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.

The Prisoner of Carrot Castle Book App

Help your kids discover the fun of eating vegetables with the help of a whimsical interactive story (over 40,000 downloaded).

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?”

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Please Don't Keep Us in the DARK

Despite the fact that nine out of 10 Americans support mandatory GMO labeling, the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed H.R. 1599, otherwise known as the Deny Americans the Right to Know – or DARK Act.

The actual name of the bill is more nefarious IMHO: the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015.


Can someone tell me how labeling is "Safe and Accurate" when GMO ingredients in our food are not permitted to be labeled? And any group (Hello Non-GMO Project) labelling foods found to be free of GMO ingredients is not allowed? Poof!

I was steamed about the bill passing! Earlier in that day I made a special trip to let my Congressman's representative in the field know I was dead set against it. It was a matter of freedom, health and State's Rights. When I saw it had passed and my congressman had voted for it... Well, let's just say bought and paid for by big business.
If you think the system is rigged, you might want to check this non-partisan effort I've signed on to called MayDay.us.
Not only would the DARK Act block all states from labeling genetically engineered foods, but it would also make it much harder for the FDA to ever mandate national labeling. See what I mean! If we’re going to stop this reprehensible bill from becoming law, we need to show the Senate and President Obama how serious we are about GMO labeling.

If you want to see how things are shaping up in your state to require GMO's be labeled, check this link. *

Please take a minute to sign the petition now and help get to 500,000 signatures against the DARK Act – before it’s too late.

Want to test your knowledge about GMO foods? *

* Links are a year or two old, but still reflect what is happening with GMO's and the effort to label them.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wisdom Wednesday

Raw organic nuts make for an ideal snack given their healthy fat, vitamin, antioxidant, and fiber content. If you’ve avoided them out of concern for your weight, you may want to reconsider. A growing number of studies refute the myth that nuts might cause weight gain. In fact, the opposite is true, as research shows weight loss is one of the health benefits of regular nut consumption.

My DIY trail mix includes raw pecans, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. I eat a lot of it and never gain weight. I also eat plenty of pistachios. So get some nuts in your belly. They're yummy and you'll feel good.

Monday, August 17, 2015

FREE Cancer Guide

I’d like to introduce you to a good friend of mine, Marcus Freudenmann. You may have heard of him or his work, but if not I’ll briefly fill you in.

Marcus began his journey back in 2000 when his best friend was killed by the side effects of chemo. He was overcome with frustration about the lack of clear guidance if one decides NOT to have chemo. He promised himself that he would change that. In fact he promised to change the way cancer was treated in this world.

After several years of traveling around the world, from Asia to Europe, Mexico, USA and Canada, to gather information from the best practitioners on the planet, he put together the movie: CANCER is curable NOW, wrote a book: Healing Cancer with Common Sense, and consolidated all of his knowledge and experience into the TRULY HEAL academy where he educates health coaches and practitioners from all around the world in the most comprehensive cancer protocol ever created.

After laying the foundation with the TRULY HEAL academy for health professionals, he has now put together a massive amount of information and condensed it into the

"FREE CANCER GUIDE for patients and caregivers."

In this FREE CANCER GUIDE Marcus teaches you a very comprehensive self awareness protocol divided into 4 sections:

• SPIRITUAL: Your purpose and your motivation to live.
• MENTAL: Your mental and emotional state and how you handle life.
• VITAL: Your bad habits and daily lifestyle choices.
• PHYSICAL: Your physical health and whether you have infections, inflammation, toxicity, deficiencies, dental problems, gut related problems or hormone imbalances.

By following this guide, you will learn the means and the methods necessary to treat and prevent cancer and many other chronic degenerative diseases.

I suggest you click here and see what Marcus has created for you. I am certain you’ll be as thrilled as I am at what he has to share.


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Why Zero Calorie Drinks Are a Hidden Danger

Whether you drink sugary soft drinks or those touting no-sugar/zero calories, you get the same result. Weight gain. Contrary to popular belief, studies have found that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (aka NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful) can—

  • Stimulate your appetite
  • Increase carbohydrate cravings
  • Trigger fat storage
  • Cause weight gain 
Remind me again—why you use artificial sweeteners?

In one recent study, saccharin and aspartame were found to cause greater weight gain than sugar.

If that doesn't make you pause and rethink drinking artificially sweetened soft drinks, what about the reported side effects? Huh?

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the green light for aspartame to be added to carbonated beverages and extended approval to all foods in 1996. They consider the artificial sweetener safe for human consumption. However, on the FDA's own site, 75 percent of the overall complaints reported are adverse reactions to aspartame, which include—

  • Migraines/headaches
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Heart palpitations
  • Numerous neurological symptoms (e.g., dizziness, blurry vision, memory loss, etc)
Are you a regular consumer of artificial sweeteners and experiencing any of these symptoms?

There are plenty of questions about the safety of artificial sweeteners. No need to belabor the danger. You can learn more from this article and video (Sweet Misery). The article also describes a process you can follow to determine if you are having reactions to artificial sweeteners.

Information is power.

As you know I recommend you avoid ALL artificial ingredients if you are trying to achieve and maintain optimal wellness. Anything artificial is a potential toxin to the body. Just don't do it.

If you were/are a consumer of artificial sweeteners, do you relate to the any of the symptoms listed here?


Friday, August 7, 2015

Mexican Salad with Coriander & Macadamias

A dear friend made this salad for dinner during a stay with them in Costa Mesa, California recently. This was one of three raw salads that was our dinner. Yum! This girl leapt for joy! We planned on hiking the beach from Corona del Mar to Crystal Cove at low tide in the morning.

We traversed rocky terrain, scaled big rocks and even crawled through a hole in one spot to continue forward on our trek. Had we embarked any later, the rising tide would forbid our passage.

Absent any other people, we enjoyed our shore stroll until the last rock scramble brought us to a wide, flat beach where other explorers romped in the bright sun. We reached Crystal Cove just in time to get on the lengthy wait list for lunch at the popular Beachcomber Cafe.

I ordered the delicious Ahi Tuna Salad: sesame crusted Ahi, mixed greens, avocado, mango and radish with passion fruit vinaigrette.

Mexican Salad with Coriander & Macadamias

yield 2-4 servings

category Salad
cuisine Vegan

1 fresh corn on the cob
1 C cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 C diced red bell pepper
1 avocado, diced
1 Tbsp finely chopped red onion
1/2 C roughly chopped macadamia nuts
Large handful of fresh coriander (cilantro), roughly chopped
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Juice of half a lime
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/8 habanero chili, deseeded and finely chopped
Pinch of sea salt

1. Shuck and clean the corn then slice off kernals and add to large bowl. Add tomatoes, peppers, avocado, onion, nuts and coriander. Mix ingredients.
2. Whisk together olive oil. lime juice, garlic, chili and salt in a small bowl.
3. Drizzle oil mixture onto salad. Toss and serve.

We love exploring new places. When was the last time you went somewhere new? Did you find a great restaurant to top-off your day?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Look What I Discovered on My Way to the Juice Bar

I'm all about healthy foods that are closest to the real thing. That is, fresh from farm to fork with little stops in between. But now and then we need a little help from our friends who are dedicated to creating foods that contain healthy ingredients, nothing artificial, no or little sugar and are minimally processed.

The other day I stopped by our local Nugget Market for a fresh juice and passed a very animated, energetic and inviting food vendor. "Start your day with love," said Maddy holding up a sample cup filled with strawberry-colored O's. I whooshed by to order my juice, but returned to chat while sipping my yummy nectar of vegetables (kale and spinach) with grapefruit, lemon and apple.

"They're made with beans—navy beans, lentils and garbanzo beans." Now that's a wallop of good stuff that will stick to your bones. Maddy went over the ingredients and talked about Home Grown Foods the company behind the healthy breakfast cereal. Home Grown Foods' mission statement ...
"... is to create incredibly delicious foods that are full of nutritional benefits and that are available to everyone, while educating kids, parents, and teachers on the importance of eating healthy."
That fits with my philosophy. Check out their products page—you should find something your family might like. Most of their products are gluten-free and all are certified non-GMO ingredients by the Non-GMO Project.

The only gripe I have is that some products are over 10 grams of sugar and that's too much IMHO. We've created generations that are addicted to sugar. Let's give them the flavor of real food instead.

What healthy food product do you use in a pinch that is manufactured/processed?

Friday, July 24, 2015

Grilled Vegetables & Quinoa Salad

Wonder what to do with those leftover grilled vegetables from Saturday's BBQ? Here's a great salad you can prepare with those vegetables as a main course or side dish.

Cook a large batch of quinoa for breakfast and save 2 cups (or an appropriate portion) for your salad that evening. Chop the grilled vegetables into large pieces (3/4 inch). The photo shows the grilled pieces before chopping (in case you were wondering).

Chop the kale leaves into small pieces. Here's my quick and neat technique for chopping kale:
  1. Strip the leaves from the thick stem then slice the pieces lengthwise into 1-inch strips. 
  2. Next cut the strips into shorter strips then stack them lengthwise and slice thinly across the width. You're left with 1x1/4-inch pieces to add to your dish. 
  3. Alternatively, de-stem and cut into large pieces then chiffonade the kale.

Grilled Vegetables & Quinoa Salad

from Chris Pedersen
yield 4-6 servings

category Salad
cuisine Vegan

2 C cooked quinoa
2 C grilled vegetables. coursely chopped
2 kale leaves, chopped small
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp turmeric
sea salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine quinoa, vegetables and chopped kale in a large bowl.
2. Drizzle oil and vinegar onto quinoa mixture and toss until coated.
3. Sprinkle paprika and turmeric over salad and mix.
4. season with salt and pepper and serve.

This salad is a beautiful light orange due to the inclusion of healthy, cancer-fighting turmeric—A super food. Discover 600 reasons tumeric may be the world's most important herb.

Tip: Use any leftover salad for breakfast. Add a small amount of coconut oil to a sauce pan over medium heat. Add salad to pan. Clear the center of the pan and add organic egg(s). Turn egg(s), turn off the heat and let sit for a few minutes before serving. Yum!

Bonus: Two breakfasts and a salad recipe. Wow! Lucky you!

Besides this post, have you experienced a bonus of some sort lately?

Friday, July 17, 2015

Attitude: Vacation Revisited

Probably the most enjoyed vacation we've taken lately was back in 2011 when we toured the Southwest National Parks and surrounding sights with friends. I thought you might like to revisit the trip or perhaps you're seeing the post for the first time. You may discover some places you'd like to visit with your family. Come on... let's go!
Photo by Mike Eisenhard

Places To Go ~ Things We Saw
Starting with Zion National Park in Southwest Utah, the neat and upscale town of Springdale invites travelers to the entrance of this majestic, wow-factor, geologic wonder—my favorite park on the trip. A convenient shuttle runs through town and delivers you to the park entrance and visitor center. Boarding a double shuttle, we could disembark at any stop in the park.

Our first morning, we chose to hike the Watchman Trail. We made our way up a short canyon passing colorful displays of wildflowers to an overlook with a panoramic view of the valley below and the Watchman Peak standing at Zion's entrance.
Photo by Mike Eisenhard
From Zion, we drove to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. We took a walk out to Bright Angel Point, the Southern-most point of the Kaibab Plateau, a short walk from the lodge. As soon as I came along side the railing with a 3,000+ drop, my legs went wobbly, I started sweating, my gut began to churn and I could not look out at the expansive scene. Yes, I have a fear of heights.
Fear of heights did not keep me from hiking down the Kaibab Trail into the canyon one morning. Unfortunately, we hiked behind the morning mule train to the Supai Tunnel.
Yes... we skirted a river of mule pee. Sheesh... what a ghastly, strong smell. My husband remarked that it smelled like strong cat pee, except cats pee ounces and mules pee gallons. Of course, there was also the mounds of poop to avoid.
The views were all worth the bother of a bit of animal excrement.
Next stop, Antelope Canyon adjacent to Lake Powell in north Arizona in the Navajo Nation. This was my "had to see before I die" (aka Bucket List item) spot. It's the most photographed location in the Southwest. Can you see why?
This amazing slot canyon was discovered in the 70's by a Navajo girl tending her sheep. At many points in the canyon we had to walk toe-to-heel and maneuver our bodies to fit through.
Photo by Mike Eisenhard
It's the weirdest experience. The Navajo guide led us to a crack in the earth and started walking into it until he disappeared.
Photo by Mike Eisenhard
We encountered a series of metal stairs that led us deeper into the canyon. More stairs exist along the tour, some no wider than the width of my foot.
We visited Bryce Canyon National Park next. Unlike Zion, Bryce is not really a canyon, but rather a bowl containing eroded sandstone formations of reddish to white color.
Also, unlike Zion, the road through the park is outside the geologic area of interest. Park roads provide access to viewing spots where you can see the bowl or amphitheater of formations.
Sego Lily at Kodachrome Basin
We also visited Kodachrome Basin State Park, a short drive down the most scenic highway in the US—Highway 12. We drove as far as Boulder on Hwy 12 and discovered Hell's Backbone Grill. Boulder, population 180, is said to be one of the most remote towns in the US, so finding this gem in the middle of nowhere was kismet. They prepared a dish just for me to accommodate my diet. Check out the cookbook the proprietor/chefs authored, which highlights their creations.
"Kitchen" in our cabin at North Rim Grand Canyon
Food On The Trip
Speaking of my diet, we planned carefully for this trip to ensure I would have food to eat. We bought a Koolatron 26-quart electric cooler complete with plug for the car and added a 110AC adapter for power in the hotel/cabin. The cooler is very quiet and very effective. I packed a container with a pre-made veggie salad (it lasts three days). I brought beans and feta cheese to make my daily lunch salad—yum. Added the whole veggies stored in green bags (see Keep Your Vegetables and Fruit Fresher Longer) to the cooler and away we went.

I cut more veggies when needed and expected to add some from locations on the road (a risky assumption). Turns out the veggies lasted the whole trip. Used the last carrot on the last night during the return trip home.

We brought Trader Joe's Organic Instant Oatmeal for breakfast and added a handful of the organic/raw trail mix I made for the trip. Also brought along our Proctor Silex water boiler (it's awesome), coffee press and Mighty Leaf loose tea that Bob used to make green tea every morning.

Friends on the trip with us marveled at how self-contained we were.

We had healthy food options everywhere except at Bryce. In that location the Syrett family "own" the area outside the entrance to Bryce Canyon. It consists of lodging, campgrounds, services, one restaurant with huge buffet (gag me!) and one fast-food place. Everything is institutionalized. Order a pancake and you got butter and syrup in little sealed containers. They had almost nothing for me to eat, but I got by with a potato, carrot, zucchini, onion and sun-dried tomato stir fry they prepared for me. It was tasty, but overcooked for my liking. I also took my chances with a veggie burger they had. I used a piece of whole grain bread that we bought in Bishop at Schat's Bakkery to replace the white bun it came on.
We enjoyed every minute of the trip. Colorful wildflowers gracing the landscape, singing birds, rich colors of rock rising to the heavens and breathtaking scenery stretching to the horizon.

With my great power and outstretched arm I made the earth and its people and the 
animals that are on it, and I give it to anyone I please. ~Jeremiah 27:5

It's really hard to come back. I especially enjoyed being unplugged. For a serious recharge, I recommend a clean break from the noise of email, phone, blogs, twitter, etc. It feels great!

When was the last time you unplugged? And for how long did you unplug? Scroll down and leave a comment below.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wisdom Wednesday

I have not used my microwave since changing my diet to hold off the growth of cancer—an unfortunate condition I inherited from my parents. In the process of heating, Microwave ovens destroy nutrients. That means I would not get the nourishment my body needs. I eat lots of raw food (no cooking), but when I cook, I use a toaster oven to cook or reheat food. I also use the stovetop.

Really it takes little extra time to heat conventionally (oven or cooktop) than use a microwave, which destroys far more nutrients and may cause other harm.

Why toaster oven instead of the big oven? The toaster oven holds a quart-size dish, which is large enough for 4-6 servings. Why heat up the big oven which takes more time than the energy-efficient toaster oven.

What are your thoughts on microwave ovens and toaster ovens?