Healthy Living How To how to live healthy in mind, body, and spirit Tue, 22 Apr 2014 03:01:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Invisible Health Benefits of Grounding Mon, 21 Apr 2014 19:37:29 +0000 [Continue Reading]]]> The Invisible Health Benefits of Grounding |

Sometimes the simplest things bring us the greatest health benefits. When is the last time you really felt connected to the earth? Today’s blog post is all about something called “grounding” and how it can help heal the body.

What Is Grounding?

When is the last time you walked barefoot on the earth? Between wearing shoes, living in a house, and maybe even thinking of the ground as “dirty” and avoiding it at all costs, there’s a good chance it’s been a while since you truly got in touch with the earth as humans have always been meant to do.

Grounding, sometimes called earthing, brings us back to a neutral, balanced state when we make direct contact with the earth. Negative ions from the earth’s surface rush into our bodies to discharge the many unpaired positive ions, or free radicals, we’ve picked up in daily life. Those free radicals are associated with disease, aging, and inflammation, and when you expose your bare skin to the soil, grass, or even concrete, the earth’s healing powers swoop in to save the day.

We all have electrical energy, and modern technology has a way of throwing that energy off at times. Free radicals from just living a modern lifestyle and having daily exposure to pollutants, technology (EMFs), and more can build up in the body as free radicals. When we get back in touch (literally!) with the earth, the free radicals neutralize, our health can improve, and we bring ourselves back in sync with the earth’s energy field.

The Invisible Benefits of Grounding

There are so many health benefits to grounding, from a reduced risk of heart attack to better sleep and less chronic pain. The earth gives us so much! If we don’t ignore it, or miss out on it unintentionally, like by always wearing shoes outside, there’s so much healing power we can take advantage of.

Better Cardiovascular Health

A study published recently in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (1found that grounding can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. Contact with the earth naturally thins the blood and reduces inflammation. This could result in better blood pressure and blood flow.

Less Stress, Depression, and Anxiety

Another study (2) showed that grounding could improve heart rate variability, which could lead to not only cardiovascular benefits, but also reduced stress and decreased anxiety and depression. Lowered stress levels could mean fewer headaches and even recovery from adrenal fatigue (because remember, stress can contribute to that!).

The Invisible Health Benefits of Grounding |

Better Sleep

Another side effect of grounding is better sleep. A different study from The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (3) found that when subjects—especially females—slept in their own beds with conducive mattress pads, their nighttime cortisol levels dropped, they experienced better sleep, and were in less pain than they were before the study began. Better sleep may mean higher energy levels throughout the day, another perk that comes from grounding.

Could Reduce the Chance of Osteoporosis

The Journal of Environmental and Public Health (4) discussed a possible reduction in the likelihood of developing osteoporosis when subjects spent time earthing. One night of grounding resulted in less calcium and phosphorous through the urine. The loss of these minerals over time is tied to the development of osteoporosis, so finding out how to reduce the loss could do wonders for bone health.

Reduces Inflammation

Free electrons’ role as antioxidants are explained in a paper by Dr. James Oschman inThe Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (5). In the case of an “electron deficiency” (not enough contact with the earth’s surface), the immune system suffers and inflammation can’t be addressed and controlled as quickly as it should be. Once we’re able to neutralize the free radicals with the electrons from the earth, inflammation can begin to subside, and this is key to slowing or preventing so many chronic diseases.

Slows the Aging Process

Free radicals are some of the biggest offenders (6) when it comes to aging, and if grounding is bringing balance to the body and neutralizing them, you’ll also be slowing down the aging process. Grounding’s effects on inflammation will also reduce premature aging, since inflammation is linked to not only the way you age on the outside, but a number of diseases that a lot of people accept as a normal, albeit heartbreaking, part of getting older.

Other benefits of grounding that have been reported include:

How Do You Do It?

There’s not a “right way” to participate in grounding. It’s the most natural thing in the world, though it may feel oddly foreign when you first start practicing it. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to kick off your shoes and walk around in the grass (or dirt, sand, rocks, etc) or lie on the ground and take a short nap in the sun. You could even try yoga or meditation outside.

If you’re crunched for time and have some yard work to do, plant some flowers with your bare hands, dig around in the dirt, and remove the gloves for some of the work it’s safe to do with your hands uncovered. Even a couple of minutes spent in contact with the earth can work wonders. Just make sure you do it regularly to maintain the benefits.

There are also earthing mats and sheets on the market today that you just plug in and stay in contact with as you work or sleep. These are great if you really have no good way to enjoy some time in the grass, dirt, or even rocks.

If you want to know more, there’s a new movie, The Grounded, that discusses the amazing health benefits that contact with the earth can provide. It’s a true story about an Alaskan wildlife farmer who experiences pain relief through grounding and inspires others in his community to give it a try (they also see amazing results). The results are so fantastic, in fact, that doctors, scientists, and even Apollo astronauts become intrigued.

Even if you’re really skeptical about earthing and its benefits, it’s something that’s free to try and really can’t hurt! I encourage you to get outside, put your bare feet on the ground, and see if you notice anything different in the way you feel, whether it’s reduced pain or just better sleep and increased energy because of it. It’s really amazing to think just how healing this planet really is, from the beautiful food that grows here to nourish us to the benefits of just lying in the grass on a sunny afternoon.

Originally published at Syndicated with exclusive permission for Healthy Living How To.

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Healthy Recipe: Green Cauliflower Rice with Chicken, Mushrooms, Onion & Garlic Mon, 21 Apr 2014 15:55:28 +0000 [Continue Reading]]]> Healthy Rice-A-Roni |

Have you ever seen a head of green cauliflower? Me neither. Until yesterday that is. Now, this is not to be confused with Romanesco which is a different variant of this cruciferous veggie. Green cauliflower, sometimes called “broccoflower”, looks and tastes like white cauliflower, just with a gorgeous green hue. Our favorite way to enjoy cauliflower is to “rice” it and spice it up…by adding garlic, onion, mushrooms. Keep reading to learn about the health benefits of cauliflower and my basic recipe for healthy rice-a-roni.

What’s So Great About Cauliflower?

Cauliflower is an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of Vitamin K, Folate, Choline, Vitamin B6 and Potassium. Cauliflower has bioflavonoids, indoles and other chemicals that protect against cancer. According to George Mateljan, author of the book, The World’s Healthiest Foods, “you will find several dozen studies linking cauliflower-containing diets to cancer prevention, particularly with respect to the following types of cancer: bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer.”

Healthy Rice-A-Roni Ingredients |

There are three systems in the body that are responsible for cancer development; detoxification, oxidative and inflammatory. Imbalances in one these systems increases the risk of cancer, even moreso when there are imbalances in all three. Cauliflower provides nutrients that support all three of these systems.

  • Phytonutrients that activate and regulate detoxification enzymes
  • Vitamin C, a potent anti-oxidant
  • The anti-inflammatory nutrient Vitamin K

If you are looking to support your heart, cauliflower is an excellent source of folic acid as well as Vitamin B6. These two nutrients are necessary for metabolizing homocysteine. High blood levels of homocysteine damages the walls of the arteries and is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

When selecting cauliflower, look for a head that is clean, with compact florets and firm to touch. Avoid cauliflower that has brown spots or a springy texture as these are indications the cauliflower is old and no longer fresh. Store cauliflower in the refrigerator until ready for use.

Click Here to Pin This Recipe!

Healthy Rice-A-Roni |

Green Cauliflower Rice with Chicken, Mushrooms, Onion & Garlic

Yield: 4 Servings


  • 1 Medium Head Green Cauliflower (can use white, yellow or purple)
  • 1/2 lb. Portabello Mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1/2 Medium Yellow Onion (diced)
  • 2 Tbsp. Ghee or Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (crushed)
  • 1/2 tsp. Celtic Sea Salt
  • 4 Chicken Breasts (grilled & roughly chopped)
  • Coconut Aminos (to taste)


  1. Using a box grater, "rice" the cauliflower. Just like you would grate cheese, simply grate the cauliflower florets down to the stem. It will resemble "rice".
  2. Add cauliflower rice to wok along with sliced mushrooms, diced yellow onion and ghee or butter.
  3. Over medium-high heat cook until onions are translucent and mushrooms soft. About 10-12 minutes. Stirring a handful of times.
  4. Once cooked to desired tenderness, add crushed garlic, Celtic sea salt and chicken. Mix to combine.
  5. Plate and serve. Top with coconut aminos to taste.
  6. Enjoy!


Coconut Aminos are a soy-free and gluten-free replacement for soy sauce.

This recipe has been tested with my preferred ingredients. Please consider, if I recommend a substitution, it will be included as a note in the recipe.

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6 Steps To Healthy Cholesterol Wed, 09 Apr 2014 23:18:05 +0000 [Continue Reading]]]> 6 Steps To Healthy Cholesterol |

Contrary to conventional wisdom, cholesterol is not the enemy. The question on the lips of many Americans these days is, “How do I lower my cholesterol?” We’ve all been told that the secret to living a long, healthy, heart-disease free life is lowering your cholesterol. And believing that a low cholesterol count is the best way to prevent heart disease, doctors often prescribe medications like statins to keep these levels low. But these drugs can introduce a whole host of problems and may not even work. The truth is, your body needs cholesterol in order to function properly. So, it’s not about having lower cholesterol; it’s about having the right type of cholesterol.

Watch 6 Steps To Healthy Cholesterol

Dr. Hyman Recommends

  1. Cut out or dramatically reduce flour and sugar, because those are the things that turn on the cholesterol factory in your liver.
  2. Eat the right fats – avocados, nuts, seeds, coconut oil/butter, olive oil, and fish oil. These are the good fats that help balance your blood sugar, balance your insulin, and correct lipid problems.
  3. Have protein for breakfast and at every meal – nuts, seeds, eggs, chicken, fish, grass-fed meats.
  4. Exercise.
  5. Manage your stress.
  6. Take supplements to help balance the whole system.

Learn more about healthy cholesterol from Dr. Hyman here.

6 Steps To Healthy Cholesterol |

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Fruit Juice. Just as Unhealthy as a Soft Drink? Wed, 09 Apr 2014 22:36:43 +0000 [Continue Reading]]]> Fruit Juice. Just As Unhealthy As A Soft Drink? |

Fruit juice is often perceived as healthy. That’s understandable, given that it is natural and has the word “fruit” in it. However… what many people fail to realize is that fruit juice is also loaded with sugar. In fact, fruit juice contains just as much sugar and calories as a sugary soft drink… and sometimes even more (1).

Fruit Juice. Just as Unhealthy as a Soft Drink?

The small amounts of vitamins and antioxidants in the juice do not make up for the large amount of sugar.

Fruit Juice Isn’t Always What it Seems

Unfortunately, food and beverage manufacturers aren’t always honest about what is in their products. The fruit juice you find at the supermarket may not be what you think it is… even if it’s labelled as “100% pure” and “not from concentrate.”

After being squeezed from the fruit, the juice is usually stored in massive oxygen-depleted holding tanks for up to a year before it is packaged. The main problem with this method is that it tends to remove most of the flavor, so the manufacturers need to add so-called “flavor packs” to the juice, to bring back the flavor that was lost during processing.

So even if you’re buying the highest quality juices at the supermarket, they are still far from their original state. Some of the lowest quality ones don’t even resemble fresh-squeezed fruit juice at all… they are basically just fruit-flavored sugar water.

Bottom Line: Fruit juice isn’t always what it seems, even the higher quality types have gone through processing methods that remove the flavor, making it necessary to add “flavor packs” to bring them back to their original state.

Fruit Juice Contains Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants, but it Lacks Fiber and is Loaded With Sugar

Fruit juice is missing a lot of the stuff that makes whole fruit healthy.

Orange juice, for example, does contain Vitamin C and is a decent source of folate, potassium and Vitamin B1 (2). It also contains antioxidants, some of which can increase the antioxidant value of the blood (34). But calorie for calorie (or sugar gram for sugar gram), it is nutritionally poor compared to whole oranges and other plant foods like vegetables (5).

The main problem is this… fruit juice contains no fiber and is very high in sugar. Take a look at the breakdown for a 12 ounce (350 ml) portion of Coca Cola and apple juice:

  • Coca Cola: 140 calories and 40 grams of sugar (10 teaspoons).
  • Apple juice: 165 calories and 39 grams of sugar (9.8 teaspoons).

This is the ugly truth about fruit juice… most types contain a similar amount of sugar as a sugar-sweetened beverage, sometimes with even more total calories!

Bottom Line: Fruit juice contains some nutrients, but less compared to many plant foods. It contains no fiber and is just as high in sugar and calories as most sugar-sweetened beverages.

It is Easy to Consume Massive Amounts of Sugar From Fruit Juice

When we eat whole fruit, it takes significant effort to chew and swallow them. The sugar in them is also bound within fibrous structures that break down slowly during digestion. Not only that, but fruit is also very fulfilling… so it’s hard to eat a lot of it (6).

Fruit Juice. Just As Unhealthy As A Soft Drink? |

For these reasons, the sugar in whole fruit gets sent to the liver slowly and in small amounts. The liver can easily metabolize these small amounts without being overloaded. But… if you drink a large glass of fruit juice, it is the equivalent of consuming several pieces of fruit in a very short amount of time, without all the fiber.

The large amount of sugar gets absorbed and sent to the liver very quickly, just like when you drink a sugar-sweetened beverage.

A large part of the sugar found in fruit juice is fructose. The liver is the only organ that can metabolize fructose in meaningful amounts (7). When the liver takes in more fructose than it can handle, some if it gets turned into fat. Some of the fat can lodge in the liver and contribute to fat buildup and insulin resistance (89101112).

Although small amounts of fruit juice (or soda) are unlikely to cause major problems for healthy, lean and active people, this can be a complete disaster for people who are overweight or have diet-related metabolic problems (1314).

Controlled metabolic studies show that liquid sugar can cause insulin resistance, raise triglycerides and small, dense LDL cholesterol, elevate oxidized LDL cholesterol and cause belly fat accumulation… in as little as 10 weeks (15).
Although most of the studies are using sugar-sweetened or fructose-sweetened drinks, there is no reason to assume that 100% fruit juice would be any different. The sugar molecules are identical and your liver won’t be able to tell the difference.

But just in case you’re in doubt, some studies did use actual fruit juice. In one of them, 480 ml (16 ounces) of grape juice per day for 3 months caused insulin resistance and increased waist circumference in overweight individuals (16).

In another study, consuming 2 or more servings of fruit juice per day was associated with more than a doubled risk of gout in women (17).

Bottom Line: Fruit juice contains large amounts of sugar, without any fiber and chewing resistance to limit intake. Studies show that this can lead to severe metabolic problems and serious diseases.

Liquid Calories Are Uniquely Fattening

It is a myth that all calories are created equal. Different foods go through different metabolic pathways and have different effects on hunger, hormones and the brain centers that control body weight (1819).

The brain is in charge of regulating energy balance. When we add a food to our diet, our brains “compensate” by making us eat less of other foods instead (20).

For example, if we were to start eating 2 boiled potatoes every day, we would subconsciously end up eating less of other foods, so our total calorie intake wouldn’t increase much, if at all.

Well, it turns out that liquid calories don’t work the same way as calories from solid foods. When people add liquid calories to their diet, like apple juice, they don’t compensate by eating less of other foods instead (21). This is one of the reasons that sugary drinks are among the most fattening foods in existence. They don’t contribute to fullness, making us eat more overall (22).

One study in children showed that the risk of obesity was increased by 60% for each daily serving of sugar-sweetened beverages (23). There is no reason to assume that fruit juices would have a different effect than sugary drinks, if they are consumed in the same amounts.

Bottom Line: Several studies show that fruit juice is linked to an increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, while whole fruit is linked to a decreased risk (2425262728).

Eat Whole Fruit, But Skip The Juice… it’s Not Healthy

In nutrition guidelines, fruit juice is often said to count towards the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. I think this is a huge mistake, because it sends the message that fruit juice is healthy and a good source of nutrients.

Most people are already eating way too much sugar… and reducing sugar intake is much more important than getting the small amount of nutrients found in fruit juice. Instead of juice, eat your fruit whole. That way, you also get all the fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals found naturally in the fruit.

Bottom Line: Overall, drinking fruit juice in small amounts may be okay for some individuals, but people need to realize that despite the health halo, fruit juice really is very similar to sugary soda. Most importantly, your liver can’t tell the difference. All of the harmful effects of sugary drinks also apply to fruit juice.
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Everyday Essential Oils: Stress Away Wed, 09 Apr 2014 16:11:52 +0000 [Continue Reading]]]> Everyday Essential Oil: Stress Away |

I made one resolution in 2014 and that was to enter into the world of essential oils. Here it is April and I can say that not only have I entered into the world of essential oils, they have fast become something I am passionate about. I have integrated the use of Young Living essential oils into mine and my family’s every day life and we have experienced numerous surprising health benefits. Most notably the relief from allergies, digestive discomfort, everyday aches and pains, stress, anxiety and depressive moods.

Everyday Essential Oils

I started my Young Living essential oil journey with the premium starter kit. Not only is it the best value, but it also has everything you need to get started with essential oils!

Along with the home diffuser, the premium starter kit includes the ten everyday essential oils: Purification, Valor, Thieves, Frankincense, Peppermint, Peace & Calming, Lavender, Lemon, Joy, PanAway and a BONUS essential oil — today’s featured essential oil — Stress Away

You can click on each of the Young Living everyday essential oils to learn more about them. 

Stress Away Essential Oil

Stress Away is an essential oil blend that helps to relieve daily stress and nervous tension in both adults and children. I was attracted to Stress Away right out the box. It has an intoxicating aroma that I just love. I use Stress Away daily on my wrists and behind the ears as a perfume and often diffuse it while working to keep me relaxed and focused.

There are six therapeutic grade essential oils in Stress Away:

  • Copaiba a powerful anti-inflammatory and helps the cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous systems as well as muscles and joints.
  • Lavender helps relieve stress, sore muscles, menstrual cramps and nervous tension in the body.
  • Cedarwood stimulates the pineal gland which releases melatonin. It is calming and purifying.
  • Ocotea used for inflammation, balancing blood sugar levels, stress related conditions and it reduces the body’s response to irritation.
  • Lime calming, stimulating and refreshing, beneficial for anxiety, stress, exhaustion and depression.
  • Vanilla Absolute calming and comforting, used for stress and irritation, and to curb appetite.

How To Use Stress Away

Stress Away is a bonus oil that comes in the premium starter kit. Along with the essential oil you also receive a roll-on fitment perfect for applying Stress Away to wrists, neck or temples. I sometimes even dab it on the tip of my nose. I often diffuse Stress Away while working or in the evening to unwind.

How To Order Young Living Essential Oils

Win Me! Stress Away |

How To Order Young Living Essential Oils

Enter for Your Chance To Win!

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Give away ends Sunday, April 13th, 2014 at 11:59 pm CST. Winner will be announced on this post on Monday, April 14th, 2014 at 8 am CST. Winner will have 24 hours to claim the prize. Be sure to bookmark this page and check back then to see if you are the WINNER! This is open to U.S. readers only.

We Have A Winner!

Congratulations goes to…. Dara D. who entered with dbdes…

You have until 8 am Tuesday, April 15th to contact me with your mailing address to claim your prize.

Learn More About The Ten Everyday Essential Oils

  1. Everyday Essential Oil – Peace & Calming
  2. Everyday Essential Oil – Frankincense
  3. Everyday Essential Oil – Peppermint
  4. Everyday Essential Oil – Lavender
  5. Everyday Essential Oil – Lemon
  6. Everyday Essential Oil – Thieves
  7. Everyday Essential Oil – Joy
  8. Everyday Essential Oil – Valor
  9. Everyday Essential Oil – Purification
  10. Everyday Essential Oil – PanAway
  11. BONUS ESSENTIAL OIL! – Stress Away
Due to the popularity of Young Living Essential Oils with Healthy Living How To readers I created a Facebook group. Click here to join Healthy Living With Essential Oils.

Click +1 Below. Tell me about your experience with essential oils.

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8 Reasons Saturated Fat Is Good For You Tue, 08 Apr 2014 13:37:03 +0000 [Continue Reading]]]> 8 Reasons Saturated Fat Is Good For You |

Saturated fat is bad for you, right? If you asked 100 people that question, 99 would probably agree with you. We’ve wrongfully vilified this important nutrient for so long, people speak of saturated fat as though they’re certain it’s unhealthy. Most people don’t know that what they’re saying is completely false.

Fortunately, people eventually realized the world wasn’t flat. Hopefully, with the vast number of review papers being published in respected journals, refuting the “saturated fat is bad” mantra, we’ll eventually get the truth out there about saturated fat as well. You can help by getting a better understanding of how this nutrient impacts your health, or even sharing the points below with your friends and family.

8 Reasons Saturated Fat Is Good For You

Though there are more than eight, I’ve highlighted 8 reasons eating more saturated fats (and the foods they’re found in) can help improve your health.

1. Replacing vegetable oils with saturated fat can reduce the risk of heart disease

More than likely, you’ve been given the opposite advice. Vegetable oils tend to be high in omega-6 linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA). Though some research has shown that replacing saturated fat in the diet lowers LDL cholesterol, the effect of the lower LDL cholesterol hasn’t been shown to lower heart disease risk. In fact, research shows that replacing saturated fats with omega-6 fats increases the risk of heart disease.

It is thought, since PUFAs are more prone to lipid peroxidation, or being attacked by free radicals, that PUFAs actually lead to the development of atherosclerosis. Saturated fats, on the other hand, are very stable and are not oxidized.[1]

2. Replacing vegetable oils with saturated fat may reverse non-alcoholic fatty liver

About 20% of the population has non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.[2] NAFLD, as the name suggests, is the development of excessive fat in the liver. Some suggest fructose consumption plays a major role in this disease, but it’s also possible that the population’s major reliance on vegetable oils can play a role. Researchers from the University of Arkansas found that replacing PUFAs with medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) helped reverse the development of NAFLD. Medium-chain triglycerides are prevalent in dairy and coconut fat.[3]

3. Whole foods with saturated fats are nutrient dense

Some of the richest whole-food sources of saturated fat are also rich in other nutrients. Take eggs, for example. The yolk has about ten times as much calcium as the white, twenty times the folate, and is a good source of vitamin A and omega-3s, whereas the white has none. Cheese is rich in riboflavin, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and depending on the type of cheese, several other nutrients.

8 Reasons Saturated Fat Is Good For You | healthylivinghowto.com4. Cooking with saturated fats is safer than vegetable oils

When vegetable oils are exposed to higher temperatures, they become oxidized. Sautéing and frying with canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil and many other vegetable oils are high in omega-6 fats. It’s bad enough to eat them, based on the fact they seem to raise heart disease risk alone. However, cooking with them causes quick oxidation of the fats, creating a lot of free radicals in the food you eat. Butter and coconut oil, or even bacon grease and lard, are far more stable oils to cook with when needed. That said, it you just buy fattier cuts of meat, you don’t need to use as much added oils for cooking, except when sautéing or roasting vegetables.

5. Whole food saturated fats taste good

Bacon, butter, coconut, and fattier cuts of meat add palatability to meals. I remember in the days when I saw a chicken breast as healthier than chicken thighs, I had to add a bunch of low-fat, sugary junk to the chicken breast to make it taste good. Most people find the thighs taste much better, just as whole eggs taste better than egg whites, 85% lean ground beef has more flavor than 90% lean, whole milk is more satisfying than skim milk, etc. Of course, this point is based a little more on opinion than scientific research, but I’ve found most people would agree. If you feel more satisfied from the meal you just ate, you’ll be less likely to snack on junk later in the day.

6. Saturated fats raise HDL and lower the total cholesterol/HDL ratio

There’s growing debate as to whether cholesterol levels themselves should be viewed as significant indicators of heart disease risk. However, with what’s known today, the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL-C is considered the most telling measure of risk. When saturated fats replace PUFAs, in some people it may raise total cholesterol, but it mainly does so by raising HDL. Of course, higher HDL levels are thought to be protective. Higher HDL levels also lower the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL.

7. Some saturated fats support the immune system

MCTs again get the spotlight here. These fats found in dairy and coconut are pretty powerful fats. As good as they are to consume, many people also benefit from using coconut oil on their skin in place of other creams and lotions. These MCTs support the immune system, and some studies have shown they also help boost metabolism.[4]

8. Saturated fat (and cholesterol) help support production of sex hormones

Testosterone plays an important role for men and women in the maintenance or development of lean body mass. Research has shown a diet where saturated fats are replaced with unsaturated fats lowers the production of sex hormones.[5] It’s bad enough that 25% of men over 30 have low testosterone levels. It’s even worse that a low-fat diet, often recommended as healthy, actually reduces the body’s ability to secrete hormones the support health and longevity.


When you review the research on nutrition and heart disease, it’s quite difficult to find saturated fat as the villain in the development of heart disease, or really any other chronic condition. In reviewing the evidence on saturated fats, authors of a review in The Netherlands Journal of Medicine concluded,[6]

The total body of evidence suggests that attention should be shifted from the harmful effects of dietary SAFA per se, to the prevention of the accumulation of SAFA in body lipids. This shift would emphasize the importance of reducing dietary CHO, especially CHO with a high glycemic index, rather than reducing dietary SAFA.

Looking at the existing research, it’s hard to understand why saturated fats get the blame for something they’ve never been shown to do; cause heart disease. Even worse, those who avoid saturated fats run the risk of missing out on other key nutrients and health benefits. That said, if your diet still contains a lot of excessive sugar and other starches, please don’t use this as a license to freely eat more high-fat foods. The combination of a high-sugar and high-fat diet can be really bad news for your cardiovascular health because of the elevated insulin released from the carbohydrates.

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Healthy Recipe: Paleo Flatbread Mon, 07 Apr 2014 22:15:19 +0000 [Continue Reading]]]> Healthy Recipe: Paleo Flatbread |

My name is Sylvie and I may or may not have a bread problem.  Ok, I do.  I do have a bread problem.  You see in Argentina, where I grew up, a meal is not complete without bread.  I’m not exaggerating one bit.  I remember running to the bakery for a bag of fresh bread many times with everyone waiting on me to get back to start dinner.

My uncle used to joke that I would be happy eating only bread for dinner.  He also joked that I had so many health issues we could play bingo with my list of diagnoses.  It wasn’t pretty.  Luckily, I eventually found paleo and it saved my life!  And the bread had to go.  Stat.

When I first transitioned my kids, a.k.a. the quesadilla junkies, to paleo I switched their whole wheat tortillas to brown rice tortillas for a couple weeks while desperately trying to find meals they wouldn’t make a fuss about at the dinner table.

I made paleo pumpkin muffins and other treats regularly to appease their sweet tooth.  Over time I found it was easier to just introduce completely new-to-them real food than trying to paleo-ify all the staples they had gotten used to.  And I was pleasantly surprised with the results!

That led me to writing my first ebook, The Paleo Survival Guide: Getting Started with Paleo.  I wanted to share how I overcame each challenge during our transition to paleo as a family, trying to find the time, energy and space in the budget for this new way of eating as well as trying to minimize the pushback from the kids.

As much as I like to stick to meat and veg most of the time, every once in a while I love to have a paleo bread option and it doesn’t hurt to score major points with the kids!  My requirements for recipes are that it be quick and easy without too many ingredients, healthy, yet delicious!

This paleo flatbread fits the bill.  You can use it as a savory wrap for something like pulled pork, just as a bread almost like naan, or drop the basil and salt and use it as a crêpe and spread with something sweet!  I must admit I’m a bit relieved that if my friends and family visit from Argentina I’ll be able to offer them a bread alternative and they’ll have 1 less excuse to not give this paleo thing a try.

Paleo Flatbread

Healthy Recipe: Paleo Flatbread | healthylivinghowto.comIngredients


  1. Mix water chestnut flour, olive oil, basil, sea salt and only 1/2 cup of water.
  2. Slowly add remaining water until desired consistency is achieved (I usually end up using 1 cup).
  3. Heat up a pan on medium heat and add a small amount of coconut oil.
  4. Fry until golden brown on both sides.
  5. Place on paper towels to soak up excess oil.
  6. Enjoy!

About The Author

Hollywood HomesteadSylvie of Hollywood Homestead, is a celebrity personal assistant and mom of 3 by day, paleo enthusiast and blogger by night.  She and SAHD hubby, Eric, each lost over 60 lbs with paleo and continue to improve their family’s health with food and lifestyle tweaks. You can follow Sylvie on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. Sylvie’s first e-book, The Paleo Survival Guide: Getting Started with Paleo has helped many families succeed with paleo. Her second e-book, The Gelatin Secret: The Surprising Superfood that Transforms your Health and Beauty, just released last week!

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10 Things To Remember When You Feel Lost And Alone Mon, 07 Apr 2014 15:30:33 +0000 [Continue Reading]]]> 10 Things To Remember When You Feel Lost & Alone |

“This morning I felt lost and alone as I was driving home after a brutal breakup with my boyfriend.  I turned on the radio and the Michael Jackson song ‘You Are Not Alone’ was playing.  A few seconds later, at the exact moment the chorus began, I passed a huge billboard sign with big black letters that read, ‘YOU ARE NOT ALONE!’”

That’s the opening paragraph of an email I received today from a reader named Ella.  It made me smile because I love when life delivers seemingly coincidental, positive messages like that, right when we need them most.

However, the rest of Ella’s email further described her ongoing struggle with feeling “lost and alone” in life.  Which got me thinking…

Why do people have to feel this way?  What’s the point of it all?  Millions of people in this world, all of them craving connection, and looking for specific experiences and people to satisfy them, yet inadvertently isolating themselves in the process.  Why?  Was the planet put here just to nourish our loneliness?

The more I’ve experienced and explored my own feelings of uncertainty and loneliness, the more I’ve realized how necessary these feelings are.  It’s good for us to spend time exploring unknowns, alone.  It gives us an opportunity to discover who we really are and what life is all about.

10 Things To Remember When You Feel Lost And Alone

1.  You are not alone in being alone.

So many of us are fighting the same exact battle alongside you.  We are all in this together.  So no matter how embarrassed or pathetic you feel about your own situation, know that there are others out there experiencing the same emotions.  When you hear yourself say, “I am all alone,” it’s just your worried mind trying to sell you a lie.  There’s always someone who can relate to you.  Perhaps you can’timmediately talk to them, but they are out there, and that’s all you need to know right now.

2.  Sometimes when you’re lonely, you need to be alone.

Sometimes you need to be alone, not to be lonely, but to enjoy a little free time just being yourself and finding your way.  In other words, the moments you feel lonely are the moments you may most need to be by yourself.  This is one of life’s cruelest ironies.

We need solitude, because when we’re alone we’re detached from obligations, we don’t need to put on a show, and we can hear our own thoughts and feel what our intuition is telling us.  And the truth is, throughout your life there will be times when the world gets real quiet and the only thing left is the beat of your own heart.  So you’d better learn the sound of it, otherwise you’ll never understand what it’s telling you.  (Read Quiet: The Power of Introverts.)

3.  You have to be a little lost first to find what you’re looking for.

Not until you are lost in this world can you begin to find your best path.  Realizing you are lost is the first step to living the life you want.  The second step is leaving the life you don’t want.  Making a big life change is pretty scary.  But you know what’s even scarier?  Regret.

I can tell you from my own life experience that I’ve found love, lost it, found it, lost it and then I found it once again.  But each time what I found was more incredible than the last.  So remember that everyone suffers in life at some point.  Everyone feels lost sometimes.  The key is using your experiences to grow.  When you apply what you’re learning to your future choices and actions, you move forward not backward.  You become stronger and wiser.  It’s not easy, but it’s worth it in the end.

4.  It’s all about accepting the reality of what is.

You cannot find peace by avoiding life.  Life spins with unexpected changes; so instead of avoiding it, take every change and experience as a challenge for growth.  Either it will give you what you want or it will teach you what the next step is.  And remember, finding peace in life does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, no challenges, and no hard work.  It means to be in the midst of those things while remaining calm in your heart.

10 Things To Remember When You Feel Lost & Alone | healthylivinghowto.comHonestly, life is too short to spend at war with yourself.  The biggest disappointments in our lives are often the result of misplaced expectations.  Letting go of needless expectations is your first step to happiness.  Come from a mindset of peace and acceptance, and you can deal with almost anything and grow beyond it.

5.  In every situation, YOU choose your attitude.

Be determined to be positive.  Understand that the greater part of your misery or unhappiness is determined not by your circumstances, but by your attitude.  A happy person is not a person who’s always in a good situation, but rather a person who always has a good attitude in every situation.  So smile at those who often try to begrudge or hurt you; show them what’s missing in their life and what they can’t take away from you.  Doing so doesn’t mean forgetting or giving in, it means you choose happiness over hurt.  (Read Buddha’s Brain.)

6.  Being alone does not mean you are lonely, and being lonely does not mean you are alone.

The trouble is not always in being alone; it’s being lonely in the presence of others.  One can be lonely in the midst of a crowd.  Wouldn’t you agree?  So keep this in mind and choose your relationships wisely.  It’s always better to be alone than to be in bad company.  And when you do decide to come back for someone, do so because you’re truly better off with this person.  Don’t do it just for the sake not being alone.

7.  Everyone you care about does NOT need to support your decisions.

Friends and family won’t always support your goals, but you must pursue them anyway.  Follow your intuition.  Following your intuition means doing what feels right, even if it doesn’t look or sound right to others.  Only time will tell, but our human instincts are rarely wrong.  Even if things don’t turn out as you anticipated, at least you won’t have to spend the rest of your life wondering what could have been.  So don’t worry about what everyone else thinks; just keep living and speaking your truth.

Ultimately, you know you’re on the right track in life when you become uninterested in looking back, and eager to take the next step, regardless of what anyone else thinks.

8.  You are not who you used to be, and that’s OK.

You’ve been hurt; you’ve gone through numerous ups and downs that have made you who you are today.  Over the years, so many things have happened – things that have changed your perspective, taught you lessons, and forced your spirit to grow.  As time passes, nobody stays the same, but some people will still tell you that you have changed.  Respond to them by saying, “Of course I’ve changed.  That’s what life is all about.  I’m still the same human being, just a little stronger now than I ever was before.”

9.  The best you can do changes from day to day.

Always do your best.  And realize that “your best” is going to change repeatedly.  For instance, it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.

Under any circumstance, simply do your best in the present moment and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.  And remember that no matter what’s happening, you can efficiently fight the battles of just today.  It’s only when you add the battles of those two abysmal eternities, yesterday and tomorrow, that life gets overwhelmingly complicated.  It’s necessary, therefore, to let yourself live just one day at a time – just today – just right here, right now.  And do the best you can in it.  (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Self_love” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

10.  It all matters in the end – every step, every regret, every smile, and every struggle.

The seemingly useless happenings add up to something.  The minimum wage job you had in high school.  The evenings you spent socializing with colleagues you never see anymore.  The hours you spent writing thoughts on a personal blog that no one reads.  Contemplations about elaborate future plans that never came to be.  All those lonely nights spent reading novels and news columns and comics strips and fashion magazines and questioning your own principles on life and sex and religion and whether or not you’re good enough just the way you are.  All of this has strengthened you.  All of this has led you to every success you’ve ever had.  All of this has made you who you are today.

The floor is yours…

What helps you stay positive when you feel lost and alone?  What’s something encouraging you try to keep in mind when you’re up against lots of uncertainty?

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The Bitter Truth About Sweet Drinks Sat, 05 Apr 2014 13:30:22 +0000 [Continue Reading]]]> The Bitter Truth About Sweet Drinks |

Teens and adolescents, when left to their own devices, often make poor choices when it comes to the food and beverages they put in their mouth. Although kids have opportunities to buy junk food outside the home, most of the poor quality foods they eat are found in their home. Parents must understand the impact the foods and drinks they buy have on the health of their children.

The Bitter Truth About Sweet Drinks

A report by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at Yale, called Sugary Drink F.A.C.T.S. (Food Advertising to Children and Teens Score), unveiled how much of an influence sugary drinks play in the nutrition of today’s youth. If you’re interested in reading the full 232-page report, you can download it here. If that’s too much to read, I’ve highlighted some of the most striking facts from the report throughout the article below.[i]

If you understand the impact sugary beverages have on your children’s health and future health, you might think twice before buying them.

For the purpose of the report, the group defined sugary drinks as regular soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, flavored water, energy drinks and iced teas that contain added sugar. 100% fruit juice was not included in the report, however, other than adding a small amount of vitamins and minerals, fruit juice is a poor replacement for the sugary drinks discussed below. The italicized text comes straight from the report, with more commentary added to it.

Sugary Drink Facts

According to the report findings, soda consumption is the top source of calories in the diets of teens. No protein, no healthy fat, just pure sugar, mostly in the form of high fructose corn syrup.

Drinking just one 8-ounce sugar drink every day increases a child’s odds of becoming obese by 60%!!!

Adults may look at normal-weight kids and justify allowing them to drink these beverages. For most people, the effects of excessive sugar consumption don’t happen overnight. It can take years for the body to become insulin resistant. Other than weight gain, insulin resistance is associated with diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver and other health complications.

Most parents won’t allow their kids to smoke tobacco, knowing the risk of cancer, yet the consumption of just one sugar beverage a day, a serving size less than half of what kids typically drink, increases the odds of obesity by 60%.

As parents, we often do our best to keep our kids from being exposed to unhealthy or dangerous influences, yet, as the F.A.C.T.S. report explained,

“Companies spent more on marketing beverages directly to children and adolescents compared with any other food category, and the majority of beverage advertising promotes sugary drinks.”

These beverage companies can be very influential over our kids. You might look at some of these issues and say “I don’t buy this stuff for my kids, so this doesn’t apply to me.” If that’s true, that’s great. But, the reality is average consumption in the Unites States is more than three 8 ounce servings of soft drinks, fruit drinks, teas, sports drinks, enhanced water and energy drinks every day.

If you’re not drinking it, and I’m not drinking it, someone else is drinking far more than average to. You don’t have to preach to others, but you can look for opportunities to warn them about the potential outcome from drinking these beverages.

“Approximately 70% of boys and 60% of girls ages 2 to 19 consume at least one sugary drink on any given day.”

If you’re kids aren’t drinking these beverages, than most definitely their friends are as soft drinks and other sugar-sweetened beverages are the primary source of added sugar in American’s diet.

Is one serving a day really that big a deal? The average serving size has increased from 6.5 fluid ounces in the 1950s to 13 ounces in 1996 to 20 ounces today! This adds up to 45 grams of sugar in a 12 ounce can and 75 grams in a 20 ounce bottle.

A whopping 75 grams of sugar in a typical bottle! If you wanted to consume that many carbohydrates from broccoli, you’d have to eat 4½ pounds! If that’s too much, you could also eat 1½ pounds of raspberries. Of course with either, you’d also be getting fiber, vitamins and minerals. Instead of increasing the risk of developing cancer from the extra sugar[ii], you’d be reducing the risk of cancer from the phytonutrients and antioxidants found vegetables and fruit.

Energy Drink Facts

Energy drinks have some unique properties, different from just the caffeine and sugar found in soft drinks.

“Energy drinks had the second-highest median sugar content overall, at 25 grams per 8-ounce serving. In addition, two-thirds of energy drinks contained artificial sweeteners, in spite of already-high levels of sugar.” 

Ingredients such as taurine, ginseng, and other herbs have can have an unpleasant taste that sugar itself can’t even mask. That’s likely why you can find both sugar and artificial sweeteners in the same can or bottle. Teenagers are the most frequent consumers of energy drinks, a section of the population that often lacks enough sleep. For those who use energy drinks, it’s no wonder they would have disrupted sleep.

The real risk for teens is forming a dependence or an addiction to energy drinks. The side effects teenagers may experience from energy drinks can range from stomach upset, irritability, sleep disruption, blood pressure changes and even heart arrhythmias for those sensitive to stimulants. The health hazards of energy drinks are especially worrisome for those with ADHD, diabetes or pre-existing heart conditions.

Misleading Health Claims

Food companies push the limits with the health claims on their labels, which misleads unknowing consumers, leaving them thinking they’re buying something healthy for themselves or their families.

“20 new products, including Crystal Light Pure, Gatorade G Natural, “Throwback” varieties of Dr. Pepper Snapple Group sodas, and Trop50, claimed they were now “natural” due to a switch to real sugar or organic ingredients.”

Metabolically speaking, “natural” sugar is not better then the alternatives. Yet, most people who see the “natural” claim on sugary drinks think they’re healthier. Energy drinks average more than two “health” claims per bottle, even though the claims made are not well justified. Sports drinks can be equally, or even more convincing of their “healthiness.” Sugary sports drinks serve little value for youth, except for those in long-duration, high-intensity sports like soccer, football and rugby.


Soda, sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit drinks and fruit juice are water and sugar. They also may have some extra, suspect ingredients such as artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors, caffeine and other stimulants. As adults, we have a responsibility for the welfare of our children. Though we cannot always control what they have outside our homes, we have 100% control over what we buy at the grocery store. Since the majority of the food and drink kids have each week is at home, make it a point to leave these beverages on the grocery store shelves. There is no logical reason to buy them.


[i] Yale Rudd Center For Food Policy & Obesity. Sugar Drink F.A.C.T.S.: Evaluating Sugary Drink Nutrition and Marketing to Youth. October 2011.

[ii] Klement RJ, Kammerer U. Is there a role for carbohydrate restriction in the treatment and prevention of cancer? Nutr & Metab. 2011;8:75

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7 Ways to Spring “Cleanse” Your Kitchen Sat, 05 Apr 2014 11:46:20 +0000 [Continue Reading]]]> 7 Ways To Spring Cleanse Your Kitchen |

Nothing screams spring like a good, solid cleanse, both for your body and your home. This is typically the time of year I get the itch to ditch and clean out every square inch of my home, tossing clutter and broken toys {keep that low, my daughter might be listening}, vacuuming nooks and crannies, scrubbing surfaces, and reorganizing spaces to be more efficient.

Spring is a perfect time of year to take stock of your surroundings and eliminate toxins. Your first stop? The kitchen! Here are 7 areas in the kitchen where you can take steps to make sure your yummy eats and the air you breathe stays clean and chemical-free.

7 Ways to Spring “Cleanse” Your Kitchen

1. Give your cleaning products a makeover

Chemicals in household cleaners are both unregulated and untested. Shocking, right {insert sarcasm}? Companies can use whatever chemicals they want, and they don’t have to test them for safety, or list all the ingredients on the label. These chemicals have been found to contain carcinogens, reproductive toxins, endocrine disruptors and allergens. Nice, huh?

Non-toxic kitchen cleaner options:

  • Toss all cleaning products that have the following words on the packaging: CAUTION, WARNING, or DANGER. These words = harmful chemicals and that’s no bueno.  Remember, you’re disposing of toxic chemicals that could potentially contaminate waterways, rivers, streams, and other areas. Be a good citizen to Mother Earth and check in with for disposal rules in your area. Just type in your zip and your options will appear, mmmkay?
  • Make your own! Save a boatload of money by making your own cleaning products using ingredients you already have. Check out my Pinterest board for some inspiration.
  • If you’re not ready to jump into the D-I-Y household cleaners world, choose cleaners that meet the guidelines of the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning. This is a good quality all-purpose cleaner that gets a high rating from the peeps over at EWG.

2. Update your cookware

Non-stick cookware was all the rage back when the Diet Dictocrats were screaming at us to cut the fat {and taste} out of our diets. Unfortunately, this cookware {like Teflon} is still lingering in many kitchens and contains a chemical called PFOA that gets released into the air and your food when the pan reaches high temperatures or the coating is scratched. PFOA is linked to low-birth weight, thyroid disorders, immune system toxicity, and testicular and liver cancer, to name a few.

Have I gotten your attention yet?

7 Ways To Spring Cleanse Your Kitchen |

Non-toxic cookware options:

3. Rethink food storage systems

If anyone has an obsession with leftovers, it’s this busy mama. My M.O. is cooking once and eating thrice. If I cooked from scratch every single day I’d be crazier than I already am. This means I need a liberal collection of food storage containers; food storage containers that won’t leach harmful chemicals into last night’s {grass-fed and organic} chili.

Chemicals found in plastic containers, like Bisphenal-A (BPA), are linked to everything from weight gain or trouble losing weight to early onset puberty and cancers. And don’t be fooled by that BPA-free nonsense. It’s just a smokescreen and a different type of plastic that hasn’t been as highly scrutinized or studied {yet}.

Non-toxic food storage options:

4. Ditch your toxic candles

Don’t get me wrong, I love the aura and scent of a nice candlelit room as much as the next gal, but at what cost? My family’s health? Thanks, but no thanks. Most candles eschew toxic soot and fumes that not only make your walls filthy, but also wreak havoc on your health.

Besides the soot traveling deep into your lungs {which is uber bad for those suffering from asthma and other lung ailments}, most scented candles are made with paraffin and fragrance oils, both of which are petroleum-based synthetics. The soot from these materials can contain carcinogens, neurotoxins and reproductive toxins.

Instead, opt for 100% beeswax candles. Or diffuse essential oils. Not only do they make a room smell amazing, they actually clean the air of harmful molds, viruses and bacteria.

5. Swap paper towels for cloth

Besides killing an appalling number of trees, many kitchen paper products are bleached with chlorine. That means chemicals in our air, on our skin, and in our food.

Non-toxic paper towel options:

  • Choose cloth napkins like this these beauties or this gorgeous set. They’ll not only make your table pop, but be so much better for the environment. Even better? Grab some vintage sets at an estate sale and save even more greenbacks.
  • Instead of tossing your husband’s old {ratty} t-shirts, cut them into rags to use for cleaning. He’ll totally appreciate it when his tattered circa 1993 Pearl Jam T is reincarnated into a toilet wipe.
  • At the very least, choose products that are labeled “Totally Chlorine Free” {TCF} or “Processed Chlorine-Free” {PCF}.

6. Water

Pure, clean, chemical-free water is becoming increasingly hard to come by.  Lead, arsenic, pesticides, fluoride, and chlorine are just a few of the toxins found in tap water – commonly exceeding government-approved “safe” levels. Frightening? You bet.

Instead of drinking tap water {or even bottled water}, invest in a high-quality water filtration system that removes those toxins. This is the one I have {and love} that won’t break the bank. Not only does it run off the grid {for you preppers out there}, but it removes all of the aforementioned toxins, plus viruses and pathogens, and retains the minerals.

7. Open your windows

Yep, saved the best {and easiest} for last. Modern homes are designed to be leak proof. This means toxins are sealed in and fresh air is sealed out. When Mother Nature finally decides to grace us with some sunshine and warmth, open up those windows and let the fresh air circulate in. Yes, it’s that easy. Opening the windows does wonders not only for blowing toxins out but also lifting our mood.

Now what?

This overhaul can be daunting – believe me, I get it! Before you start stressin’ and wondering where to begin, start small. Make one change at a time, and as your budget allows. Before you know it, your kitchen will be truly “clean” and you can continue down this “rabbit hole” in other areas of your home.

Have you begun making some of these transitions in your kitchen {or other areas of your home}? What would you add? Please tell me in the comments below. I’d love to hear!

About the Author

KristenKristen Boucher is a Registered Nurse, healthy living junkie, health and wellness coach, real foodie, full-time working wife to an amazing husband, cloth-diapering crunchy mama of two beautiful girls, creator of The Superwoman Slim Down: A Real Food Detox & Cleanse for Real Women, Lose Weight, Feel Great: 8 Weeks to a New You, and Founder of MIX | Wellness Solutions For A Balanced Life, where she inspires busy women to eliminate the overwhelm to lose weight, kick cravings, and cook delicious, healthy, and family-friendly meals without crazy diets, countless hours at the gym, or quitting their day job. Kristen can be found pushing the envelope at and on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+.

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