back up Chris' points and facts. There are 34 pages of endnotes!

Chapters 4, 5 and 6 cover the dirty details of our overmedicated population enriching the pharmaceutical industry, which creates new drugs that cost more yet do not affect the patient outcome. The drug Avastin was fast tracked to treat metastatic breast cancer, but later clinical trials revealed the drug maker could not back up its claims. Despite its dismal record, Avastin is still being used. Cancer screening and cancer treatment can cause cancer—yep. Cancer is big business and despite insurance, costly to the patient. The cost of creating new drugs is enormous and safety studies are conducted/funded by the drug companies—not an independent third party. Stats for cancer are skewed and twisted to make you think things are getting better. What you'll read should help you decide if what you hear about cancer treatment results is meaningful or deceptive.
"Endless rounds of radiation and chemo treatments may keep the cancer under control for a while, but destroy the patient in the process." 
The Plan to Heal
Chapter 7 sets the stage for healing by deciding to live—yes, LIVE! Okay? Once you decide to live, there are 5 steps Chris lays out that require action on your part. Cancer is your body's warning light. Don't believe you can smash the light, remove it or poison it (and your body) and you'll be all better. You must:
  1. Accept total responsibility for your health.
  2. Be willing to do whatever it takes.
  3. Take massive action.
  4. Make plans for the future.
  5. Enjoy your life and the process.
The blueprint to rebuild your body begins in Chapter 8, 9 and 10. There is so much great information here including key foods that are anti-cancer, super foods that build your immune system and prevent damage, warnings about eating foods sprayed with pesticides (HINT: eat organic) and reminders that real food is your medicine. You'll get recipes for Chris' basic juices and his Giant Cancer-Fighting Salad. All to give your body concentrated nutrition so it can heal. He emphasizes simplicity, a feature I need, which makes it achievable for all. What you're doing for the next year is building a new body—cell by cell. While doing this, there are warnings to limit or eliminate meat. Learn why and how meat is harmful to our bodies and why if you eat meat it must be "clean" (pasture-raised or wild caught).

A word here... Chris goes into some technical talk about certain things. I love reading and knowing that kind of stuff, but you don't need to know it to get better. Follow the food protocol Chris puts out and get nutrition in your body. That's your job.
Chapter 11 addresses the issue of toxicity from various sources, the importance of water, the assault toxins make on the liver and what to clear out of your life, home, and body. The importance of exercise, rest, sunlight and sleep are covered in Chapter 12. Chris zeros in on the problems with stress and how it can affect your healing (Chapter 13). He gives you helpful ideas to neutralize stress, but in the end, being a person of faith, what's out of our control are things God can handle.

Speaking of faith, the final Chapter (14) is about spiritual healing, dealing with fear and doubt, attitude and forgiveness. I saw what unforgiveness does to a person. It eats you alive until you die. Harsh words, but true. Dealing with these things is just as important as feeding your body concentrated good nutrition to heal.

The Bottom Line
I believe this book is the best and most comprehensive book on cancer. If you or a loved one is dealing with cancer, this book is a must read. Learn the truth about current treatments with citations and studies to back it up. Plus you'll be armed with information to help you take massive action to heal your body and restore your health. If you have been passive about your health, Chris Beat Cancer will educate you and help you change your life and launch you into action.

Buy it! Read it! Give it!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Wisdom Wednesday


A recent Japanese double-blind study showed that adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to 8 oz. of water reduces body weight, body fat and cholesterol.

Just another example of scientific study proving out a long-used folk remedy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Wisdom Wednesday

If you want to lose weight, you need to eat less and exercise more.

Losing weight isn't about eating less. It's about eating healthy—cutting out the sugar, breads and artificial ingredients. It's not about counting calories, but choosing the right calories. Dump the processed foods and eat fresh, plant-based foods (vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts and seeds), which are full of nutrients. You'll shrink to a healthier weight with whatever exercise you do.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Time for a Lifestyle Change? Keep It Clean

We live in a very different world today from when I grew up in the 50's and 60's. Even though there were issues with pollution and toxicity, it seemed nothing like the saturation point it appears we have reached today.

We are surrounded by chemicals that cause cancer. Chemicals are in our food, clothing, furniture, water and air.

Is it any wonder cancer is so pervasive today? It used to be few knew anyone with cancer. Today, we all have family, friends and neighbors confronted with the horrible diagnosis of cancer. In the Us vs. Them War on Cancer, clearly cancer has won.

So what can we do?

First, make the choice and act to go CLEAN.

The foundation of a healthy lifestyle starts with living clean. Simply speaking, it means removing chemicals from every part of our lives that we control—in and around our homes, in our food, what we put on our bodies, furniture we buy... you get the picture.

Start With Your Food

Open your pantry and refrigerator and throw out anything that has artificial sweeteners, corn syrup (sometimes it may appear as "flavor"), trans fat or hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors and artificial colors. Those might be the obvious ingredients to look for on the label. For a more comprehensive list, check out Eliminating Unhealthy Foods for a list of more ingredients to guide you in your decision.

Nix GMO Ingredients
Anything with corn, canola or soy that is NOT organic is 98% likely a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO). Throw it out! GMO food will contribute to destroying your gut health, add weight particularly around the stomach and overall compromise your immune system causing you to be sick more often. Oh and cause cancer.

Nix Sugar
Once you start reading food labels, you'll realize that sugar has been added to everything in the processed food aisle in the grocery store. Bread, canned beans, dressings, sauces... everything! And if it's listed as simply "sugar" (rather than cane sugar, coconut sugar, etc.) it's likely corn syrup, therefore GMO. Bye-bye! Seriously! Throw it out.

Don't buy anything if sugar is listed on the label. Sugar definitely makes you... ahem... fat and is the cause of the "life-preserver" (not at all preserving your life) around your middle.

Sugar is BAAAAAAD! Don't buy it.

NOTE: I realize this can be an overwhelming project. It's okay to take it in reasonable "bites." Start with a few shelves at a time. Some things you should not be replacing because you really want to eat more real food not from a box or can.

If you eat meat, you have other issues to deal with. Unless the animal is wild (such as wild-caught fish—the only meat I eat) or fed its natural food it will be loaded with antibiotics (because they live in horrible disease-ridden conditions), given hormones (for growth), fed cheap GMO grains and corn (grass is real food for cows—greens, seeds, worms and bugs is real food for chickens, etc).

Also, consider buying only organic produce because it will not be laden with pesticides which cause cancer and upset your gut balance. And organic food cannot be GMO.

Be a Smart Consumer

Furniture is often sprayed with fire retardant. While I don't expect you to throw away your furniture, if you buy or replace something, you should make sure it is not going to add to your home's toxic load. Buy low-VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds: unhealthy solvents that evaporate from a product into the air) paints, cleaners and materials. VOC's are toxic and using them should require a respirator, but no-one ever does that.

If you buy something that has a strong chemical smell, leave it outside or in the garage for a few days to let it out-gas before you bring it in the house.

We recently purchased the most comfortable bed we've ever had. It's manufactured by Loom & Leaf and made from organic cotton, plant-based foam and no chemical flame retardant. Ahhhhh! Blissful sleep.

Detox Your Home

Reduce or eliminate chemical cleaning products. There are cleaning products for every type of cleaning job and most are toxic. Do you really need all those cleaning products? I use water and white vinegar in a spray bottle for most of my cleaning. It's cheap and gets the job done. If I need something a bit stronger I use a "green" cleaning product made from plant material. Same for laundry, automatic dishwasher soap and dish soap.

Some good brands for green cleaning include Planet, Ecover and 7th Generation.

More ways to detox your home:
  • Filter your drinking water. 
  • Install a chlorine filter in your shower. 
  • Don't use a pest control service. 
  • Use only organic fertilizers and pesticides.
Check out 5 Tips to Detox Your Home for more details on making your home Clean.

Stop Bathing Your Body in Chemicals

Let's talk shower and bath products, hair-care products, makeup, cosmetics, skin care and dental care products. These can be a toxic soup of chemicals that add to our body's toxic load. The skin is the largest organ in the body so anything put on our skin is quickly absorbed into the blood. These chemicals interfere with our hormones and can contribute to an inflammatory response. Do you have headaches? Could be that perfume you spayed on or that skin lotion you rubbed in.

I buy hand-crafted skin care products that are made in the city where I live. Rachelle Neal the owner of Abundant Life Healing offers salves, tinctures and teas that have pure ingredients with no preservatives. Check out her product line. I LOVE her skin care products and double LOVE the Lemon Lime Deodorant—it is amazing. Don't leave home without it!

Once you've thrown out all the icky stuff, look for products that are less harmful. Check for green products on Amazon, Whole Foods, and Thrive Market or look up DIY solutions on Google.

If you do all of the above, you'll be clean as a whistle—figuratively and literally. And you'll feel and look better.

Welcome to CLEAN living! The foundation for a healthy lifestyle.