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?”

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.

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.