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?”

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Wisdom Wednesday

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

Fact:
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.

Friday, January 12, 2018

My Take on Meal Delivery Services

It is my experience that you come to a point in your life when cooking and all that goes with it (coming up with a recipe, making a list, shopping, measuring, chopping, cooking and then plating your creation) is a burden. A necessary burden none the less. We need to eat. And since I'm all about eating healthy, I eat to live.

Entrepreneur chefs to the rescue. You might see a commercial for Hello Fresh or Blue Apron while watching your favorite tv show. There are lots of services to choose from today in the meal delivery services arena. And they are constantly changing aspects of their business to attract you to their service.
If eating healthy is a priority for you, why not try a Meal Delivery Service?
I was first motivated to try a service early last summer when I noticed a colorful box for Sun Basket on a neighbor's porch. I checked them out online and found they used organic and sustainable produce—a must for me and it should be for you. I decided to give it a try. At the time they only had a vegetarian option in addition to Lean & Clean, Paleo and more. Sun Basket now offers a vegan meal choice and a pescatarian meal choice.

Since I eat organic eggs, the vegetarian option kinda worked until I found I was throwing away too much cheese or yogurt. Not all recipes had dairy, but overall I also found some of the meals not very flavorful.

After reading a comparison of other meal delivery services, I discovered Green Chef. 100% organic with a vegan meal choice. I signed up for Green Chef and so far I like the recipes. The portions are large enough that we always have left-overs and the meals are a bit easier to put together than my experience with Sun Basket.

Sun Basket packages their recipe ingredients in paper bags that make it convenient to stash in the refrigerator, however you can't see the ingredients inside without opening the bags. Whereas Green Chef has color-coded labels on each menu ingredient. I spend a few minutes gathering the three menu ingredients together—separating the refrigerated ingredients from pantry ingredients (e.g., spices, cans, potatoes, etc). I purchased some containers at the Dollar Store and put each menu's ingredients in a container and store it in the refrigerator or pantry.
The menu cards that come with the services are all very pretty with step by step instructions and pictures to make the cooking go smoothly. Sun Basket includes a cook book each week of all their recipes because they offer the flexibility of ordering a meal (out of your 3 meals/week option) from any of their meal choices. For example, you can order two vegan meals and one pescatarian meal for your three meals.
So far I'm happy with Green Chef's vegan meals and their easy to follow menu cards. I've gotten so used to the process that I don't need to read the menu ahead of time. I can cook the meal and have it plated and ready to eat in the time indicated on the menu card.
Oh... the cost for those three delivered vegan meals is $81. It comes out of my grocery budget. I end up shopping less and wasting less. The beauty of the delivered meals is that the ingredients come as pre-measured spices, finished sauces, many cut-up ingredients (like julienned carrots)—only what you'll need to make the dish. No waste. Consider the service a sous chef for your meals.

I would grimace with envy when watching a recipe video. Wouldn't you love to have someone pre-measure and prepare the ingredients for a recipe you were making? Every ingredient in nice little bowls ready to be thrown into the pot. The recipe looks so easy because someone spent all that time ahead chopping and measuring everything.

Yup... Well you can have that too!

So here are my take-away points for subscribing to a Meal Delivery Service:
  1. Great way to stick to a healthy diet
  2. Reduces grocery shopping
  3. Reduces food thrown away due to spoilage
  4. No stress cooking
  5. What's for dinner is a no-brainer
  6. Save on monthly grocery budget
  7. More time in your life
  8. Flexible delivery and skipping weeks
  9. You now have your very own sous chef...
I think there's more that can be added to this list. Are their any you can think of?

If you want to give any of these two services a try, here are links to sign up:

Sun Basket *

Green Chef **
*First-time users get $40 off their first order and I get $40 credit on my meals.
**First-time users get 4 free meals. If you order another week, I get $25 credit on my meals.
If you like any of these services, you can refer your friends for bonus credit too. Think of it as Yelp with a $$ bonus.

I am currently using both Sun Basket and Green Chef services. I skip one service while I get meals from the other. I usually do it for several weeks at a time so I can stay on top of it. I also skip meal delivery all together on some weeks if I'm going away or I just want a break from delivery. You can make it fit your style.

If you have any questions, leave a comment below.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Cancer Action Plan

If you have cancer, remember this no matter what you decide to do:
Your immune system is designed to make you well, but it requires work on your part. 
You will NOT do well if you expect to get better by following a treatment plan that is done to you without taking care of your body first. In other words, it's important to make the lifestyle changes needed to support a healthy body.

Here is an action plan to get you healthy and give your body what it needs, as well as remove from your environment those things that will hinder your health.

Clean House
Go through your house and get rid of products that are full of chemicals and likely causing major havoc to your health. For example, the laundry detergent that is mostly filler and chemical perfumes. There are many healthy alternatives you can use to replace them—brands such as Planet and Seventh Generation.

If you have a pest service, stop it! You don't need that stuff lingering around harming you while you think it takes care of pests. If your pest service tells you they use healthy, non-toxic materials, make them show you the proof. Plus check with BeyondPesticides.org to see if the company is listed.

Don't use candles whether scented or not. They are making the air in your home toxic.

These are just a few items to clean up your home. More on that in a future post.

Fuel the Body
First, get rid of non-food items—food with artificial ingredients, preservatives, chemicals, trans fats, etc. It's not really food. No sodas, especially DIET—"die" with a "t." Get the picture!

Start juicing for intense, concentrated nutrition. Juice a large cutting board full of cut-up veggies (see photo) with 1 apple (or other fruit for sweetening). This is not an exhaustive list, but here are ingredients you should put in your juicer and drink every day:
Carrots (including tops), celery, cucumber, red beets (including the green/red tops), red lettuce*, cabbage, ginger, dandelion leaves, collard greens, parsley, spinach, etc. 
*I like to buy a big box of mixed baby greens that I add to the juicer. Some high-speed juicers (such as the Breville) may spit the lighter lettuces right through without extracting much. In that case, best to add the light greens (such as herbs and lettuces) to the juice and blend with a VitaMix or blender.
No matter what you juice, use lots of greens. Add fruit for sweetening. Apples are good sweeteners for your juice. I recently started adding the juiced veggies to my VitaMix then add the fruit. Blending the fruit instead of juicing retains the fiber, which mitigates the effect of the fruit sugar.

Always use organic vegges and fruit for juicing. Otherwise you are concentrating the poisons applied when the produce is grown.

Try to have at least two big glasses of fresh juice each day while you are boosting your immune system to shrink tumors and attack cancer cells.

Attack the Cancer Cells
Targeted supplements are helpful to add to your healing protocol. The following are recommended, but again not an exhaustive list:
  • CoQ10 or the reduced form ubiquinol
  • L-Carnitine—shuttles fatty acids to the mitochondria where the cancer fight is taking place
  • D-Ribose—raw material for ATP molecule
  • Magnesium
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • B-Complex, including riboflavin thiamine and B6
  • B17—aka Laetrile or Amygdalin
  • Alpha-Lipoic acid (ALA)
  • Vitamin D3 with K2—at least 1000 IU D3(I take 10,000 IU daily)
  • Turmeric—aka Curcumin
  • Frankincense—aka Boswellia
  • Beta-1,3D Glucan from Better Way Health.
  • Vitae Elixxir
Vitae Elixxir, with the powerful herb Blood Root, is an effective mixture for disease particularly cancer. I have been taking it for 8 years. I take it internally and my husband and I have used it to treat issues on our skin that resisted doctor's treatments. I treated our chocolate lab for a nasty cancer on her neck.

Read the story about our dog: http://www.healthyjourneycafe.com/2013/08/my-dog-had-skin-cancer.html

Read details on Vitae Elixxir and where to order: http://www.healthyjourneycafe.com/p/vitae-elixxir-herbal-extract.html 

This Cancer Action Plan can be done to complement standard cancer treatment (chemo and radiation)  if you have chosen that route. There are no adverse effects and it helps minimize side effects. I would also recommend you use the Vitae Elixxir foot soak, which delivers the herbs quickly into the blood stream where it can be most effective.

Recently I talked with a person from Tennessee whose husband had multiple myeloma (bone marrow cancer) and was told he would die soon. His kidneys were in failure—it was dire. He did the foot soak and took the herbs orally. He is now cancer free. His doctor is shocked. First-hand story coming.

Detox is also critical to healing cancer. Coming soon: my long-awaited post on (yes, I'm going to say it) coffee enemas.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Cauliflower & Tomato Quiche Recipe

I served this dish to my brother and sister-in-law who had just moved into the same new-home community we did a few weeks earlier. Moving is no fun and having a good home-cooked meal can make all the difference in getting back into the move with renewed energy. Running out for a quick meal you may regret eating or trying your luck by buying a quesadilla or pulled pork sandwich from the food truck that shows up each day at 11:30 could halt your progress.

I thought this recipe I found in the Costco Connection magazine would be a hearty meal. Trying new recipes on dinner guests is a gamble, but I was game to try it.

It did not disappoint. Try it out and see what you think.

Cauliflower & Tomato Quiche Recipe

from Costco Connection Magazine
yield 8 servings

category Main Dish
cuisine Vegetarian

ingredients
1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
4 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
8 organic eggs
1/2 C fresh chopped basil
1 C flour or gluten-free alternative 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Pinch chili flakes
1 1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
Ground pepper to taste
5 oz of Parmesan cheese*, grated
1 1/2 C grape tomatoes, sliced

directions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees..
2. Steam or roast cauliflower until tender, about 12 minutes. Set aside.
3. In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and sauce until fragrant. Scrape garlic into a large bowl.
4. Add eggs and basil to bowl and whisk ingredients. Add dry ingredients, seasonings and Parmesan. Whisk until smooth.
5. Gently stir in cauliflower and tomatoes.
6. Grease 9 1/2" spring form pan with coconut oil. Pour mixture into pan, spreading evenly.
7. Place on middle rack and bake for 40-45 minutes, until golden brown and set. a knife inserted into the center should come out clean. Remove from oven and let rest for 15-20 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve.

*Since I don't eat cheese made from cow diary, I used a sheep's cheese parmesan

Now I have another great recipe for that overlooked and under appreciated vegetable cauliflower. Here are a few more delicious cauliflower recipes:

Curry Roasted Cauliflower
Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts & Red Beans
Potato-Less Potato Salad
Indian Dal
Red  Potato, Green Beans & Cauliflower Salad

Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Cancer Alternatives Medicine Conference, March 2-4, 2017

When I first got my cancer diagnosis in 2008, I spent a lot of time researching and learning about my condition, the prognosis and cancer alternatives treatments. I discovered the Annie Appleseed Project, a non-profit organization that brings awareness to complementary and alternative treatments for cancer. Founder Ann Fonfa started the website as a resource for her own cancer treatment some 24 years ago since she found there was little information on the Internet about alternative and complementary treatments.
Annie Appleseed Project Mission Statement
The Annie Appleseed Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, provides information, education, advocacy, and awareness for people with cancer and their family and friends who are interested in complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) and natural therapies from a patient’s perspective.
The Annie Apple Seed project has grown to include an annual conference, now in its 11th year. Called the Complementary and Alternatives Medicine (CAM) Conference in West Palm Beach Florida, alternative cancer practitioners, patients, advocates and family can come to learn about new therapies and meet like-minded people. I always wanted to attend the conference and this past fall, Ann contacted me and asked if I would like to be on the Patient Panel on Saturday of the three-day conference. The CAM Conference begins Thursday, March 2 and runs through Saturday, March 4, 2016.

With a list of speakers addressing various natural cancer treatments, two of note are keynote speakers Linda Isaacs, MD and Michael Schachter, MD. Dr. Isaacs worked with Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez for 24 years and will discuss the protocols that she and Dr. Gonzalez worked on. Dr. Schachter will address the metabolic nature of cancer and what that means for treatment.

I'm most excited about meeting new friends on the journey and perhaps being a help for some who feel hopeless when their cancer is due to genetics. I am a great example that making healthy lifestyle changes can alter one's genetic disposition.

When I started my own journey, I made dramatic changes to my diet, and added several key supplements to my cancer fighting protocol. I did not know if what I was doing would have any affect toward stopping my body from producing cancerous polyps in my colon, but I knew I had to try. Today I know that what I do works and comes under what science calls epigenetics (genetics affected by your environment).

This is the message I want to bring to the Patient Panel at the conference. You are not a victim of your genetics. Taking action will save your life.
One of the coolest features of this conference, unlike any other that I know of, is the food. Organic, locally grown food will be served for a dinner gala on Thursday, lunch Friday and Saturday, and fresh juices and food in the morning and throughout the day. I am really looking forward to this conference.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Invasion of the Fruit Flies

Ewww! Right? There seems to be an invasion of fruit flies in the Northern California region. Do you have a problem where you live?

We recently moved into our new home and found fruit flies constantly plaguing us. You can never catch them. They're so wispy and tiny. As soon as you try to swat or clap them, they seem to be jetted away by the action. Those little buggers have a short life cycle. 24-hours after eggs are laid, new flies hatch and soon begin their harassment, which lasts up to 50 days.

After noticing they were everywhere—other homeowners complained about them and you'd see them in stores and other establishments over a wide geographic area—I realized it was time to get serious about getting them out of our house.

A simple trap is all you need to entice the little bug-eyes to their last drink. You'll be amazed at how many you catch. And you thought there were only a few in your home. Ha! They were about to take over!

Throw out any overripe fruit which become breeding fields for the flies. Also, take care when you shop. If you see fruit flies around the produce, you can be sure you are bringing more home if you buy any fruit there.
Get a large mason jar and fill it with about a half a cup of apple cider vinegar. Add a drop or two of dish soap to break the surface tension of the cider so the pests fall into the liquid and expire. Using a sheet of paper, create a funnel with a half-inch opening, then drop it into the mason jar and make sure there are no cracks where a fly can escape. They will be attracted to the vinegar, fly into the jar and be unable to get out. They can't do a helicopter maneuver—thankfully.
Leave the trap out until you complete a full life cycle for the pesky flies and then some. You don't need to change the vinegar, but it gets so full of flies. Yuck! I throw it out and start with fresh about every 4 days. You should wait until the trap is clear of flies before you consider your home free from them.

Can't wait for the next plague of pests. Hope it's not voles. Those vermin infested the foothills in huge numbers in 2001. Whole landscapes were destroyed. I guess a few fruit flies aren't that bad.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wisdom Wednesday

I recently watched the Essential Oils Revolution Online Event. Wow! Lots to learn. I hope you all took advantage of this awesome educational forum on essential oils. I'm certainly behind on understanding what, when and how to use essential oils myself.

Here is a gem from the summit—A liver cleanse formula to rub on your skin over the liver.  The application location is below the right breast at the lower right rib cage. The caster oil is a carrier oil used to deliver the oils to the area. You can also use coconut oil or vegetable glycerin as a replacement for the caster oil (which is sticky and can stain clothing).

Use 1 teaspoon of carrier oil for the total 20 drops in this formula. That is a 20% dilution allowing the oils to be massaged into a larger area and absorb slowly. The dilution does not reduce the effectiveness of the oils—they simply enhance the oils and soften any reaction that a straight oil may have on the body.

This formula is great for cancer conquerers, whether you are doing conventional or alternative treatments. The liver needs to release toxins in order to heal.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Look for the Butterfly ~ Non-GMO Verified

Last month President Obama signed weak and flawed legislation into federal law that addresses GMOs in foods. It is called the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) act by those of us who believe we have the right to know what's in our food. It is a win for big chemical and biotech corporations, but a blow to the American family and the hope for a food supply that is healthy and transparent.

It is also a stain on our republic as it erases any laws that states enacted (like Vermont) that require food labels to identify GMO ingredients. Plus it seems to be a clear violation of the 14th Amendment, as it would allow corporations to use QR codes instead of clear packaging on labels.

Basics of the GMO Labeling Bill (aka DARK Act)
Let's break it down:
  • The words "GMO" or "genetic engineering" will NOT be required to be anywhere on the package.
  • 95% of the ingredients that are GMO will NOT be included in the "labeling."
  • The "labeling" that will be "required" is an option of a QR code, a telephone number, website or symbol. 
  • There will be no fines for not complying, so claims that this law is "mandatory" are simply false.
  • Vermont's state law (which which would have gone into effect his year) to label GMOs is pre-empted.
  • CT, ME and VA that have pending GMO labeling laws have also been pre-empted.
The law is highly discriminatory as well. Many senior citizens, minorities, low income and rural residents do not have access to wi-fi, Smart phones or cell reception. Thus it appears to be a violation of the 14th Amendment.

So you see just how bad and empty this law is? Pathetic comes to mind.

Did someone say, "The system is rigged"?

So much for the rights of the American citizenry vs Big Business. It is very sad indeed.

Read a more thorough analysis by the Cornucopia Institute and how the Organic Trade Association (OTA) betrayed consumers, organic farmers and the many organic-related industry associations, plus what might happen going forward.

Meanwhile, the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit organization, created with the cooperation of food manufactures wanting to demonstrate that their foods do not contain GMO ingredients has been growing its list of Verified products.

What to Look For To Protect Your Family
Even though the battle to clearly label is lost, there is plenty to be thankful for. The process of putting forth federal and state legislation has brought widespread public awareness of GMO foods and what it is.

So what do you do now?
  1. Look for the Non GMO Project Butterfly on foods you choose.
  2. Buy foods labeled Organic which must be free of GMO ingredients.
  3. Eat a clean diet (food that contains NO artificial ingredients—chemicals, preservatives, additives, colors and GMOs)
  4. Buy produce from the Organic section.
  5. Buy from local farmers, but ask them about their farming practices (what do they put on the crops and when) 
This business of food is big in our world today. With cancer and other disease on the rise and so much in our environment we cannot control, we must be vigilant to put the purest and best into our bodies—It's the fuel (mostly plant-based) that makes our bodies healthy and able to heal from disease.