I am so excited to share a very special collaboration that I’ve been working on with Dr. Will Cole, who was recently named one of the top 50 holistic functional medicine doctors in the US. As some of you know, I suffer from endometriosis and adenomyosis which are both autoimmune diseases. 2017 was a very hard year for my health. I don’t publicly share this often, but I think it’s important to explain why I personally chose to work with Doctor Cole. I had no energy, I was incredibly anemic and I was in severe, chronic pain for at least two weeks each month. He and I met in June in LA and I told him about my condition. He suggested I try the AIP Diet, which is an autoimmune diet that eliminates inflammatory foods and repairs the gut. I won’t lie- the diet was very difficult for a few months. There were times I made mistakes and wasn’t perfect (sometimes I’m still not perfect) but now I can say that eating this clean FEELS good and I no longer crave some of the things I ate before. After we received my lab tests in the fall, Dr. Cole included Xymogen supplements into the diet. Within a month I saw some incredible changes. My energy improved, my aches and pains were less severe and shortened and I began using the bathroom regularly (yikes I hate sharing that! But if you suffer from endometriosis or fibroids, it's so important to have regular bowel movements to eliminate the bad estrogen) I have not been cured overnight and I’m not 100% better, but I am 70% better than I was a year ago. This exact time last year I was on my way to LAX for a Europe trip to source ingredients and I was too weak to get on the plane and canceled my trip. Just last month I began a heavy metal detox protocol (I'll be blogging about this soon) because I have lead and mercury poisoning which creates more estrogen and toxic effects in the body. Some believe if you can rid the body of toxic heavy metals, it’s possible to cure adenomyosis and endometriosis, two diseases that are dependent on estrogen. The improvement in my health has been significant, which is why I trust Dr. Cole and am so honored to collaborate with him and share our product with you. He is a special doctor and his team are always readily available to answer questions and give support. Agent Nateur’s mission is to offer the most cutting edge, non toxic, effective natural products that are organic or wildcrafted. Our ingredients are the highest quality and aren’t cut with any fillers. Dr. Cole and I sourced PURE pearl powder and the cleanest collagen on the market that is sourced from kosher, wild-caught, deep sea fish. The fish collagen is made from the skin of the fish which is important because heavy metals do not affect the skin. Heavy metals are found in the viscus (internal organs) and muscle of fish.
h o l i ( y o u t h ) the oceanic adaptogen
harnesses the MAGIC of the sea with the oceanic trinity- Spirulina, Marine Collagen and Pearl along with the tropical adaptogen, Holy Basil. The adaptogenic kingdom is comprised of different PLANT and EARTH medicines that have a balancing effect on the BRAIN, HORMONES and INFLAMMATION levels. h o l i (y o u t h) contains a revered adaptogen of the LAND (holy basil) and SEA (pearl).Our powerful blend helps to ensure you are radiating VIBRANT health from the inside out. h o l i ( y o u t h ) helps to balance and DETOX the body and promotes RADIANT, youthful skin while providing a CALM, peaceful effect.
The Benefits of Our Ingredients
Holy Basil, known as the "Queen of the herbs" is an ancient adaptogen that helps to balance hormones such as cortisol as well as reduce inflammation throughout the body. It is used to calm anxiety, stress and skin problems.
Pearl Powder (yes, from precious pearls of fresh and saltwater) is an oceanic adaptogen and is used for its calming and mood-regulating effects. Calcium-rich pearl also contains magnesium, amino acids, and a variety of minerals, making it a super beauty food for radiant skin.
Spirulina is one of the most primordial and nutrient-dense foods on the planet. This blue-green algae superfood is jam-packed with tons of benefits; it contains more clean protein than beef with a full range of essential amino acids (the ones your body can’t make and you need to get from food). Spirulina also has more calcium than milk and its chlorophyll content makes it very detoxifying. It is one of the only plant sources of long-chain omega fats needed for healthy hormones, brain, immune system and skin. Our pure spirulina is harvested from the pristine waters of Hawaii.
Marine Collagen is one of the cleanest and most bioavailable sources of protein. It is also a great way to promote healthy skin, hair, and joints. Rich in glycine, collagen is also great for supporting optimal gut and immune health. Our marine collagen is from fresh, wild-caught, deep-sea fish. It decreases wrinkles, hydrates and firms the skin.
AVOIDING FLUORIDATED WATER
***PREFACE: I became so alarmed by the amount of Los Angeles fluoridated bottled water delivery companies in Los Angeles so I asked Alexa Ouaknine to investigate. Fluoride calcifies and shrinks your pineal gland, (also called the pineal body, epiphysis cerebri, epiphysis or the "third eye") a small endocrine gland. The pineal gland produces melatonin, a hormone that affects the modulation of wake/sleep patterns and photoperiodic (seasonal) functions. Considered the most powerful and highest source of ethereal energy available to humans, the pineal gland has always been important in helping your intuition.
Scientific evidence supports the possibility that our third eye, or pineal, was once our first eye. The pineal gland gives a perception of the world around us through our senses. It controls the action of light upon our body and is located beneath the cerebral cortex where the two hemispheres of the brain join. This is the place where the brain regulates consciousness and interprets the body’s sensory and motor functions.
"The third eye controls the various bio-rhythms of the body. It works in harmony with the hypothalamus gland which directs the body's thirst, hunger, sexual desire and the biological clock that determines our aging process. When it "awakens", one feels a pressure at the base of the brain. Melatonin is the chemical in charge of our sleep cycles and the quality of our sleep, and it also regulates the onset of puberty. Melatonin is responsible for fighting against free radicals. A decline in melatonin triggers the ageing process in the body. Serotonin, the neurotransmitter or happy chemical responsible for our mood, is transformed into melatonin only in the pineal gland. The pineal plays a major role in hibernation of animals, in metabolism and seasonal breeding."
You can begin to detoxify the pineal gland by avoiding fluoridated water and including spirulina. chlorella (please find a source that is NOT from China), oregano oil and wheatgrass in your diet. Raw apple cider vinegar and pure cacao have a great effect on the pineal too. Once we have cleared the pineal gland of toxins we can work on awakening the third eye through yoga and meditation. -Jena Covello
Did you know that most water companies are adding fluoride to their water? Fluoride was originally added to the public water supply decades ago in an effort to improve overall dental health, though research has shown no such connection. In fact, overexposure to fluoride can lead to dental fluorosis, a discoloring of tooth enamel. About 70 percent of public water supplies in the United States contain fluoride, meaning intake and accumulation in the body is beyond our control. Fluoride is being added to the water of everyone. The matter has been up for debate for years, but evidence is finally showing that fluoride in drinking water is toxic and can pose very serious health threats.
For starters, extremely high levels of fluoride cause neurotoxicity in adults, negatively impacting memory and learning ability. Fluoride also damages the pineal gland, which located at the center of the brain, and when it’s messed with, it takes your intuition away. Pretty scary. The Harvard School of Public Health and the China Medical University in Shenyang have found that there are strong indications that fluoride also has an adverse effect on children’s cognitive learning development. It is one of the twelve industrial chemicals known to cause developmental neurotoxicity in human beings, and is not an essential component for human growth and development. This toxic chemical is found in water, food, air, soil, pesticides, fertilizers, dental products used in dental offices and at home, pharmaceutical drugs, cookware (non-stick Teflon), clothing, carpeting, and a number of other consumer items. This chemical is a huge health hazard when consumed regularly in large amounts, as much of America does.
Because we are inevitably exposed to fluoride, it’s important that people who drink bottled water regularly are educated and informed. Keep in mind that when drinking bottled water, it’s in your best interest to drink from a glass bottle or to use a home water filter service for the sink and shower. We recommend the Berkey A single plastic bottle of water can contain nearly 25,000 different chemicals, some of which contribute to hormone interference. The plastic causes cancer and is a xenoestrogen, a chemical found in our food and environment that, when ingested, interact with our body’s estrogen systems.
Here is a list of high-risk bottled water brands, full of fluoride content:
· Belmont Springs
· Crystal Rock
· Crystal Springs
· Deer Park
· Diamond Springs
· Hindley Spri
· Ice Mountain
· Kentwood Springs
· Mayer Bros.
· Mount Olympus
· Nursery Water
· Poland Spring
· Pure Flo
· Puritan Springs
· Sierra Springs
Fluoride-safe bottled water brands (complete list here, but we highly recommend that you only drink from glass bottled water because of the xenoestrogens found in plastic: http://www.healthyfoodhouse.com/most-bottled-water-filled-with-fluoride-heres-complete-list-brands-avoid/) :
· Arbor Springs
· Aquafina Water
· Black Berry Farms
· Blue Ice Natural Mineral Water
· Century Springs
· Clearly Arctic
· Clear Mountain Spring Water
· Deja Blue
· Flowing Springs
· Glacier Bay
· Hidden Valley Natural Mineral Water
· Mountain Valley Spring Water
· Oasis Pure Drinking Water
· Oasis Sparkling Water
· Polaris Water
· Smart Water
· Stator Bros. Markets
· Whole Foods 365
THE SUNSHINE VITAMIN
Vitamin D has received a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. Most people are vitamin D deficient to some degree, due in large part to the popular misconception that it is in our best interest to steer clear of the sun and because toxins that are found in pesticides and air pollution deplete the body of vitamin D. Conventional dermatologists have demonized the sun and go so far as to suggest that we avoid even a single ray of sunlight, or face serious risk of skin cancer. To no surprise, this has caused extreme paranoia of the sun, along with the excessive application of sunscreen. Three quarters of adults and teens are vitamin D deficient, and of the thirty leading causes of deaths in the United States in 2010, nineteen were linked to low vitamin D status. Avoiding skin cancer is important, but so is making good vitamin D. Most skin cancers are non-melanoma, which are easy to detect and easy to treat. On the other hand, melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, occurs on the least sun-exposed parts of the body. Because melanomas occur on the least sun-exposed parts of the body, people who are exposed to the sun more regularly have lower incidences of melanoma than those who are not, such as office workers or those living in high latitudes. But spending time in the sun is not enough. Supplementation is needed and should be combined with vitamin K. According to Dr Mercola, "There's a new kid on the block that could end up being "the next vitamin D," and we are finding that some of vitamin D's benefits are greatly enhanced when combined with this other vitamin. That "new kid" is vitamin K. Much new research is now focusing on the synergy between vitamin K (specifically, vitamin K2) and vitamin D3, particularly in terms of bone strength and cardiovascular health."
When tested, women with fibroids, endometriosis, adenomyosis, and PCOS are all similar in that they are vitamin D deficient. Research on hormonal and reproductive health has repeatedly linked back to Vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a role with hormone receptor sites and reducing inflammatory responses, and without it, hormones can’t function the way they normally would. Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, luteinizing hormone, and follicle stimulating hormone all go out of whack when receptor sites malfunction.
Research has concluded that low levels of vitamin D may be tied to fibroids and that sufficient levels of vitamin D may decrease the risk of fibroids. Vitamin D has also shown to play a role in multiple sclerosis (MS) and fibromyalgia. Studies show that supplementing with vitamin D has resulted in significant reduction in both pain and fatigue symptoms of those suffering with MS and fibromyalgia. Studies concerning endometriosis suggest that vitamin D supplements could be a safe, effective, and low-cost therapeutic approach in both the primary prevention and treatment of endometriosis. Endometriosis is a result of a number of factors, including genetic, hormonal, immunological, and environmental factors, but inflammation plays an especially important role in the development and progression of the disease. Vitamin D is also extremely important for a healthy pregnancy and increased fertility. High doses of vitamin D have shown to lower estradiol. Estrogen dominance is one of the main reasons for infertility. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is another leading cause of infertility, and most women with this condition are vitamin D deficient. This vitamin D deficiency in women with PCOS is also associated with multiple metabolic risk factors such as cysts on the ovaries, poor metabolic health, and inflammation.
Vitamin D sufficiency comes with a wide array of health benefits. It is commonly known to be important for regulating calcium and bone health, but it is not just the bones and intestines that interact with vitamin D; every single tissue and cell in the body has a vitamin D receptor. The immune system, brain, heart, blood vessels, and colon all have vitamin D receptors and all respond to the active form of vitamin D. In turn, immune health, cell growth, cancer risk, oxidative stress, and blood pressure are all regulated. Up to 2,000 genes in the body are directly or indirectly regulated by vitamin D, and as a result, thousands of studies have associated deficiency with increased risk of developing common cancers, autoimmune diseases, hypertension and various infectious diseases. Vitamin D supports the “killer cells” of the immune system, helping them to seek out and destroy pathogens. The nutrient helps the cell’s go into alert mode and also tells the cell to calm down when the job is done. This is extremely important because if the cell stays in fight mode for too long, collateral damage, resulting in autoimmune disorders may occur.
Harvard Magazine sites an important scientific study on vitamin D and its effects on colorectal cancer, a type of colon cancer. A large number of previous studies have defined a consistent and strong association between high levels of vitamin D and lower risk of colorectal cancer risk, but this epidemiological study found that vitamin D might inhibit cancer. The study sets out to find whether vitamin D levels matter for patients, and found that higher levels of vitamin D were associated with significantly better survival, as well as delayed progression of the disease. This might be because the nutrient prevents the inflammation that promotes cancer growth, or strengthens immunity against the tumor.
It is recommended that children get 1,000 units of vitamin D a day, and adults get 2,000 to 3,000 units of vitamin D a day. If you are obese you will need 2 to 3 times more because increased body fat has the ability to absorb vitamin D and keep it from being used within our body. Due to the high amount we need and the relatively low amount found in our foods, it is nearly impossible to get enough vitamin D just from dietary sources alone. One quart of raw milk, for example, only contains thirty-eight of the 2,000 to 3,000 units of vitamin D that we need. Fifteen minutes per day of sun exposure between the hours of 10 AM and 3 PM is suggested. It is also suggested to always put sun protectant on your face, but not the arms and legs. Using an SPF of 30 reduces the ability to make vitamin D in your skin by 95-98%, leading to further deficiencies. The only way to know if you are deficient in vitamin D is to have your doctor perform a blood test. Dr. Axe suggests the 25-hydroxoyvitamin D test done, sometimes also called the 25(OH) D test, as other tests can show normal or even elevated levels of vitamin D which are actually inaccurate.
Vitamin D deficiency also contributes to dental plaque and gum disease, hypothyroidism, kidney stones, Crohn's disease, breast cancer and cysts, cellulite and scar tissue, aging and Alzheimer's disease.
SUPPLEMENTING WITH ORGANIC SULFUR
We’ve got the scoop on the miracle mineral you are probably missing out on, and it’s organic sulfur. For starters, supplementing with organic sulfur comes with many surprising benefits. To name a few, organic sulfur has proven its worth as an important mineral for healthy hair, skin and nails, repairing cell damage, advancing arthritis type symptoms, joint pain relief, inflammation, breaking up scar tissue, heavy metal detoxification, increased energy, and mental clarity. Research points out that bio-available sulfur is one of the most important trace minerals the body needs. It is a nutrient found in all living organisms, but is still extremely challenging to get sufficient amounts for your diet. Things in our environment like glyphosate, herbicides, our fertilizers and industrialized farming, that have changed the chemical makeup of our soil have stripped the sulfur from the dirt. In turn, there is a lack of naturally occurring sulfur in the environment because the plants that are being raised in the depleted soils no longer contain sulfur. Sulfur is now a missing key ingredient that is not present in our diet, leading to the inability for our cells to regenerate in a healthy manner, and making it truly essential to supplement with organic sulfur. Our food supply is devoid of sulfur leading to sulfur deficiency being quite common and potentially contributing to health problems such as obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer's and chronic fatigue, among many more.
ORGANIC SULFUR AND OXYGENATION
Perhaps organic sulfur’s key benefit is oxygenation. Organic sulfur brings in the oxygen and takes out the trash. If you think about it, life is oxygen, and oxygen is key; no disease can survive in an oxygen rich environment. If you supplement with organic sulfur regularly, your oxygen saturation levels go up, so long as we are consuming clean drinking water that does not contain chlorine, as chlorine is an oxygen robber. By drinking clean water, we produce oxygen that sulfur escorts to the cell wall, making the cell wall permeable and allowing the big oxygen molecule in, and then spitting out the trash. Sulfur keeps the cell walls permeable so that nutrients can freely flow into the cells while waste and toxins can be easily removed. Without this oxygen, we begin to degenerate long before our biological clock runs out. Oxygen is necessary for healthier cellular regeneration, which is the process of restoration, renewal and growth of our cells, and is the only way cells, organisms, and ecosystems stay resilient to fluctuations and disturbances in the environment that might otherwise cause serious damage. Its oxygenation properties can supply us with increased energy, stamina, better circulation, and protection from chemtrails and radiation.
ORGANIC SULFUR AND DETOXIFICATION
Another notable property of organic sulfur is its role in detoxing our bodies from heavy metals like mercury, and from glyphosate, a non-selective herbicide and crop desiccant that Farmers use to control weeds. Sulfur is arguably the single most critical element in our body’s detoxification process and in its ability to escape from oxygen-based damage. Many naturally occurring substances in the body move around while attached to sulfur and many toxic substances require sulfur in order to be detoxified and transported out of the body. Organic sulfur is very reactive and binds with almost anything that has a sulfate version, such as mercury sulfate, Lead sulfate, iron sulfate, ammonium sulfate and many, many more. It binds to these minerals very easily, giving us the chance to chelate and get rid of it rapidly, making it an important element for detoxification of heavy metals in conjunction with the transport of oxygen across the cell membrane.
ORGANIC SULFUR BREAKS UP SCAR TISSUE
Organic sulfur has the ability to transform degeneration to regeneration. The Sulfur Study (http://www.naturodoc.com/sulfurstudy.htm) found that old scar tissue as well as various types of fibroids have proven to resolve with the supplementation of organic sulfur. This is due to the regeneration in cells that have been scarred and unable to regenerate over the years following a trauma. This makes it really great for any one who has had surgery or has suffered from any injury. One way sulfur does this is by flushing out acidic waste stored in tissue.
SKIN, HAIR AND NAILS...AND CANDIDA!
Sulfur is commonly referred to as “the beauty mineral”. Organic sulfur is excellent for repairing cell damage and maintaining healthy hair, skin and nails. Sulfur works wonders for the skin and hair; improving skin tone, clarity, anti-aging and texture. Sulfur is necessary for the formation of collagen synthesis, the protein found in connective tissue in the body. It is also present in keratin, which is necessary for the maintenance of the skin, hair, and nails, helping give strength, shape, and hardness to these protein tissues. Sulfur’s ability to aid in the regeneration of cells helps skin stay clear and youthful. Sulfur cuts off the oxygen supply of candida and can cure yeast infections fast.
SUPPLEMENTING WITH ORGANIC SULFUR
It is important to supplement smart. Supplementing with organic sulfur in the form of coarse crystal salt-like flakes, which have gone through no processing, is best. Any anti-caking ingredients will block the bioavailability of sulfur to the cells. The physiologic form of sulfur, methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) should have no other ingredient in it beside MSM. However, because MSM works as a chelating agent, it should be taken at least 45 minutes before or after any medication or supplement to ensure that the sulfur does not absorb the medication or supplement.
We get our MSM in mineral and organic form from Dr. Julia T. Hunter. Julia T. Hunter runs a holistic dermatology practice in Los Angeles. Julia’s philosophy is to treat the skin from within and swears by organic sulfur and its ability to promote optimizing youthful organ function, thyroid and immune function, energy, clearer thinking, detox, liver cleansing, internal fungal overgrowth, increased sense of well-being, improve skin tone, clarity, anti-aging, texture, pigment and color, and the reduction of skin wrinkles and acne facial scars. http://www.juliathuntermd.com/jthstore/skin-fitness-plus-synergistic-supplements/107-organic-sulfur.html
Sulfur rich foods like cruciferous and fermented veggies and bone broth should also be consumed. The connective tissues of bones used for bone broth are sulfur-rich, and when you slow-cook the bones, you dissolve these nutrients out of the bone and into the water. Sulfur escapes these natural sources when cooked at high temperatures, so incorporating some raw or minimally processed foods into your diet might be beneficial.
ADAPTOGENS: AGENT NATEUR’S ANTI-STRESS AGENTS
By Jena Covello and Alexa Ouaknine
Stress is part of every day life, for every person, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t the ones who decide how we deal with it. Adaptogens have been an extremely hot topic in the wellness world lately, and we've been mixing up some of these potions ourselves to keep our stress in check, our skin luminous, our immune system strong and our hormones balanced, to start. The verdict is in, and we can’t rave about adaptogens enough. Now that we’ve given them time to work and have seen the amazing results for ourselves, all we want to do is share all of their glory.
You can’t spell adaptogen without the word adapt, and adapting is exactly what adaptogens help our bodies to do. These balancing herbs have been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for centuries, and are prized for their ability to help the body adapt to stress. They help to normalize our physiological functions regardless of the direction of change, going where they are needed when they are needed and adjusting to our body’s demands. Adaptogens give us that middle ground that many of us have trouble finding. If you are up, they calm you down, and if you are down, they pick you up. If your immune system is autoimmune they can have a suppressing effect, and if your immune system is deficient they can help to pick it back up. Moreover, Adaptogens do wonders for supporting adrenal function. They regulate our nervous response to stress by making the stress response efficient and the ability to switch them off efficient as well. We have to be able to switch off our stress response in order to avoid running them to exhaustion and to protect the host from its own defense mechanisms. If we don’t, responses like inflammation, immune activation and changes in the liver will have seriously harmful effects.
Stress happens more frequently than we can put our finger on. Stress hormones are secreted when we exercise, have a bad night’s sleep, are sick and fighting off illness, aren’t eating nourishing foods, etc. A stressor is really anything that knocks us out of homeostatic balance, and what our body does to get itself back to “normal” is what we refer to as the stress response, which can be even more damaging than the thing that knocked us out of balance in the first place. What’s great about these herbs is that not only are they totally non toxic to the body when taken in therapeutic doses (we recommend starting with ½ to ¼ teaspoon and increasing over time), but they help our bodies to be more resilient to these stressors without acting as a chemical straightjacket, like antipsychotics and antidepressants do. Since some adaptogens are calming (such as cordyceps, schisandra, and reishi) and some are stimulating (like rhodiola), we suggest rotating them and starting with small amounts. Test them out and see what works for you, but like with most things, give them time to work their magic before throwing in the towel. If you are pregnant, nursing, or have a pre-existing medical condition, consult with your doctor before incorporating these herbs into your regular routine.
OUR AGENT TIP:
We love to get our adaptogens in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs. They are the same high-quality as some of the fancier brands, but are much easier on the wallet because you’re not paying for the fancy packaging. (https://www.mountainroseherbs.com)
Some of our favorite anti-stress agents listed below!
Also referred to as Tulsi and is “known as the "Queen of the herbs". Holy Basil is an ancient adaptogen that helps to balance hormones, boost the immune system and reduce inflammation throughout the body. It is used to calm anxiety, and help with adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism, acne and blood sugar.
Yes, the same kind of pearls we wear on our ears and around our necks are also what we are calling the golden ticket to glowing skin. As Dr. Will Cole (https://drwillcole.com) says, crushed pearl powder is an adaptogenic source of amino acids, proteins, calcium, trace minerals and polysaccharides that promises glowing skin, healthy hair and stronger nails. Pearl also helps promote bone and cell building. It is made up cell building compounds, helping us repair tissue, promote peaceful mood, and slow the aging process. Pearl powder promotes regeneration of new skin cells, regenerates collagen, and improves skin elasticity. It is nearly tasteless and so easy to incorporate daily.
Chaga/ Reishi/ Cordyceps
Chaga – The ultimate immune and health tonic for fighting off bacteria and viruses and supporting immune system. By providing our cells with such a significant amount of antioxidants, Chaga slows down the natural aging process and can even help repair skin damage.
Reishi – A calming, grounding, and balancing adaptogenic mushroom that has traditionally been used throughout Asia to assist in deepening meditation. Reishi contains many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds and can help improve the central nervous system and balance hormones naturally. We love using Reishi for a less stressful menstrual cycle.
Cordyceps – This adaptogenic mushroom is known to be a longevity-promoting herb that helps fight the effects of stress and aging and increases immunity against viruses. Cordyceps can help control autoimmune disorders, excessive inflammation, and tissue damage while speeding up healing time.
Rhodiola is a stimulating adaptogen, so if you’re looking to be productive and get that natural energy boost without the crash, look no further. Rhodiola burns stored fat for energy, is great for enhancing athletic performance by increasing red blood cell count, lowers cortisol and improves brain function. It helps fight depression by increasing dopamine and serotonin sensitivity, which are two neurotransmitters known for increasing focus, memory, pleasure, and improving mood.
Triphala is a natural laxative and colon cleanser, therefore making it a great adaptogen for anyone with digestion issues. It is known to lower cholesterol, aid in weight loss and detoxification, fight off cancer and is an excellent source of vitamin C.
This powder from pine trees is packed full with B Vitamins and vitamin D. This nutrient powerhouse is high in antioxidants and helps with energy levels. It is most commonly used for balancing hormones and can be incredibly useful for naturally increasing low testosterone levels. Pine pollen protects the immune system, acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and helps to beautify the skin.
He Shou Wu
A true “a youth elixir” that has proven to stimulate the body’s longevity promoting substances. It has been used for thousands of years to promote healthy aging by tonifying the Kidney and Liver functions. He Shou Wu stimulates the most potent antioxidant in the body, called superoxide dismutase, which heals from disease and extends lifespan. He Shou Wu helps keep the skin moisturized and contains iron, zinc, copper and other minerals that are important for women’s health and fertility, making it a great blood tonic after a period cycle.
Schisandra is a true brain and beauty food that acts as an aphrodisiac and nourishes the inner organs, resulting in shinier hair and glowing skin. It is a natural beauty tonic that protects the skin from toxins, allergic reactions, environmental stress and dermatitis. It contains a high concentration of antioxidant compounds, therefore making it useful for combating inflammation.
CHAGA LATTE RECIPE AND THE BENEFITS OF MEDICINAL MAGICAL MUSHROOMS
by Jena Covello and Alexa Ouaknine
Replace coffee with a delicious, anti-inflammatory chaga latte that you will love! Chaga detoxifies the liver, calms anxiety, heals the gut and makes your skin beautiful. Here is the yummy recipe followed by some of the wonderful benefits of medicinal, magical mushrooms:
Hot Chaga Latte
1 teaspoon of chaga, shop here: CHAGA
1/4 cup of water
3/4 cup of almond, coconut or hemp milk
4 dashes of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ghee
1 teaspoon of manuka honey
Heat 1/4 cup of water on stove. Once heated, pour in blender and blend with chaga and cinnamon. Pour in cup. Add ghee and manuka honey.
Heat 3/4 cup of your choice of non dairy milk on stove. Pour in cup over other ingredients. Stir and enjoy!
Mushrooms or magic? We’re sure you are already catching on, but here at Agent Nateur, we are all about traditional foods that hold incredible nutritional value and reincorporating them into our diet. Medicinal mushrooms are another great “superfood” that have been around for thousands of years, and without side effects have been used for their foundational healing properties. Staying true to this idea of food-as-medicine, mushrooms are one of the best examples. In fact, about 40% of western medicines nowadays utilize mushrooms, (http://drjessechappus.com/chaga-reishi-cordyceps-medicinal-mushrooms/), and medicinal mushrooms have given us many pharmaceutical medicines from penicillin to the anticancer treatments. They are highly anti-inflammatory and support immune function and mental clarity. The skin of mushrooms absorbs vitamin D from sunshine similarly to how the human skin absorbs vitamin D, and because one third of the population is deficient, even over here in Sunny California, we look to these medicinal mushrooms to give us that boost.
Some types, like Reishi and Cordyceps, act as Adaptogens, and in doing so help the body adapt to biological and psychological stress by making it easier to balance hormonal systems. Medicinal mushrooms give us energy when we need it, and at the same time, help us relax when we need it, too. The healing properties of mushrooms have been studied in depth, and offer a broad spectrum of powerful, research-backed healing properties. Medicinal mushrooms are also great for people with autoimmune conditions. They can regulate and calm down hyperactive immune responses by acting as anti-inflammatory agents and promoting gut health. Incorporating mushrooms into your diet doesn’t mean you will never get stressed, but it definitely will give you the capacity to better deal. There are at least 270 species for mushrooms known for their therapeutic properties, but we want to start start with the “Big Three” that are the most mainstream: Chaga, Reishi and Cordyceps.
Chaga mushrooms are best known for their anticancer properties, and to be one of the highest sources of antioxidants in nature. They also act as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, are rich in B-vitamins, digestive enzymes, and are pure gold when it comes to minerals. Chaga mushrooms work to protects cells, reduce stress and inflammation, cleanse the liver, fight parasites and certain types of cancer, regulate the immune system, and promote endurance and longevity. They are filled with melanin which means they help to ensure your skin is beautiful and supple. They help protect hair and skin from sun damage and can diminish the size of age spots.
Reishi mushrooms are excellent to incorporate in your evening routine. Reishi is best known to relax the body, mind, and nervous system, and therefore enhances a deeper and all around better quality of sleep. Reishi supports immune function, helps balance hormones, supports the function of the liver and detoxification, and reduces risk for infections and viruses. Reishi mushrooms act as Adaptogens, helping the body to deal with stress from things such as inflammation, depleted energy levels, damaged blood vessels and hormonal imbalances.
Cordyceps mushrooms are also considered an Adaptogen, and help the body to maintain constant energy levels by producing energy on the cellular level. It is a great alternative to coffee, as coffee gives our bodies false energy that can tax our adrenal glands. Cordyceps are also known to be a longevity-promoting herb. They fight the effects of stress and aging and increase immunity against viruses. They can help control autoimmune disorders, excessive inflammation, and tissue damage while speeding up healing time. (https://draxe.com/cordyceps/ These are great for anti-aging and for a balanced pick-me-up, perhaps before a workout.
When it comes to nutrition, it is absolutely a personal journey, but consistency is the best way to reap the benefits. By incorporating medicinal mushrooms daily, or even often, you might find improvement in respiratory health, heart health, detoxification, slowing of the natural aging process, increased energy levels, and an improved immune system, to name a few. People often want to feel the effects right away or anticipate that they will, but it’s important to understand that our bodies adapt over time and it’s a cumulative effect, but it is true that with some, you might feel the effects right away. For example, Reishi and Cordyceps are Adaptogenic, so if you are a high stress or generally sensitive person, you will often immediately feel an energy boost or better quality sleep. Chaga on the other hand, with more sophisticated benefits, works to improve skin quality and act as an antioxidant, so the effects take place over time instead of immediately. We recommend doing the research, seeing how you feel, and giving it time to work.
OFFAL, BUT NOT SO AWFUL: WHY YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSUME ORGAN MEAT
By Jena Covello and Alexa Ouaknine
I know what some of you are thinking when you hear organ meat, but hear us out. While not the most glamorous topic, organ meats, also referred to as offal, are nature's multivitamin and offer significantly more nutrition than their muscle-meat counterparts. Organ meats are the most concentrated source of nearly every nutrient we seek. We’ve been all about lean meats as of late, but our ancestors used to consume every part of the animal, and even prioritized organ meats because of the incomparable nutrients they offer. In some traditional societies, organ meats were often saved for tribe leaders, pregnant women, and those believed to be at the top tier of society. Now we seem to have it totally reversed. For those of you who are weary about organ meat, it might be smart to ease into them by incorporating some of the more common types into your diet, like heart, kidney and liver. These are nutritional powerhouses and are loaded with nutrients that are hard to find elsewhere. Liver, for example, has more than double the daily-recommended value for vitamin A and vitamin B12, and is believed to be one of the most nutrient dense foods one can consume. Kidney provides us with an outstanding amount of lean protein and folate, and heart is the best food source of CoQ10. There are ways of sneaking these organ meats into your diet so you hardly know they are there, like grinding them up and adding them to meatballs or ground meat dishes. It is paramount to source these meats properly, meaning grass-fed and raised on pasture. The health of the animal greatly affects the health of its organs, so choosing a healthy source is a must. It might take some getting used to, but because of their benefits, organ meats sell themselves. We’ve outlined some of our favorite benefits below.
For starters, organ meats are a great source of Vitamin A, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants there is, protecting us from diseases associated with oxidative stress and providing us with immune support. Liver is an important source of retinol, which is pre-formed vitamin A, meaning our bodies don’t need to convert it for it to become active. Vitamin A is one of the fat-soluble activators present only in animal fat and is needed for a number of biochemical processes. Without it, the body is not able to utilize protein, minerals, and water-soluble vitamins. It is useful for healthy pregnancy, infection prevention, hormone production, optimal thyroid function, healthy digestion, and eye health. And one of our personal favorite benefits, Vitamin A helps skin keep its elasticity and stay supple. In regards to Vitamin A toxicity, we are talking about Vitamin A from a natural, animal-derived source, not synthetic Vitamin A, and it is therefore not an area of concern. More on this here. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/12/30/eating-organ-meats.aspx
Organ meats are also packed with a wide array of B-complex vitamins such as B1, B2, B6, folate, and B12. These vitamins help us maintain healthy blood pressure levels, boost learning and memory, help improve mood and protect against depression, anxiety, and heart disease, to name a few. Usable B12 is found only in animal products, and when B12 is depleted, deficiencies such as anemia, impaired eyesight, panic attacks, schizophrenia, and nervous disorders may arise. (https://www.amazon.com/Nourishing-Traditions-Challenges-Politically-Dictocrats/dp/0967089735) They contain important trace minerals, such as copper, zinc, and chromium, and offer a highly bioavailable form of iron, which helps protect from anemia. Further, B-complex vitamins are especially useful for nursing moms. B6 is known to decrease pain caused from menstrual cramps and helps with “morning sickness” phase of pregnancy, and folate is one of the key nutrients found in almost all prenatal supplements, known for its role in promoting a healthy pregnancy. (https://draxe.com/offal/)
Another amazing benefit is the high content of CoQ10 found in Heart, a nutrient known for its role in promoting cardiovascular health. CoQ10 has similar benefits to the B-complex vitamins because of its antioxidant properties and its role in disease prevention. The Heart is also known to contain twice as much collagen and elastin than regular meat, two important nutrients for healthy connective tissue and digestion. Organ meats are also rich in minerals like iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc and important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Additionally, Organ meats are known to have some of the highest concentrations of naturally occurring vitamin D of any food source. The protein we get from animals is our only source of complete protein, providing us with all nine essential amino acids our bodies need to function effectively.
Of all the new, and expensive, Super foods we are constantly being introduced to, perhaps the most nutritionally well rounded are right back at home and are easy on the wallet. Food has become increasingly processed, commercialized, and standardized in recent years, leaving us with poor immunity and weak constitutions. By reincorporating traditional, nutrient dense foods that we need in order to be and grow optimally healthy, we are reminded that our food hasn’t always been this way. It seems we have stopped trusting tradition and instead started following the ways of food companies and medical doctors with no real nutritional training to tell us what and how to eat. The culinary traditions of our ancestors should serve as a model for contemporary eating habits, especially during this time of highly processed and denatured food. Remember, organ meats in the old days were savored as a special treat and often reserved by the alpha and the tribe leaders. So lets all be kings and queens and get involved.
PROTEIN, FAT, AND FIBER: YOUR NEW BEST FRIENDS
by Alexa Ouaknine and Jena Covello
We love smoothies for breakfast, or anytime, really. Not only are smoothies delicious and easy to make, they allow our bodies to ease into our day after what is usually a 12-hour fast from our dinner the night before. In order to turn a smoothie into a substantial breakfast that will give us enough energy to tackle our day and make us feel good without depriving ourselves or counting down the hours until lunch time, we want to make sure our smoothies have these three things: protein, fat, and fiber.
Protein and fat are needed in all meals (not just smoothies) to turn off hunger hormones and to properly regulate blood sugar which will alleviate light headedness and nausea. Protein at the start of your day will not only boost energy, it will also keep you feeling relaxed and help keep you away from the junk food. Fat helps us to feel satiated, aids in lowering bad cholesterol, shedding excess weight, and keeps our hair, skin and nails shiny and strong. Our bodies need healthy fat. Fiber promotes regular bowel movements, slows the absorption of sugar in the body, and keeps us feeling full. In addition to protein, fat, and fiber, we encourage adding an unlimited amount of greens to your smoothies, along with any of your favorite superfoods.
Utilizing these three nutrients to turn off hunger hormones helps us to avoid doing things like grabbing a coffee and a protein bar, or maybe just a juice, and calling that breakfast. By not depriving ourselves of the nutrients our bodies need, we actually set ourselves up to make conscious and healthy decisions throughout the remainder of the day.
Recommended sources of Protein, Fat, and Fiber
Protein: beef, chicken, or marine collagen, a raw, sprouted vegetarian protein powder, organic grass fed whey
Fat: Coconut oil, MCT oil, Avocado, coconut butter, Nut Butters.
Fiber: raw fiber powder, coconut, berries, Asian pears, chia seeds and avocado.
Below are our favorite (AIP) go-to smoothies
Blueberry Antioxidant Fat Fiber Protein Smoothie:
Ingredients: 1 scoop of grass fed collagen (PROTEIN) 1 cup of frozen organic blueberries 1 cup of frozen organic spinach 1/4 cup of frozen strawberries 1 cup of coconut milk 1/4 cup of water 1 tablespoon of organic chia seeds (Not AIP compliant but very good for extra fiber so my doctor allows it) (FIBER) 4 dashes of cinnamon (***excellent for stabilizing blood sugar) 1 tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil (HEALTHY FAT) 1 tablespoon of organic maple syrup
1 serving collagen peptides (PROTEIN)
1 cup of coconut milk
½ of an avocado (HEALTHY FAT)
Spinach (remember, greens are always unlimited!)
½ of a frozen banana
1-2 tbsp. chia seeds (FIBER)
ice, if needed
1 serving grass fed collagen (PROTEIN)
½ green apple
¼ avocado (HEALTHY FAT)
1 tbsp. coconut butter
1-2 tsp. chia seeds (FIBER)
pinch of cinnamon (***excellent for stabilizing blood sugar) Blend together
Feng Shui Your Way To Good Health And Good Fortune
By Jena Covello and Alexa Ouaknine
We recently worked with Feng Shui expert, Deanna Cohen, to Feng Shui our personal space and are excited about the results we’ve seen so far. After our own personal Feng Shui session, we saw significant changes, like improved sleep and much calmer and peaceful energy in the home. As predicted, relationships, wealth and finances have improved. We are in the process of adding objects, like clay to the bedroom to incorporate an earth element, and metal in the kitchen to guard against pain, arguments, accidents, and delays.
Deanna is located in Montecito, California and has been working on her Feng Shui craft for many years. The Feng Shui she practices involves a compass reading of the structure in conjunction with the date the structure was built. She also analyzes the birth date of the occupants to determine whether the home is supporting them. The practice is beneficial to those looking to better their lives in terms of health, creativity, spiritual growth, love and marriage, career and money, to name a few. We are so impressed with the changes Feng Shui has made in our space and the insight to our surroundings that this tool has given us so we asked Deanna some important questions and are excited to spread the word with all of you.
Q & A
1. Can you explain the process of Feng Shui in regards to someone’s personal map and the East/West System? What are the benefits from this information?
One has a personal map based on one’s birth year, which tells us the directions we need to position ourselves in order to sleep better, create financial prosperity, have harmony in our personal and professional relationships, good health, etc. Feng Shui also lets us know what our directions are for poor finances, arguments, poor health, loneliness and other negative manifestations. The same is true for the home, based on its compass reading and the year it was built. Knowing this, for example, one would want to arrange the furniture in such a way as to take advantage of the positive directions for both the person and the home so that one is able to manifest better health, good finances, public and family harmony, and lead a peaceful and meaningful life.
2. How can Feng Shui benefit health, emotions, and sleep?
Based on the birth year, one has a direction that is best for sleeping, however if that cannot be achieved because of the layout of the home, then one must try to achieve one of the three other directions that are positive, otherwise sleep can be disturbed, creating emotional disturbances, poor health, and simply put, unrest.
3. Would you say that Feng Shui is linked to prosperity?
Absolutely, because what Feng Shui is about is creating balance and harmony in one’s world, and should the person and their environment be out of balance, it is hard to be prosperous over the long term.
4. Why is the Ganesh important to have in the house and which specific colors are important to have in the house?
The metal Ganesh is just a metal remedy suggestion and not meant across the board for everyone, only those who resonate with the meaning of Ganesh. Ganesh is the remover of obstacles, and so if he resonates with you, then Ganesh a good way to enhance your Feng Shui by being conscious of what he represents. But the importance of a metal Ganesh for Feng Shui purposes is the metal aspect of the statue, which would be needed in a specific area requiring the metal element to remedy the energy pattern in that area. Colors are important especially if they are colors that are creating an energy pattern in the house that is throwing things out of balance, either for the house or the person, creating arguments, illnesses, and other kinds of difficulties. When the colors are correct for the house and the occupants, the occupants will feel more at peace.
5. We get this question most often. In general, is there a direction that people should face when they sleep, or is it completely based on the person’s birth date?
The direction one should sleep in is specific to the year in which they were born. So for example, if you were born in 1956 and you’re a woman, you should sleep with your head West. However if this cannot be achieved you could also sleep with your head SW, NW or NE. It is simply not true, according to Feng Shui that everyone should sleep with the head north. It could be that the Chinese figured out that one’s orientation for sleeping is way more specific than what others may think. Don’t forget, Feng Shui has been around for thousands of years.
6. Is there any general advice or tips you can give someone on how to Feng Shui their own home?
General tips would be to first of all clear the clutter, organize your possessions so that you are aware of what you have and discard what you don’t use or need. So much of the time people complain that their life is not progressing as they would like it to. The first thing to look at would be how the things you have in your home are weighing you down and blocking you from moving forward. Sometimes we hold onto things for years thinking one day they’ll be useful. Clothing is a big one for a lot of people, but clothing has a life span and even though it may not be worn out, it doesn’t make you feel good when you put it on anymore. Examine the things you have for the emotion it provokes and whether it is evoking “motion” in you. If it doesn’t, let it go, it’s holding you back.
7. You talked about 2017 as the year of the Rooster and the Peach Blossom year. Can you tell us a little bit more about what exactly that means, and any advice you have for us as we approach the last few months of 2017?
The Rooster is considered “peach blossom”, which means he is good for romance. Think about a rooster. He loves the attention of all the hens hence, a lot of romancing goes on around the rooster. This has to do with Chinese astrology. Also, a year can be a peach blossom year, even when it is not a Rooster year. It just so happens 2017 is a peach blossom year as well as a Rooster year, therefore making romance doubly highlighted. This could mean any number of things and it all depends on how the individual will experience it. For example, one could find that problems in one’s romantic life are resolved this year, or the romance finally ends after much back and forth, or one finally decides to accept the limitations and frustrations of the relationship, surrendering to the fact that it is what it is, and finally feeling okay about that realization. On the other hand, it is easier for single people to find romantic relationships this year. So my advice as we approach the last few months of 2017 is, resolve what you know to be true in your heart, and if single, get out there.
8. What is one way you’ve implemented Feng Shui in your own life and how have things unfolded?
I have put all the necessary remedies in my home in order to balance the 5 elements throughout the house, and have arranged the furniture so that I am able to sit, and work in the directions that benefit me. My bed is positioned in my best sleeping direction of course. I have water fountains outside in the directions that are necessary to make it better for finances since I have a 20 year lock on my property inhibiting wealth. I have found that everything in my life is working very well and I feel balanced. I have my emotional flair ups but they last only a minute or two, and then I’m back to being fine. My life flows easily and well in every way with no real complaints. I also keep up a meditation and yoga practice, which I began when I was 12 years old, along with continuously tweaking my Feng Shui. I’m always finding little ways to improve my Feng Shui by refreshing the way things are placed in my house, while implementing the knowledge I have about the 5 elements and the patterns they are creating.
9. If you suspect that people are not in the right relationship or living space, are there ways to rectify those relationships and/or living areas while still staying in them?
Absolutely. Say someone is an East person, and the other person is a West person, they are going to have different directions, including and most importantly, different sleeping directions. This is not ideal and the Chinese don’t recommend such a relationship, but what can you do? They are together. If they aren’t having a problem, leave well enough alone, but If they are finding that they are at odds with each other a lot, they might decide to not sleep together for awhile and sleep in their best sleeping direction so they balance out with each other. Sometimes this can scare people, but experimenting to create harmony is well worth it. It doesn’t mean sex can’t happen just because the two people aren’t sleeping together. It just means both people are getting a better night sleep.
I would also suggest that they use their good directions when arranging the furniture so that they are utilizing their best directions even though the house may not be supporting them in the way a good direction house would. I suggest implementing the remedies for making the house strong and that’s that. One doesn’t have to move out of the house or end a relationship just because the Feng Shui is not ideal.
10. How do you use Feng Shui as a tool in helping people to buy a new home and decide whether or not that home will be the right place for them?
I use three systems of Feng Shui to help buyers determine whether the house will be good for them. I use a system called the ‘Flying Star School’ to determine whether the house is one that is good for money, and or for people, based on the compass reading of the house and the year it was built, and tell them how it would need to be remedied should the house be weak for either of these two aspects. I also let them know based on the “East/West System” whether the house is either a West or an East house, because ideally the buyers would want to be in a house that is oriented in the same direction as they are, so that the beneficial areas in the house coincide with their own personal beneficial areas, otherwise it’s not an ideal match. Also I use another system called the “Land and Form System” to determine whether the area surrounding the house has good Feng Shui. For example it is not good Feng Shui to live up against a freeway, or across the street from a cemetery.
11. What is one thing about Feng Shui that you’d like to share with people who might not know a thing about it?
I would learn Traditional / Classical Feng Shui and be discerning about what to believe and what not to believe. There is a lot of misinformation out there about Feng Shui that is not true and is ineffective. I asked a Feng Shui master once about a particular system of Feng Shui that was introduced to us in the west in the 1970’s, and what she thought about it since it had so little to do with Traditional Feng Shui. The master said, “You will not find that system in Asia”. That pretty much says it all.
12. What might you suggest for people who cannot seem to find harmony in their home and are struggling with the ways that this lack of harmony is bleeding into their relationships or personal lives?
I would begin with a Feng Shui consultation of your home so that you can find out what seen and unseen energies are operating and affecting you, and remedy them as soon as possible. We often blame ourselves for things we haven’t even created and feel at odds with ourselves. There are energies in your home that are either helping you, or are making life more difficult. We need all the help we can get in this world, so it’s a good idea to make your environment as strong as you can, using the principles of Feng Shui to support you.
13.What role does energy and meditation play in Feng Shui?
Everything is energy and Feng Shui defines the energy pattern of our world and the effect it has on us, and our environment, as it relates to the 5 elements, fire, earth, metal, water and wood, on the seen and unseen levels. Meditation is considered a cure all by all the mystical traditions so that balance and harmony can be achieved in an unbalanced world. Quieting the mind is important because of the degree of bombardment we encounter everyday with all kinds of stimuli that over heat our brains creating imbalance. In other words, bad Feng Shui. Meditation heals this problem so that we can be more effective and fulfilled in this life, despite its challenges.
14.What is your favorite Feng Shui success story from your own personal experience? When did you realize this is real and something you wanted to take on as a career?
I discovered very early on that I felt so happy and fulfilled in my whole being when helping people with their Feng Shui. At the beginning I felt altered and would feel light headed after doing the work of Feng Shui, which kind of surprised me. I was working as a realtor in Montecito, California and for anyone who has ever been a realtor or who has ever bought or sold a house, it is highly stressful, but as soon as I started discussing the principles of Feng Shui with my friends and clients, I felt aligned, happy and in my power. I was able to talk about houses in a way that was more in keeping with my deeper nature having already had an extensive background in yoga, mediation and Jewish mysticism. Feng Shui was now the next step in deepening my understanding of the universe, and I could apply it to housing, which was so exciting. When the housing market crashed in 2007 it became harder to want to keep selling, and so I was left with just wanting to help people with their Feng Shui. I just followed the good feeling I had inside, and so it has remained with me as my career of choice.
For more information on Deanna and her practice, you can visit her website at: https://www.fengshuisantabarbara.com/
AIP MEAL PLAN DAYS 4-6 BY ALEXA OUAKNINE
DAY 4 by Alexa Ouaknine
Energy Boosting, Low-Glycemic Green Smoothie
Containing fat, fiber, protein and greens to properly nourish and carry you through your morning
1 serving of collagen peptides (you can buy HERE)
3/4 cup of coconut milk (DIY or a full fat canned coconut milk, free of additives)
3/4 cup of coconut water
1/4 of an avocado
½ cup of frozen banana
1 large handful of spinach, or any other leafy green
1-2 tbsp. of chia seeds
Small handful of ice
Blend all ingredients together in a high-speed blender until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour and enjoy!
AIP Veggie Sauté Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash
2-3 Tbsp. unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil (can also use unrefined coconut oil or ghee)
Sea salt, to taste.
For the vegetable sauté:
2 tbsp. avocado oil (great for sautéing because of its high smoke point)
2 large zucchinis, sliced ¼ inch thick.
2 cups mushrooms, diced
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 small bunch kale, peeled
Pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.
Cut squash in half, length-wise, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Brush both halves of the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
Place both halves face down on the lined baking sheet.
Bake for 35-45 minutes, depending on the size of the squash. A large spaghetti squash will take closer to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, add avocado oil and/or ghee to a large skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is warm but not smoking, add the zucchini, mushroom, and garlic to the skillet with a pinch of sea salt. Cook for about 7-8 minutes. Add the kale and continue cooking until wilted. This is very versatile, and any vegetable/herb replacement will be good.
Remove the squash from the oven and let cool. Once it is cool enough to touch, use a fork to shred the squash, creating a spaghetti-like noodle, and place in a serving bowl.
Mix in the vegetable sauté to the spaghetti squash. Feel free to sprinkle extra salt and/or garnish with flat leaf parsley or cilantro.
Homemade Golden Milk
Anti-inflammatory. Leftovers are great as a hot or cold beverage, or as the base of your morning smoothie.
3 cup of coconut milk (DIY or a full fat canned coconut milk, free of additives)
1 ½ tsp. of ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. of ground ginger
1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. unrefined coconut oil, optional
Add raw local honey, maple syrup or stevia as a natural sweetener
Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk together over medium high heat, until hot, but not boiling.
Turn off heat and serve immediately, leaving the cinnamon stick behind. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Maple-Glazed Wild Caught Salmon (Sheet Pan Dinner!)
2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. cup tarragon leaves, minced
1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. thyme leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp. sea salt, to taste
½ cup unrefined, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil
1 pound wild caught salmon fillet
1 ½ pounds wild caught salmon fillet
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1 bunch of asparagus
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
Preheat oven to 450 degrees and line a sheet pan with unbleached parchment paper. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, tarragon leaves, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, thyme leaves, garlic and sea salt. Slowly stream the olive oil into the mixture to create vinaigrette.
In a separate bowl toss the Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and parsnips with enough of the vinaigrette to evenly coat, leaving some for the salmon.
Place the salmon across the center of the lined sheet pan.
Surround the salmon with the marinated vegetables. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the salmon and season with more sea salt.
Place in the oven the cook for 12-15 minutes. Heat the oven to broil and cook the salmon about 2 minutes more, to create a nice golden color.
DAY 5 (taken from Dr. Will Cole)
Turkey and Greens Hash Brown Bake
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 pound ground turkey
3 large sweet potatoes, thinly sliced
2 cups chopped beet greens
2 cups baby spinach
1⁄2 small onion, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 cup canned full fat coconut milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. To the oil, add the turkey and cook for 10 minutes, until the turkey is brown.
In a large bowl, mix the next 6 ingredients (sweet potatoes through thyme) with the turkey.
In a large baking dish, pour the contents of the bowl. Pour coconut milk over the potato mixture and cover. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes, until sweet potatoes are tender.
Coconut Raisin Fat Bombs
Makes 8 cups
½ cup of coconut oil, melted
¼ cup coconut flour
1/2 cup sundried raisins
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl until smooth. Pour into silicone cups or muffin tin. Freeze until hardened,
About 20 minutes. Store in refrigerator for several days.
You can even add a little carob powder in there for a “chocolatey” taste if you like.
Chicken Slaw Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette
2 cups cooked and cubed chicken breast
4 cups shredded red cabbage
4 cups arugula lettuce
2 cups chopped cucumber
2 cups diced avocado
1/3 cup lemon juice
4 large, pitted dates
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a large bowl, add the first 5 ingredients (chicken through diced avocado). In a blender, add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad, toss and serve.
Creamy Pumpkin Soup Ingredients:
1 pound cooked bacon crumbled, with grease saved and set aside
2 pie pumpkins
2 cups chicken bone broth
2 yellow onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 teaspoons nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut pumpkins in half and remove seeds. Place on baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Scoop out pumpkin and mash and set aside. To a large pot add onions, garlic and 2 tablespoons bacon grease and cook. Add in bone broth, pumpkin, nutmeg and 2 more tablespoons bacon grease. Stir together to combine and let simmer for 15 minutes
Warm Porridge with Lemon and Berries taken from the Autoimmune Wellness Blog
1 large head cauliflower
¾ cup finely shredded coconut
2 tbsp coconut butter
3 cups coconut milk
Zest of a large lemon (save the juice for something else)
Generous pinch salt
Spoonful softly whipped coconut cream* (optional for serving)
Handful mixed berries (optional for serving)
Toasted coconut chips (optional for serving)
Cut the cauliflower into florets and put them into your food processor with the ‘S’ blade, not forgetting the stalks.
Pulse about 8-10 times until the cauli is the same consistency as large grains of rice (you may need to do this in two batches). Pulsing puts you in control; if you simply press the 'on' button you risk ending up with purée!
Transfer the riced cauliflower to a large pan, add the remaining porridge ingredients and stir to combine everything.
Bring up to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook for about 25-30 minutes until the cauli is tender and the porridge nice and creamy.
While the porridge is cooling, whip the coconut cream. Start by removing your chilled coconut milk from the fridge, turning it upside down and opening it up with a can opener.
Pour the thin coconut water into a jar and keep for another purpose, such as in smoothies.
Scoop out the cream and beat with a balloon whisk until soft peaks form, then transfer to a small container until needed.
*Put a can of coconut milk in the fridge at least the night before you want to make whipped cream.
No Nightshade Ratatouille taken from Sophie Van Tiggelen
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil (organic, unrefined Bragg’s)
2 medium golden beets (about ½ pound), peeled and roughly chopped
3 medium carrots (about ½ pound), peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion (about ¾ pound), peeled and roughly chopped
1 medium yellow summer squash (about ½ pound), chopped
1 medium zucchini (about ½ pound), chopped
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 tsp. fine sea salt (suggestion)
In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add beets, carrots, and garlic. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
Add onion, yellow squash, zucchini, oregano, rosemary, and sea salt. Continue cooking, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
Check seasoning and adjust salt to taste. Serve hot or cold.
The Perfect Detox Salad by Alexa Ouaknine
2 cups of kale, thinly sliced
2 cups of red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 large head of broccoli, finely chopped
2 small beets, cubed
1 bunch cilantro, chopped (amounting to about 1 cup)
2 large carrots, peeled and grated
1 avocado, cubed
1 cup pomegranate seeds
For the dressing:
1 garlic clove, minced
Sea salt, to taste
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. lemon juice (about 1 large fresh lemon)
½ cup unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
Combine all salad ingredients in a large salad bowl and toss gently. Set aside.
Combine the garlic, sea salt, rice vinegar, red wine vinegar, lemon juice and olive oil in a jar with the lid closed and shake until well mixed. Can also be mixed in a blender.
AIP 3 DAY MEAL PLAN
DAY 1 Jena Covello
Blueberry Antioxidant Fat Fiber Protein Smoothie:
1 scoop of grass fed collagen
1 cup of frozen organic blueberries
1 cup of frozen organic spinach
1/4 cup of frozen strawberries
1 cup of coconut milk
1/4 cup of water
1 tablespoon of organic chia seeds (Not AIP compliant but very good for extra fiber so my doctor allows it)
4 dashes of cinnamon
1 tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon of organic maple syrup
Iced Maple Salted Cinnamon Matcha Latte:
Add 1/4 cup of water and 3 ice cubes to blender and blend on high
Add 2 teaspoons of Matcha with 3 dashes of cinnamon, 1 dash of pink himalayan salt and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup
Pour over ice and coconut milk
Arugula Salmon Salad
4 cups of organic Arugula
1 cup of fresh organic spinach
1 cup of frozen artichokes (thawed)
1 pack of wild smoked salmon
Toss together with 5 tablespoons of olive oil, one fresh squeezed organic lemon, a few dashes of pink himalayan salt and one tablespoon of coconut aminos
Italian Branzino and Zucchini
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 cup of coconut oil with a clove of chopped garlic. Season the zucchini with salt and cook over high heat until lightly browned and tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer the zucchini to plates.
Add 4 tablespoons of coconut oil to the skillet with 1/8 cup of organic chicken bone broth. Season two 3 ounce branzino fillets with salt and add to the skillets with a clove of chopped garlic, skin side down. Using a large spatula, press the fish lightly to sear the skin for a few seconds. Cook over high heat until the skin is very crisp and browned, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip the fillets and cook for 1 minute longer, until the flesh flakes when pierced with a fork. Place the fish over the zucchini, skin side up.
Salted Cinnamon Vanilla Ice Cream
2 cans coconut milk
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of pink himalayan sea salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1. Combine all ingredients in a pan over the stove. Heat to combine.
2. Let cool and place mixture in ice cream maker and follow the directions to churn.
3. Place in freezer to let set.
1/2 cup pineapple, chopped
1 cup cucumber, chopped
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup coconut milk
1 scoop grass-fed collagen powder
1 small handful mint leaves (about 10)
1-inch ginger root, peeled
2 teaspoons turmeric
1/2 cup ice
1. Combine all ingredients together, blend, and enjoy!
Chicken "Rice" Soup
2 chicken breasts
2 cups carrots, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
6 cups chicken bone broth
1/2 tablespoon turmeric
3 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups uncooked cauliflower finely pureed to "rice"
1. Add all ingredients (minus cauliflower) together in slow cooker.
2. Set slow cooker on HIGH for 6 hours.
3. Add cauliflower "rice" and let cook for another 10-20 minutes until cooked. Shred chicken and serve.
Italian Zucchini Meatballs
1 pound ground meat of choice
1 cup zucchini, shredded
1 teaspoon italian spice blend
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Mix together all ingredients in a bowl.
3. Roll into desired size balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
1 large cauliflower
2 tablespoons coconut oil
6 tablespoons coconut milk
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1-2 limes
Sea salt to taste
1. Chop up cauliflower and pulse in food processor to "rice" consistency.
2. Cook cauliflower in skillet with 1 tablespoon coconut oil and sea salt over medium heat until done.
3. Mix in coconut milk and remaining 1 tablespoon coconut oil until melted and combined.
4. Remove cauliflower and place in bowl. Stir in cilantro and lime juice to combine.
DAY 3 by Carolina Amaris
Fresh Fruit Salad
Watermelon, pineapple, banana, pomegranate blueberries and grapes Chop fruit and mix together with lemon juice
Coconut Matcha Latte:
Add 2 teaspoons of matcha to a quarter cup of water and blend
Pour over ice and coconut milk
Roasted Fall Vegetables
What you need :
1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts
1.5 tbsp. olive oil
2.5 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, divided ( non alcoholic) if you have sensitivity to this ingredients you can use coconut oil or grass fed ghee ( non lactose ) and melted.
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt 1/4 cup of water1 tablespoon of honey1 lb. of organic carrots1 lb. of organic golden beets1 pomegranate1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar1/2 tsp of coconut vinegarPre heat oven to 400. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Rinse all your vegetables and make sure to cut the ends. Cut golden beets into 1/4 thin slices, set aside. Cut ends of Brussels sprouts and toss into a bowl. Cut ends off of carrots and slice down center into 3/4. Combine all liquid ingredients into a bowl and whisk for about 69 seconds. 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar1/2 tsp of coconut vinegar 1.5 tbsp. olive oil
2.5 tbsp. balsamic vinegar, divided
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt 1/4 cup of water 1 tablespoon of honey
Place all Brussels sprouts into liquid mix. Gently place Brussels sprouts on to cookie sheet, followed by carrots and golden beets. Pour excess liquid over vegetables .
Roast for 45 minutes .
Remove and cool down for 15 . Add a little olive oil or coconut oil for a sweet taste. Garnish with pomegranate.
Organic Roasted Citrus Chicken
1 whole chicken ( organic or grass feed)
Fresh Rosemary 1/2 cup
Fresh Thyme 1/2 cup
Fresh Sage 1/2 cup
4 garlic cloves
1 cup of olive oil
Pink Himalayan salt
Extra large zip block bag
1 yellow onion ( optional
For AIP diet to opt out if you have sensitivity)
First things first never wash your chicken underwater . Instead wash your chicken with one whole lemon and then pat try. Allow for chicken to sit for 20 minutes to bring to room temperature.
For Brine :
3 cups water
1/4 cup pink Himalayan salt
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 springs fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife
1 squeeze of orange juice use left over for brine
1 squeeze of lemon juice and use left over for brine.
Place chicken inside zip block with brine and leave to marinate for 3-5 hours . The longer the better if you have time .
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
4 carrots peeled and cut in half
Heat oven to 425
In a cooking pot or roasting pot cut onion and place inside pot. I like cutting into 1/4. Cut orange and lemons into thin slices ( save some for the top of chicken ). Place sage, rosemary , and thyme . Carefully place chicken and half of brine juices. Nestle garlic cloves and carrotsaround chicken. Use the rest of brine juice along with oranges and lemon. Layer another round to your liking of fresh herbs.
Option to sprinkle anotherbit of coconut sugar on top chicken.
Cook for 1 and 34 minutes . Use another 7 minutes under broiler for crispy skin.
The AIP Autoimmune Protocol You Might Want To Get Behind
The AIP diet, also known as the Autoimmune Protocol diet, is a relatively new, food-based approach to healing the gut in order to reduce inflammation created by autoimmune conditions. Some Autoimmune diseases include Rheumatoid Arthritis, Endometriosis, Hashimotos, Lupus, Celiac Disease, MS, Crohn's Disease, Psoriasis, and Thyroid disease, often resulting in inflammation, chronic pain, swelling and misery. The diet aims to reset the immune system by avoiding foods that cause inflammation and attempts to reduce the symptoms of these conditions. It also contributes to gorgeous, radiant, red-free skin.
An autoimmune disease starts with the body attacking itself. With autoimmune disease awareness and diagnoses on the rise, there are over one hundred confirmed autoimmune diseases, but the root cause remains the same. Our immune system’s job is to protect us from harmful microorganisms that it detects within our body. In Autoimmune disease, the first thing that happens is a breakdown in the ability to detect the difference between the foreign invader and ourselves, and in turn, the immune system starts to attack itself rather than the bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc. that it is supposed to protect us from. The specific autoimmune disease is then classified by which proteins, cells, and tissues are attacked.
Stories of people suffering from an autoimmune condition often begin the same way; with symptoms like unexplained chronic pain, fatigue, joint pain, and headaches that are repeatedly explained to doctors and still misunderstood. Doctor’s aren’t able to figure it out, and it’s common that people don’t feel supported or understood by their healthcare practitioners, leaving most of us to resolve to silently suffer while the symptoms continue to worsen. As stated by Dr. Will Cole in his eBook, Functional Medicine asks the vital questions that very few conventional doctors ask: “Why do you have this problem in the first place?” and “Why has function been lost?” and “What can we do to restore function?” Western medicine treats the symptoms but never seems to get to the root cause. In other words, Functional Medicine looks to find the root cause or mechanism involved with any loss of function, which ultimately reveals why a set of symptoms is there in the first place, or why the patient has a particular disease label.” Unfortunately, the western medical system is flooded with misinformation and doctors are practicing on the foundations of studies that are decades old. However, a little something to keep in mind is that these dismissive doctors, too, are part of this broken system and we have to continue on with compassion instead of allowing them to discourage us. We now have the knowledge and resources to find confidence in trusting our intuition and the power of relying on ourselves to heal.
This is where the Autoimmune Protocol comes in to play. These diseases are direct links to our food and lifestyle choices, and the protocol is helpful for any inflammatory disease. As confirmed by Angie Alt and Mickey Trescott, of The Autoimmune Wellness Podcast, an incredibly informative podcast on the autoimmune wellness journey, even these generally dismissive doctors are contacting them after seeing their self-informed client’s profound results from the AIP Diet. So much so that they are further educating themselves on the protocol in hopes of implementing it into their practice.
The AIP diet is quite restrictive, eliminating any possible foods that might be triggers for your disease, like nightshade vegetables, like peppers and eggplant, and NSAIDs, like aleve and ibuprofen. It helps to reduce symptoms and heal imbalances by decreasing inflammation and healing gut dysfunction. Gut health is extremely important in healing. More than likely if you're suffering, your digestive tract and gut isn’t in the best shape and byproducts of all things passing through your intestines are leaking through your gut barrier into your blood stream, causing the immune system to respond. The goal is to eliminate inflammatory and allergenic foods to support the body in cooling down the immune system.
The AIP diet is an elimination diet strategy, and equally important to elimination is the act of reintroduction. Many end up staying on the protocol for months or until they start feeling relieved of their autoimmune systems, but how long you choose to stay on the diet is a personal choice. A strict elimination period of at least 18 months to two years is recommended before reintroducing nutritional foods that were initially removed for potential harmful compounds. The best part of an elimination diet is that in time you get to reintroduce foods that you have been avoiding.
The diet often raises concern for people who enjoy dining out. First and foremost, if it’s not perfect, it's OK! Healing yourself does not mean having to put the joys of life aside, like eating out with friends. It is so important to not be too hard on yourself if you slip up. The guilt and blame you are putting yourself through for not being perfect might even be doing more harm than the “banned” food you just put into your body. Trying our best counts for a lot. Concentrate on the foods you can have instead of everything that isn't compliant. There is no shame in being upfront with your waiter or waitress. In regards to our health, we have to get past the fear of seeming too picky or high maintenance. More often than not, your waiter or waitress will be happy to work with you to find something that fits your dietary needs.
We are teaming up with Doctor Will Cole in formulating a four week long, AIP compliant, nutritious and delicious meal plan and will be sharing it soon. We know that the restrictions can seem quite difficult, so we are excited to do our part help make the protocol diet as fun and feasible as possible.
Keep in mind that diet is just the first step. Focusing on sleep, self-care and self-love, moderate exercise, meditation and a stress management practice that works for you is equally important. The protocol is great because it goes beyond food, and recognizes the importance of a balanced lifestyle in the autoimmune wellness journey. Rest is easily overlooked, but is right up there in importance with diet. Remaining hopeful and positive and giving yourself the space to do things that bring you peace and joy will help to achieve optimal results. Without these important, but often-overlooked components, the other factors will fail to be as effective. Try to remember that it is not about only having the right mindset when it comes to the food; it’s a balancing act and how you feel supersedes anything you eat.
Click on the link below for AIP compliant foods as well as the ones to avoid:
Stay tuned for the meal plan...
By Jena Covello and Alexa Ouaknine