Archive for October, 2009

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Trick or Healthy-Halloween-Chocolate Treat!

October 29, 2009
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Photo courtesy of photobucket.com

Hey Guys!! Hope you are having a great week. 🙂

Halloween is right around the corner, and chocolate is in the air!! And probably all around your office, your kids’ schools, and maybe at home right now! As you might be able to tell from some of my recipes, I am definitely a chocolate lover. Make that a cacao lover- the original bean from which chocolate is derived from. Commercial chocolate creeps me out. What’s in THAT can be a real Halloween scare!!!

So if you’re going to Halloween parties, office parties, shopping for treats at your house for trick-or-treaters, or buying for your kids, here are some tips to have the healthiest chocolate possible. I know we don’t have all time to make raw 300 cacao truffles! (Though I will mention that I have done that before for some events 🙂 ), so when we buy we can just make the best choices we can. Eating chocolate does NOT have to mean it is automatically makes us fat, bloated, and zit-faced. 🙂

Hmm yum! Dark chocolate is packed with flavonoids, magnesium, iron and polyphenols. Photo courtesy of healthcare4me.net

– Choose organic chocolate, which has more of the healthy nutrients and flavonoids, and less chemical and pesticide contamination. A Fair Trade certification means that it was made according to the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility. We should choose the organic/Fair Trade combo wherever possible!!

– Choose dark, organic chocolate that is at least 72% cacao. Trader Joe’s, which many of us have access to, has some great organic, dark chocolate choices.

–  Avoid chocolate made from milk or milk byproducts of any kind!!! Pasteurized milk in chocolate zaps the goodness of the chocolate. Fzzzzzzzzzz………… 🙂 Besides its mucus-forming (read: toxin-inducing!) and energy-eating qualities, milk in chocolate can diminish the potent antioxidant benefits.

–    Avoid chocolate products containing any high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) – which leeches B vitamins and other nutrients in our bodies, and raises blood sugar levels…leading to insulin resistance and weight gain.

– Avoid anything with artificial sweeteners. Chemical poison!! All that “sugar free” stuff made with anything artificial is pure crap, and will take our beauty down.

– Avoid chocolate made with soy proteins or soy protein isolates. Check the label! They could be lurking in there. These are highly processed ingredients that could block our bodies’ absorption of protein and depress thyroid function.

Okay sorry about all the “avoids”, but we are still left with plenty of choices if we nose around for the dark, dairy-free varieties. Remember not to overdo any kind of chocolate though, because it still contains caffeine. Halloween can not only be chocolatey-fun, but healthy chocolatey-fun!

I’m headed to Cali so I’ll write from there. Lots of love, Kimberly 🙂

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Boo! Happy Halloween loves. I'm afraid I won't be dressing up this year. I'm actually sort of glad I won't be in NY this year for it. Not to sound like Grandma- but it gets a bit crazy for me. 🙂

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A Potent Cleanser to be Used Correctly: Garlic

October 27, 2009

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Hi my loves! In lieu of many of us being concerned with immunity and keeping ourselves healthy right now, I thought I would talk about an old, common kitchen friend: Garlic. Well maybe not so much of a friend to some of us! Many of us have strong reactions to garlic. It notoriously may cause some stinky breath, which doesn’t seem to go away for a while…. But this can be offset with some strategically placed parsley. 🙂 I actually love the lingering smell of garlic on my fingers hours after I chop some up for a recipe. (Is that weird???!?)

Garlic can be extremely helpful in cleaning out our bodily houses. Garlic is rich in mustard oils and in conjunction with the cleansing elements that make it up, is beneficial for our whole system. Garlic promotes peristalsis and diuretic action- both of which are important flushing mechanisms to support our ongoing cleansing efforts, as well as boost our immunity. 

Its potency is also an important ingredient to eliminate intestinal parasites. We don’t want parasites and unfriendly bacteria to build up and unbalance our bodies, which can be a contributing cause to not so great skin. So some garlic can really help keep that in check!

Garlic is so potent that is can dissolve mucus in the sinus cavities, flushing this waste out of our systems for good. This is extremely important for my friends that are still transitioning away from dairy! And have you ever felt when you had a bunch of garlic that is was just pouring out of your skin?? Well it probably was to an extent, as garlic can help poisons exit the body through the pores of the skin itself. A little smell might be worth it for some cleansing/purging action!!

Photo courtesy or wikimedia.org

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.org.

Now that being said, garlic has to be respected and utilized properly in our diet. Garlic’s medicinal and cleansing properties are strongest when it is raw and crushed or very finely chopped. Therefore, it is best used in nut pates and blended into salad dressings. When garlic is cooked- as it often is to start sautéing vegetables or roasted and added to certain dishes- it retains very little (if any) of these amazing cleansing properties. 

We also don’t want to overdo garlic- especially if we have a very high vibration diet (mostly raw food), and we don’t have much mucus in our body. In these cases it can overly irritate the digestive tract and the lining of our mucus membranes. So use moderation and intuition to assess how much you personally need. It can and should be eaten with plenty of greens. Again, defer to the salad! 

 Have a great day and see you soon!! 

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Warning: Do not try this at home! Having huge quantities of garlic has been known to cause bad breath and an upset stomach. 🙂 Use garlic in moderation. Everyone's system is different, so we have to individualize our own diets. I personally consume garlic only a few times a month at most, but I used to have it a lot more.

Love!

Kimberly

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Raw Food and the Mind, Part 2

October 25, 2009
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There is Coki on the rock, with his huge, partially webbed feet. Aren't they amazing looking?! And there's Mottsy hanging out in the water below.

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You can see Coki and Mottsy's tank behind me. Ha! They know by now that they are going to eat whatever we eat. So today it is going to be curly kale!

Hey Guys,

So several months ago I introduced you to my 2 turtles, Coki and Mottsy. Coki, the huge monster one, was the one who used to be a crazy nut for turtle pellets. For the first year that I had him, it truly seemed that his only mission in life was to eat as much as possible. Each and every time I would walk by his tank he would go nuts begging me for more food, scrambling at the glass side of his tank, frantically swimming back and forth! Mottsy, the little one, mostly stuck to eating the raw greens I also fed them. He was always more of a docile turtle, looking up at me with big eyes when I came near, then go back to chewing his lettuce, totally unconcerned. 🙂

P1011303 It has been only about 4 months since Coki has been eating a 100% raw diet and I stopped feeding him turtle pellets. There have been some astounding changes! Sure, he didn’t go raw by choice! 🙂  But like any mom, I was doing it for his own good. It was a hard transition for the little guy I’d say, and I did have to give some hard love and turn a blind eye to his begging for many moons. But now finally he has stopped with the antics and drama.

P1011304It was obvious before that he was thinking about food all of his waking hours, and he would motor over Mottsy with his huge feet to snap up every pellet that came into the tank, and eat it whole. What a piggy turtle! He was also jerky and overly sensitive, and dive off his rock into the pool at any sort of loud noise in the apartment, and swim-no flouder!- like a banchi in the water.

Now he stays on his rock for most of the day, keeping me company when I am working at home. He enjoys fully relaxing while sticking his huge feet straight out. He doesn’t even flinch when I put my hand in his tank to pet him or drop some raw greens in, which is all that he eats now. His growth has slowed down, while Mottsy, always the raw foodist, has caught up to be about ½ his size how- whereas before he was about 1/5 his size!

Even though Coki is “only” a turtle, it is fascinating for me to observe that keeping him in the same tank and in the same environment, by only changing his diet, his entire attitude about life and energy have completely changed. He is now calm, peaceful, not obsessed with food, and content to swim in a relaxed manner in his water or be on his rock. He is not crazed by the sensory pleasures of waiting for and pouncing on his next food treat. Food is no longer running his life!

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And so it is with us- food definitely has an effect on our mind, and it is undeniable that the body and the mind are connected. The food we eat isn’t just a compilation of calories and various nutrients (or toxins!) that build up our body. It is also matter and energy that can open up or clog the body- and therefore the mind. The more we eat certain foods which really stimulate us- refined sugar, artificial sugar, and artificially sweetened sodas, salty chips, meat, etc.- the more we will be driven and ruled by food.

We can change our mental outlook by our diets. Exciting! There may be a transition period when we switch over to eating more raw and unprocessed foods. But after that our minds will inevitably calm down and relax. It may get a bit harder before it gets easier, as we work to break old habits that have kept us prisoners to sensory attachment with food. After the transition though, we are free, and we will feel much more calm, relaxed and peaceful. There is a great deal of mental balance that can be promoted by eating raw, natural foods.

Be conscious of how much better your body AND your mind feel as your start to shift your diet! Hopefully you will start to see some wonderful changes all around.

Have a great Monday!

xx Love, Kimberly

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Fresh Mint Tea: Rethinking Tea

October 22, 2009
Fresh Mint! Photo courtesy of expat21.files.wordpress.com

Fresh Mint! Photo courtesy of expat21.files.wordpress.com

Hi Guys!

I’m always surprised, and slightly amused, when I make fresh mint tea at a dinner party or for friends, and they act like it is the most novel and amazing thing in the world!

It made me contemplate that there are so many things that we have accepted, just because we are used to them.  Like mint tea for instance. If you want an herbal mint tea and you go to Starbucks, you’ll pay $2.50+ for a tea bag made from tea fillers and tea dust, and hot water- which who even knows is filtered or not. Besides not getting the freshest flavor, each time we get a tea we also have to throw out a tea bag, and the individual packet that the tea bag came in.

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It doesn’t have to be that way! If we make our own tea, we can experience the freshest possible taste of that tea on earth, AND we will not be consuming excess packaging.

Something as incredibly simple as making mint tea can be a great first step to someone being more in touch with making their own food. This is especially true for some of you that write me that you really “aren’t a chef” and that you are uncomfortable making your own food. The very sourcing of the green, beautiful mint, and the ceremony of making this tea, could help connect you back to your food source. And then we can move on to making our own almond milk, raw sauerkraut, salad dressing, flax crackers, etc.- things we are always used to buying- but things we could make fresh and natural ourselves. 🙂

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1. Make sure to pick mint that is robust and a beautiful green color. You can buy mint at your local farmer’s market (highly recommended!), at Wholefoods or most grocery stores.

2. Simply pick 4-6  leaves off of the stem and place in your mug.

3. Pour hot (not boiling), filtered water on top of the leaves, and let them steep for 3 minutes or so before drinking.

4. If you like sweet mint tea, Egyptian style, stevia would be your best bet!

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Ta daaaa!!! That is it!! Try it out, and see how much more special your mint tea drinking experience becomes! Especially now that it is snuggly tea weather. 🙂 Make fresh mint tea for your friends and family, or serve after a dinner party with a  new yummy dessert to really impress everyone!

Happy tea making!

xx Kimberly

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Doctors Against Eating Animal Products

October 20, 2009

 

Moooooooooooo! Photo courtesy of pennywellfarm.co.uk

Moooooooooooo! Photo courtesy of pennywellfarm.co.uk

Hi Guys! It is interesting too see that slowly but surely, with surmounting evidence that even physicians can not deny, veganism is starting to be promoted heavily even by certain members of the medical community. Hallelujah!

 I am NOT a doctor myself. But I firmly believe that being a vegetarian is great, and to reach new levels of health and beauty, it is critical to give up dairy. For more info, check out my blog, “Calcium Myths Debunked.

HappyCow

Hello sweet cow! Photo courtesy of foodsafety.ksu.edu

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There is a non-profit organization called The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), which currently boasts a membership of about 5,000 doctors and 100,000 lay members. 

 PCRM advocates that a vegan diet will help combat many different diseases, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and can even help to prevent cancer. PCRM runs a website that collects reports of adverse health effects experienced by people on the Atkins Diet. PCRM also argues that consuming dairy products is unhealthful and advocates for improving the food served in school lunchrooms. In addition, PCRM runs The Cancer Project, a program for cancer prevention, research, and nutritional assistance to cancer patients.

It is so great to see that there are progressive doctors out there that are adopting their views on nutrition. I recently went to a health lecture out in New Jersey by a prominent cardiac surgeon and well published phD that totally changed his views on nutrition and had become a vegan. How awesome is it that after all his schooling and being so prominent in the community, this surgeon is not so arrogant to admit that what he believed in the past was wrong! At this point in his career, he puts on a lecture for the public and his patients to share with them his new beliefs that he discovered and now, after all his years of experience, wholeheartedly believes to be the truth. 

 The USDA’s four basic food groups, introduced in 1956, are so outdated. The health of our country is in a crisis mode, with obesity and disease clearly on the rise. We have to re-examine all our old habits, even ones that we have come to accept as being “the truth,” because we were just told so, which the mainstream also promoted.

A plant-based diet provides superior nutrition and will promote the highest levels of beauty and health. Plant-based foods digest cleanly, without leaving toxic, acidic residue in our bodies which over time is aging, brings down our energy, and make us sick- in various forms. In the past, erroneous information has spread, such as the belief that protein and calcium can only be obtained in adequate amounts from animal products. Now we know that to not only be false, but we now realize that getting protein and calcium in our diet from plant-based sources is much easier for our bodies to assimilate and digest with much less energy.

It’s NOT all or nothing though. Even if you don’t become a full vegetarian or vegan right away, I greatly encourage you to cut back, and eat animal flesh at most one meal a day. I tell you not because I am an animal freak- but because I love you and want you to feel and look your best! 🙂

Love, Kimberly 

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I worked all afternoon on my computer today in this cute coffee shop in the West Village. That's herbal Roobios tea I'm drinking by the way, not coffee! About half of the coffee shop's munu was vegetarian, I am happy to report. However, I know outside NYC and big cities veggie dishes may be slim pickins'- or no pickins'! 🙂 So do your best, plan ahead with your snacks and meals, and relish in making your own, life-enhancing and beautifying food!

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An Extension of Our Skin We Must Protect: Our Nails

October 18, 2009

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Hey Guys! Hope you had a nice weekend. 🙂 Friday afternoon, after a long but wonderful week, I decided to go out and buy this dark nail polish (pictured here). I painted it on, and felt instantly transformed! Isn’t it so great that us ladies can transform with something so simple as nail polish? I haven’t worn dark polish in ages- usually I trend towards red polish on my toes, and clear tones on my fingers. Why? Hmm…Well I try to keep my keep my feet looking decent because I am barefoot so much in teaching and practicing yoga. I really like classic red, or let them breathe with no polish at all (especially when I’m traveling). In warm months and when I do food demos, I like clear polish on my fingers or nothing because I like that light, clean look and  I don’t want my nails to be distracting to people or on TV.

By the way, our nails are a fantastic indicator of our overall health. Which we’ll talk about in another nail blog!

IMG00029-20091018-1832-1But what girl doesn’t like some dark polish in the cold winter months?? 🙂 Again, like I said- very transformational and very satisfying, that we can just sit in our apt. and instantly (and not permanently- so no big commitment!) change our whole look!

Well this is all safe and good fun except that I want to remind us that our nails are part of our skin. They are very porous, and can absorb chemicals and compounds right into them. That is why acrylic nail add-ons are toxic, hideous inventions that should be banned. That is also why I haven’t stepped foot in a nail salon in years. Unless it is a “green” nail salon, which I hear about sometimes,though haven’t seen one- (has anyone seen one??). I haven’t exactly been seeking them out either though. But in most nail salons, you are almost 100% guaranteed to have to choose from toxic nail polishes. Nooo thanks!!!! I guess I could bring my own polish in there and have them use that- but I don’t bother. Plus I sort of like doing it myself, while watching TV or letting them dry while reading at home. 🙂 Cozy!

Here are the 3 Big Nail Polish Toxins that we should avoid:

1. Toluene: This is a clear liquid also used paints, thinners, and inks. It makes nail polish smooth and makes it dry quicker. So beware of all those “quick dry” polishes!! Toxic to the liver and kidneys, and can cause headaches, dizziness and fatigue.

2. Formaldehyde: A carcinogenic preservative and is used in nail polish as a nail hardener and to keep it from chipping. Also toxic to the organs and can cause immune dysfunction (!).

3. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP): Also found in plastics, personal care products, paints, and pesticides. It’s used as a plasticizer that makes plastics soft and flexible. In nail polish it acts as a binder to make the nail polish last longer. Phthalates are also known carcinogens, are known to cause birth defects, and damage the reproductive organs. Particularly, it has shown to cause underdeveloped genitals in newborn boys and long-term fertility problems. It has also shown to be toxic to the liver, lungs, and kidneys. We can absorb phthalates through skin contact. Note: Many moisturizers and skin care products also contain phthalates!!!! Of course, The Solution, my moisturizer does not. Be sure yours doesn’t either!!

Ladies, this is not a time to cheap out and get crappy drugstore brands if you buy your own polish. Make sure you get polish that is of good quality. Your nails after all, are part of your skin. And if you DO go to nail salons regularly, I recommend bringing your own polish that is free of these Big 3 Toxins.

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You can still get nectarines at the Union Square Farmer's Market in NYC!

Some good non-toxic brands are Aquarella, Suncoat, and Honeybee gardens. I think they sell some of these brands at Wholefoods? If you know of more great color/quality/non-toxic brands or where they’re sold, please pass that along!

Have a beautiful day. 🙂  See you back here soon.

Lots of love,

Kimberly

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Union Square Farmer's Market this past Saturday

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Dry Winter Skin: How to keep your body and face moisturized in the cold months

October 15, 2009

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Hi Guys,

So 2 days ago that once-a-year occurrence happened, that really means the cold weather is a ‘comin: The heat turned on in my apartment. “What?! Big deal,” some of you non-New Yorkers are probably saying. But in NYC, guys, most of us have NO control over the heat in our apartments. It goes on when it goes on, and stays on at whatever temperature your landlord dictates. There are minimums it shouldn’t drop below, but I have friends in Brooklyn that would argue that that rule is not always enforced- and attest to it with the use of their multiple space heaters.

Fortunately for me, my apartment gets STEAMY HOT. I live on the ground floor, so I’m not sure if that is a factor, but my apartment gets nice and toasty, just the way I like it. 🙂 So when the heat turned on the other day when I got home from being out all day, it was sort of like walking unexpectedly into a sauna!! Cozy but also wow….hot!!!

Well, whether we control our apartment heat or not we all have to deal with one thing: dry winter skin. It is already time to start warding it off and keeping our skin healthy!

One of your best weapons to fight dry, scaley skin is the mighty coconut oil. In Sanskrit, the translation for the word for coconut tree literally means “Tree of Life.” Coconuts indeed will give us life- and beauty- in different forms.

We’ve talked a lot about young coconuts that you can crack open and eat and drink fresh (I sort of recall a rather embarrassing video that took me WAY more cracks than usual to get open! I swear!! 🙂 ). But today we’ll focus on coconut oil, which is made from the hardened white flesh. In countries like French Polynesia and the Philippines, I have seen coconut milk pressed out of the white flesh with hand-made tools from the local forest, which is always an amazing-looking process to witness.

But raw, unrefined coconut oil is made when the white flesh is shredded up, and then the oil is pressed out further to make the concentrated essence: the coconut oil. Because the pressing process doesn’t get hotter than 100 degrees Farenheit in raw coconut oil, the coconut oil can remain raw and unaltered, with its natural enzymes intact. (Around 116 degrees is generally accepted as the temperature when enzymes can start to become denatured, as well as vitamins and amino acids).

Consuming coconut oil is a great way to beautify and moisturize your skin from the inside out. It has a plumping and softening effect, which makes your skin look and feel more healthy and attractive (and so much nicer to the touch! 🙂  ).

Coconut oil is great in desserts. Check out the recipes for the cacao truffles, macaroons, and key lime pie bars that are in the Recipe section. I talk about coconut oil in the key lime pie bars dessert recipe post also. It is also great in certain smoothies- but not the Green Smoothie!! You want the greens and fruit alkalizing your system first, and not getting slowed up with any kind of fat, even this amazing one. Save it for later on in the day. Also, you can cook with it. It stays stable at higher temperatures, meaning it won’t oxidize and get rancid the way other oils become when heated, which includes even olive oil.

Coconut oil is a healthy saturated, cholesterol-free fat made of medium chain fatty acid that our bodies can break down and be emulsified easily, and without overburdening our livers, the way other fats can (like clogging animal fat- yuck. Sorry, I had to insert that!:) ). Coconut oil contains Lauric Acid, which supports the thyroid and can help increase our metabolic rate.

This is the last time I ate a truly fresh coconut- early September in Rincon, Puerto Rico!

This is the last time I ate a truly fresh coconut- early September in Rincon, Puerto Rico!

Well, not only can you eat coconut oil, you can put it all over your hands and body. It makes a great body moisturizer- and absorbs right into the skin. It can be used on your hair as a conditioner (leave in or rinse out, depending on the texture of your hair), and for massage as well. It will keep the skin tight and moisturized. There are natural anti-bacterial properties in coconut oil as well, due to its content of Capric Acid, which makes up about 6% of its fatty acids. It can even be great to alleviate stretch marks! Some of us may feel funny about using the same bottle for kitchen purposes, that we also use to slather on our bodies in the bathroom and bedroom. It just seems a little…gross? I personally keep separate jars in the kitchen and in my bedroom. Don’t worry if the coconut oil gets liquid or stays a white solid. In either case, it works great! You don’t have to refrigerate your coconut oil, by the way.

“What about putting it on my face?” Some of you are asking. Ah, the face. 🙂  The face, the face. The face is to me, is a whole separate territory. The thing with the face is, that it is especially important to all of us to keep our faces looking our best. And we do not live in a completely natural environment. Our faces are constantly exposed to environmental toxins and pollution, and we live stressful lives surrounding by radiation and electropollution. And yes, if we overdo it, just the way we can overdo anything, the sun can be harmful, and especially if we are toxic on the inside.

So no! I trust my elbows and calves to coconut oil, but not my face.

Make sure to get coconut oil brands that are raw and unrefined.

Take care, and let me know how you do with your skin!

xx Kimberly

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I am REALLY proud of this. 🙂 I scraped out all the meat in a young coconut (which matured and hardened more than the soft spoon meat but not quite as hard as a mature coconut), in one piece!! Ta da!!

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Why I Will Not be Getting the Flu Vaccine OR the Swine Flu Vaccine

October 13, 2009

 

 

 

Photo courtesy of ehow.com.

Photo courtesy of ehow.com.

 

 

 

Hey Guys! So the last few days I’ve been skipping about New York, walking as I usually do across all different neighborhoods and listening to my iPod as I get from appointment to yoga class to appointment again. 🙂  On Sunday, I was in Grammercy, then had to pop up to the Upper East Side to visit some friends, then came back Downtown. I believe it was that day, when I passed a bunch of different Walgreens or Duane Reades, all with propped up signs outside their door announcing “Flu Shot, only $24.99!” Then today, the same thing happened! I kept seeing signs on the street and proudly bolstered in windows for the friggin’ flu vaccine!

My first thought was, “Oh no! Are they already starting to promote that??” Then I thought, “Damn big pharmaceutical advertising!” And theeeeen I thought, “Hmm…Well maybe people don’t always get to hear the other side-  why we shouldn’t get a flu vaccine.” Hence I felt the rather urgent need to write this blog.

THIS is what I am talking about!!!

THIS is what I am talking about!!!

There have been lots of studies that conclude that Flu Vaccines don’t work!! And in many cases actually can cause more harm.

We have to understand that these vaccines are promoted for commercial reasons. And oh boy, you better believe that there is a LOT of money to be made with vaccines. For this year’s flu season, five biopharmaceutical companies have been awarded massive contracts by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for development and production of more than 195 million doses of swine flu vaccine, in addition to the seasonal flu vaccine. 

The companies — Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, MedImmune, Australian drug maker CSL, and Sanofi-Pasteur — will likely make a great deal of money. 

CSL has contracts to supply $180 million worth of bulk antigen to the U.S.  MedImmune will supply 40 million doses of its live attenuated nasal spray swine flu vaccine for more than $450 million. And Sanofi-Pasteur is providing more than 100 million doses of monovalent swine flu vaccine, a $690 million order (Source of statatistics, Dr. Mercola).

Whew, that is a lot of money! Now let’s see why these vaccines may not be such a great idea after all…

First of all, there is mercury and aluminum in these vaccines, deemed to be “safe levels” by some upper echelon of government. But what does that mean? Mercury is a serious toxin, and has been linked to brain damage, and aluminum has been linked to serious illnesses as well. These vaccines are certainly not anything I would willingly inject into my body!!

There are serious adverse reactions and deaths from vaccines, but it is estimated that only 1 to 10% of side effects or deaths are ever reported. As there are currently no laws about following up and reporting side effect we really have no true picture about the negative effects of these vaccinations.

Second of all, an overwhelming amount of independent studies, not linked to the pharmaceutical industry, have reached the same conclusion—that flu shots simply do NOT work as advertised. I urge you strongly to do some independent research and see what you find if you are on the fence. Be sure that the information you are reading is not put forth by the big pharm. companies or even the US Health officials- I would look into independent sources.

With so much money at stake, there certainly is a lot of disinformation and fear being spread around. I know many people fearful about getting the dreaded flu! Vaccines support the notion of “germ theory,” first popularized by Louis Pasteur (who late in life admitted that he was wrong, by the way), which advocates that outside viruses and germs are solely responsible for us getting sick. 

I believe, as many natural health care practitioners and doctors also believe, that these external germs can only “get us” if we have internal toxicity or an impaired immune system. Isn’t it the case when people are exposed to the same exact germs, that some people get sick and others don’t?? If you are healthy from the inside out, you can be exposed to these germs and not get sick. We DO have some control as far as these sicknesses are concerned, and we can do something to prevent it!

 

Here I am in Botswana. I was eating extremely healthily all the months I was in Africa, and mostly raw vegetables and some fruit. I kept myself strong, and did not get sick once! Despite the exposure to lots of "germs." I can't say the same for India though, :) but i was really run down and roughing it in a major way over there...

Here I am in Botswana. I was eating extremely healthily all the months I was in Africa, and ate mostly raw vegetables and some fruit. I kept myself strong, and did not get sick once! Despite the exposure to lots of "germs." I can't say the same for India though, 🙂 but I was really run down and roughing it in a major way over there...

Well what should we do?

Well I won’t be getting the flu or the swine flu shot, and certainly don’t recommend it. Like I mentioned, if you are really interested in this topic you should educate yourself and really look into some info so you can make your own either way. I would definitely not rely on all the fancy TV ads and pop-up ads outside drugstores, painting a happy and safe picture of the vaccines, to sway my decision. Remember: Big business pharmaceuticals are looking out for their profits- not necessarily your health. So we have to all look out for ourselves and each other. 

And of course, through our diet and lifestyle, we must work to strengthen our immune system as much as possible. We have to eat clean-digesting, natural and unprocessed foods as much as possible, and constantly cleanse out all the junk. That way, we will be much less susceptible to the “evil” germs of the world, and be healthy in a way that we control ourselves. Let’s focus on making ourselves as healthy and strong as possible, rather than getting a toxin-filled vaccine that has widely been shown not to work anyways!

 I have noticed a huge difference since I started living this lifestyle. Although I get a little cough or cold maybe once every 2 years or so, I’m constantly (and I mean constantly!) exposed to sniffling, coughing fellow subway riders in enclosed spaces on trains, and by my yoga students. If the germ theory were 100% correct, that would mean that I should be sick about 50 times a year!

 Take care of yourself loves. Hope you have a lovely evening and day tomorrow!!!

In health and love,

Kimberly

 

Whew! Chilly African morning. Here I am with some of my beloved African peeps I met along the way. :)

Whew! Chilly African morning. Here I am with some of my beloved African peeps I met along the way. 🙂

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Hair! Part 2

October 11, 2009
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There she is!!! Beautiful at all ages, with all hair colors. 🙂 My beloved Ann Wigmore. Photo courtesy of The Ann Wigmore Institute.

Hey Guys,

Hope you had a great October weekend!

I thought of something I wanted too add to my hair topic. Grey hair! I watched Marley and Me this weekend in a lazy moment when lounging on the couch watching something easy and fun seemed like the best possible thing to do. In the movie, one of the marked milestone moments in their marriage was when both Jennifer Aniston and Own Wilson both discovered their first grey hair. A cute moment, I guess, but still not one that our society embrace as the  most “joyous” moment, especially for us girls! 

Eek! Some of us reading this have never yet had this “maturing” experience, while others of us may be growing grey hair for years- that is beautiful too! No matter what the case, we should keep in mind that we are often told that genetics play a case with “premature” graying hair, but there is much to be said about diet and lifestyle.

 Dr. Ann Wigmore, largely credited as being the founder of the modern raw food movement in the Western world,  is one of the most documented and famous cases of grey hair reversal. Her gray hair turned right back to its original dark black color after years of having grey hair! She credits this reversal to drinking rejuvalac, which is an enzyme and B-vitamin rich drink made from the water left over from sprouting wheat berries. Ladies— this happened naturally!!! No hair coloring or anything!! 

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We need to renew the living hair follicle and nourish it with nutrition and healthy blood flow. B vitamins, raw fatty acids, and trace beauty minerals such as sulfur, copper and silicon are important to help keep the texture of our hair healthy and maintained at its natural color.  Be sure to keep flushing the blood clean with your alkaline greens in your Green Smoothies, have salads containing watercress and spinach, and eat B vitamin-rich hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, burdock root, nutritional yeast, Kombucha (based on a similar principle to rejuvalac), and sea vegetables like nori and dulse. Animal products and especially dairy will not promote luscious texture to our living hair follicle since they are clogging rather than nourishing. 

Brrrrrr it is getting cold!! I’m getting some of the Fall coats down from the top closet tonight! The yogis in the house may have noticed some changes in their practice. Remember that this is a normal happening in the yogic cycle, and to not be attached to the way our practice expresses itself. Well have a great start to your week!

Love!! Kimberly

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A (Friendly!) Nutrition Dialogue

October 7, 2009

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Hi Guys,

 So as some of you might recall, I did another segment on Good Morning America in mid- August. What I thought was very harmless information, and very basic for many of my colleagues, turned out to be a huge deal with Registered Dieticians! For the first time in my life, I actually got hate mail. Yes, hate mail! Well, with millions of people watching the show, the chances of people not agreeing with you are a given. But I had probably 20 or so RDs write me emails, which ranged from “you are misinformed and only RDs should be telling people about nutrition” to “you are an idiot, shut up, you are not an RD!” 

Wow!! Well like yoga teaches, every experience is something that should be embraced as a lesson, everyone that comes into your path is a teacher. I wish some of my “teachers” didn’t have to be so aggressive though. 🙂 And I can only imagine what my celebrity clients go through! Still, it really thickened my skin, and made me stronger. It also pushed me to finally finish my official CCN degree (Certified Clinical Nutritionist), which is the most “official” title a nutritionist can have, of which I am completing this week! I am also already a Certified Nutrition Specialist. 

 My blog has grown to thousands more readers a day since the segment, the unspoken ones of you that I know support my intentions and perspective on health :). And more than anything, it was like, “Oh crap, I’m not in Kansas anymore!” As in,  my prior readers were those interested in eating for beauty, natural eating, healing the body with food, etc. I realize that when I was exposed to the mainstream, not everyone is so receptive to those messages. And many are quite threatened by them, if they do not support what they have learned in their own degrees and training. My audience just got a whole lot bigger.  

securedownload-2 The segments are also very short, and you don’t have time to explain too much. For instance, one of the “controversial” parts of my segment was to tell people not to eat fruit for dessert. I didn’t say don’t eat fruit, I said don’t eat fruit after dinner, which is comprised of cooked food for the average American. Fruit leaves the stomach in 20 minutes and passes into the rest of the digestive tract. If there is heavier food that takes longer for the food to digest that is “blocking” the way for the fruit to go through, the fruit will start to ferment and acidify. This causes bloating, gassiness, and increases the chance for the food to turn into a toxin, since it is baking at 98 degrees inside your body. There has been research on food combining- for instance Dr. Herbert Shelton ran a clinic studying food combining in Texas from 1928-1981.  Dr. Ann Wigmore, founder of the Ann Wigmore Natural Healing Institute, and whose work inspired the Hippocrates Institute in FL, researched nutrition for over 35 years and was a huge advocate of food combining. The issue is that these theories and doctors are not considered mainstream, and are not widely studied in traditional training programs (including even the CCN course I just completed!) or talked about. It doesn’t mean that these theories are not valid.

 And so on and so on…I could go on for a whole show’s worth on each part of that segment! But that is not our topic today. 

 In the midst of the “me as nutritionist vs. the RDs” controversy, which I certainly never foresaw, I found the blog of a young RD (in training) that wrote about my segment in a surprisingly open and insightful way. We have since started a dialogue, and she is great! It is nice to know that in all fields of health and nutrition, there are open-minded practitioners that are open to learning new things.

 Emily is one of them. Please read my interview with her, below, to hear her perspective on health:

 100_5728First: please provide your background, what hospital you work at, blog address, etc. I am an intern at St. Louis University, so I’m not a full-fledged dietitian yet. I have a BS in Dietetics with a chemistry minor and just graduated from The Ohio State University with a MS in Nutrition Science. My blog is called The Health Nut. I blog because I’m fortunate to have learned so much about nutrition and hope that someone, somewhere will be able to benefit from the information I share. I became interested in nutrition as a result of my dad’s health problems, which led to a liver transplant and many subsequent dietary changes. My dad explored different forms of alternative medicine (he sees a naturopathic doctor) when Western medicine had no more solutions to offer. 

 1. So, tell us about what nutrition work you do at the hospitals. As an intern, I rotate through various hospitals and complete 1200 hours of clinical, food service, and community work. Right now I’m in the clinical setting, which involves studying physiology and the pathology of different disease states and using that information to make dietary recommendations for patients I see in the hospital. My focus is pediatric nutrition, so I have quite a few rotations at pediatric hospitals in the St. Louis area. 

2. What issues, if any, do you find in the way the mainstream Western medical community disseminates info. on nutrition? I fully support the American Dietetic Association’s use of evidence-based research to guide their recommendations; however, sometimes research for alternative medicine treatments doesn’t exist, but these treatments still have potential benefits for certain populations. I think diet manuals are helpful tools, but I don’t like putting cookie cutter treatments on people. Each person is unique, and his or her dietary treatment should be customized. In clinical dietetics, this becomes difficult when you must see many patients in a day, but using your clinical judgment and knowledge of the pathophysiology of disease is key to being a great dietitian. There are many different views of appropriate “nutrition,” and I would like to see the mainstream Western medical community become more open to the avenues of alternative medicine. 

3. What would you change about the way nutrition is handled in the Western community? How would you propose to change it? I think doctors need to use nutrition care professionals as integral components of the care team. Although they have taken some nutrition courses, we have received extensive training and deserve recognition as nutrition experts. I definitely think that alternative medicine needs to be a part of nutrition curriculum because of its potential to play an important role in treatment. I sincerely wish that more schools would offer advanced degrees in nutrition with an alternative medicine focus (this would definitely be motivation to seek a PhD after I finish my internship)! 

4. What are some nutrition recommendations you have made to your patients that have made the biggest difference? Nutrition recommendations are only recommendations. The patient must ultimately make the choice to take action and implement anything I may encourage him or her to do. Recommendations vary depending on disease state (lower sodium for patients with hypertension, lower saturated fat for patients with heart disease, etc), but I think the most effective recommendations are those that encourage healthy lifestyle changes. A favorite word when counseling patients is moderation. I think this is the key to being balanced and to truly living.



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Here's Em. Isn't she a cutie? Smart and a cutie! 🙂

 5. Please give us three great tips. 

– Use food as fuel: what you put into your body makes a difference

-Get some kind of exercise every day: take a walk, enjoy the outdoors, play soccer with your friends…be active for your mental and physical health.

Manage stress: research is showing that chronic stress contributes to disease development. Make you sure you take some relaxation time for yourself and find a positive outlet for stress relief (music, running, yoga, reading, etc). 

6. Are you in interested in alternative, rather than strictly allopathic, treatments? If so, which ones? I’m interested in both. I recently joined the ADA’s Nutrition in Complementary Care practice group, which is for dietetics professionals interested in the study of alternative and complementary therapies. I think there is so much I need to learn about alternative medicine, and I’m always trying to find ways to integrate it into my current knowledge of nutrition.

7. What differentiates you from other RDs? (And certainly some of the ones I have encountered!). 
My education has been from the traditional medicine side of dietetics, but I’m also very interested in alternative medicine. I’ve learned that some remedies, while not necessarily extensively researched, can be effective in certain cases. My dad’s health problems and exploration of alternative medicine have made me grateful for the innovative approach to treatment that it provides. I think some dietitians just haven’t been exposed to alternative medicine, so they tend to shun it, which is unfortunate.

8. What are some of your personal career goals? I love clinical dietetics, but I’m also very interested in research. I’m always asking “why,” and I want to be a part of establishing new dietary treatment protocols for diseases. I’d love to have a career that fuses research and clinical practice and most definitely incorporates alternative medicine. 

9. Anything else you’d like to share? I saw Food, Inc. this summer and became very interested in eating local and seasonal foods. As a nutritionist, the source of the food I’m eating is just as important as (and directly affects) the nutrients in the food itself. Sustainability has become very important to me, and I’m really passionate about spreading the word to others. SLU Nutrition and Dietetics does a lot to promote local farmers and food, including running a cafeteria that uses mostly local food and running a garden education program in area schools, which is incredible. 

Thanks Em! Be sure to check out her blog when you get a chance:  The Health Nut.

Have a great latter half of your week!

With love and warm regards,

Kimberly

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