Soaking Nuts and Seeds

There are many health benefits to soaking nuts and seeds. Some of these benefits include reduced phytic acid, to neutralize enzyme inhibitors and encourage the production of beneficial enzymes while neutralizing toxin in the colon—keeping it clean. It also makes the proteins more absorbable by the body, reduces tannins, and it can break down gluten, easing digestion and vitamin absorption.

Raw nuts or seeds are an easy on-the-go snack. What most people do not know is that raw nuts and seeds have enzyme inhibitors within them, toxic substances such as tannic acid & goitrogens and phytic acid for their protection.

These may be terms we have not heard before, so let’s break them down.

Phytic acid is a compound that binds itself to minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, calcium, manganese and chromium in the gut, which prevents the digestive system’s ability to break the nut or seed or grain down properly. If you have seen undigested bits of nuts or seed in your stool, this is why.

Individuals with anemia, low zinc levels, osteoporosis and other illness related to low mineral absorption could benefit from soaking nuts before consuming. When soaking nuts, the phytic acid is broken down and nutritional value and digestion is increased.

Goitrogens suppress the proper functioning of the thyroid gland by interfering with iodine uptake. Soaking nuts help reduce goitrogens and increases the necessary minerals needed for a healthy thyroid.

Enzyme inhibitors neutralize vital enzymes the body naturally produces, leading to illnesses and an enzyme-depleted gut. Enzymes are essential for optimal functioning of the body and used in thousands of chemical reactions throughout the body.

Bloating, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, irritable bowels and gas are signs of enzyme deficiencies.

Soaking nuts and dehydrating these delicious morsels can improve their taste and texture.

Soaking Nuts, Seeds & Legumes

How do I go about soaking nuts and seeds?
Dissolve one tablespoon of salt in water, pour over nuts or seeds, using just enough water to cover. Leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours, preferably overnight. Drain in a colander. Discard the water used for soaking, never reuse it. Spread nuts/seeds on a stainless steel pan. Place in a warm 150℉, turning occasionally, until thoroughly dry and crisp. The longer they soak, the longer it takes to dry. Use an oven thermometer to keep track of the temperature. At 200℉, enzymes will be destroyed. A dehydrator is the preferred method of drying; it will take 12-24 hours until completely dry. Store in an airtight container.

*If you want an extra boost, add cayenne pepper before you begin the drying process.

Soaking nuts and seeds is easy. You now have the info needed to begin soaking nuts and seeds at home.  In the comments below, let us know how you like soaking nuts and seeds better than the raw alternative and if you notice a difference after eating them. Share this post with a friend or loved on that could benefit from this information.

Resource: FoodMatters

Health Benefits of Iodine

Having the proper balance of vitamins and minerals is essential to the optimal functioning of the body.  One element that is not getting the attention it deserves is iodine.  The health benefits of iodine are often associated with supporting a healthy thyroid.  The thyroid aids in regulating the body’s metabolism and cellular function in the body.  Health benefits of iodine also include hormone regulation.  As the health benefits of iodine stimulate cellular function and regeneration of our cells, it is helpful in promoting healthy skin, nails, hair, a healthy thymus, pancreas, stomach and breast among other bodily functions.

Iodine also helps fight off harmful organisms, protects the thyroid from radiation and encourages detoxification.  Healthy levels of iodine in the body prevent toxic chemicals such as fluorine, chlorine, and bromine from inhibiting the proper functioning of the thyroid.

Contrary to popular belief, standard table salt is not a good source of naturally occurring and bioavailable iodine for the body.  Much of our table salt is bleached and full of artificial versions of iodine and does not offer the health benefits of iodine to the body.  A better alternative to table salt is Himalayan Crystal Salt.  There is a long list of foods that contain iodine.  Protein based sources include cod, shellfish and eggs.  Sea vegetables like seaweed and kelp are great plant based sources of iodine as well as dark leafy greens.  By simply eating a few prunes each day, we can increase our intake of iodine.

Iodine is important for males and females.  The female anatomy additionally needs iodine to support breast and ovarian health, as well as support the development of the fetus during pregnancy.  The amount of iodine you need each day depends on your age. The National Institute of Health outlines the health benefits of iodine and the average daily recommended amounts of iodine in micrograms (mcg).

Health Benefits of Iodine

Life Stage Recommended Amount
Birth to 6 months 110 mcg
Infants 7–12 months 130 mcg
Children 1–8 years 90 mcg
Children 9–13 years 120 mcg
Teens 14–18 years 150 mcg
Adults 150 mcg
Pregnant teens and women 220 mcg
Breastfeeding teens and women 290 mcg

My interest in the health benefits of iodine was sparked by my lifestyle.  As a perpetual traveler and health conscious person, I wanted to know more about this misunderstood element and the importance it plays in our lives.

The Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA’s division of Dermatology, has been researching the increased incidents of radiation exposure of individuals who fly on a regular basis. This research sparked my attention. I fly somewhere new in the world at least once a week. I was concerned about the amount of exposure I was coming into contact with and what could be done to combat the effects of my consistent exposure. My research brought me to the conclusion that I must supplement my diet with iodine and share with others the health benefits of iodine in our diets.  Personally, I take an iodine supplement daily to protect and support the optimal functioning of my body.  Iodoral is my supplement of choice.  To do your own research on this product or to order, click this link. A trusted health care professional could also answer any questions you may have on supplementing your diet with iodine.


Bulletproof Coffee

A year ago, a friend told me about Bulletproof coffee, so I tried it. I had been to many countries where a dollop of butter was added to tea or coffee, so the concept of adding fat to my morning drink was not a foreign idea.

Before drinking bulletproof coffee, I was more in love with the idea of coffee than actually drinking it. The smell was comforting, I loved going to coffee shops to work and the social aspect of going out for a coffee with friends. What I didn’t like was the crash and jitters I experienced after drinking coffee. Bulletproof coffee seemed to be the answer. I noticed I could enjoy a glass of bulletproof coffee without stomach upset, a crash or jitters. I felt full all morning, I noticed my mind was clear and I was focused on the tasks before me.

There are 3 key ingredients in Bulletproof coffee which are coffee, butter and medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).

Choosing a quality coffee is important to reduce your exposure to mycotoxins, herbicides and pesticides in your morning brew. Mycotoxins are a fungus that adheres to coffee beans and can adversely impact our health. To learn more about this topic and how to choose a better coffee, check out this article.

Butter from grass-fed animals is used because the omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids are healthier then conventionally raised livestock. Never use margarine. Learn the differences between butter and margarine here.

Medium-chain triglycerides are fats that require less energy and enzymes to be digested when compared to long-chain triglycerides.

When I decide to have a cup of joe, this basic recipe is my starting point.

Bulletproof Coffee

8 ounces of brewed high quality organic coffee
1-2 Tbsp. butter from grass-fed animals (I like the Kerrygold brand)
1-2 Tbsp coconut oil

Combine the ingredients in a blender and let them meld together for about 30 seconds. Blend for a couple seconds to produce a frothy, delicious drink to enjoy.

*Some people add 1/2 tsp. of vanilla or Stevia to the mix to sweeten the coffee. I enjoy the natural frothy coconut flavor of the drink.

Dave Asprey is the founder and CEO of Bulletproof coffee. In this video, he explains the background and preparation of Bulletproof coffee.


Lighting In A Bottle

A vibrant blue sky illuminates bright green trees rolling along the hillside of the San Antonio Recreation Area in Bradley, California.  Campers from around the world gather in anticipation of a life changing weekend.  Over 20,000 people are in attendance from 46 different countries.  The word is out, Lighting In A Bottle is the premier festival for self expansion and exploration into our collective conscious.

Lighting In A Bottle

Like a family reunion, campers pitch tents, haul in their coolers and expectantly await the assembly of their loved ones as they gather for their annual family function.  A common thread weaves us together, quickly making strangers new family members.

Lighting In A Bottle is where I received the best hug of my life from a complete stranger.

Lighting In A Bottle

This weekend is not only about dancing into the wee morning hours as the music excites every cell in your body moving you with the beat.  Yes, the music and art will wrap you up in cognitive ecstasy, transporting you into a place where all things are deemed possible.  Lighting In A Bottle brings the essence of our spirit into present moment, creating a scared space where true transformation can occur.  It is where the mind can clear the static and peel back the layers of the daily grind, a place to release the patterns and programs in our lives.  Come as you are and share this space, for acceptance reins supreme.

During the day, the grounds are a healing epicenter where shamans clear energy fields, yoga puts the body in a state of proper flow, where diverse speakers share their knowledge and delicious meals are prepared in the learning kitchen.

Lighting In A Bottle

What most people do not know about Lighting In A Bottle is that it started as a birthday party of a small group of 100 people.  It sprang forth into a music and art festival in 2006.  It has been growing ever since.  This fact is a testament that an idea that is nourished will flourish and can create a movement.  The name Lighting In A Bottle was pulled from the ether and has no meaning and all the meaning in which you give it.

You are like Lighting In A Bottle, unable to be contained and unable to be fully explained. You must feel with your heart the energy it emits.

It is interesting to note that Lighting In A Bottle has been the “greenest” festival five years running.  The production crew and attendees are serious about sustainability and preserving that which they have been interested with.  Throughout the festival, recycling and compost bins are scattered and signage is present encouraging patrons to keep it green and leave no trace.  For these reasons, Lighting In A Bottle has strategically aligned themselves with sponsors that also practice sustainability and share their mission.  Their partnership with Do LaB, a Los Angeles based company, creates a cohesive environment and furthers the vision of using natural materials, sustainable resources and the highest level of art and production. We want to thank everyone involved; we appreciate all your efforts in constructing one fabulous event.

Lighting In A Bottle

Walking away from Lighting In A Bottle, one realizes that we create the world in which we live, molding and shaping it through experiences, evoking emotions in ourselves and others and raising the frequency at which all things resonate.  What lives on in infinity is our story.  Lighting In A Bottle conveys a story of love and its ability to heal all things.  Lighting In A Bottle has created a culture that focuses on community, sustainability and having a good time in the process.

It is impossible to write a non bias piece on Lighting In A Bottle because this place and the people that come together move you. You’ll never be the same.  Join us when you are ready; we will be waiting to welcome you with open arms.

Find the music featured in this video by clicking here: ODESZA


Lighting In A BottleThere is no need to wait a whole year to experience the LIB community. Woodie Weekend is July 17-19, 2015! LIB’s most adored and iconic music stage is returning to it’s home in Silverado, CA for 3-day long reunion celebration of all things Woogie! Get your tickets today by clicking here.

Homemade Pho Recipe

With this homemade Pho recipe you can enjoy a Vietnamese favorite in the comfort of your own home.  Pho is a delicious, quick and easy meal to prepare. Our homemade Pho recipe will fill you up.

Homemade Pho Recipe

What You’ll Need:
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 medium yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced (divided)
8 cups veggie broth
1 piece (3 1/2 inches) fresh ginger root, peeled, thinly sliced
4 whole cloves
5 star anise
1 piece (3 inches) cinnamon stick
1 cup water
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 package (7 ounces) dried rice sticks (often called banh pho)

Pick your Pho style:
Mixed veggies of your choice or
1 pound sirloin steak, cut across grain into thin slices

Optional Garnishes:
Sliced green onions
Fresh Thai basil leaves
Sliced jalapeno peppers
Bean sprouts
Lime wedges

Homemade Pho Recipe

What You’ll Do:
In a 3-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add one of the sliced onions and cook 7 to 8 minutes until onions are softened and browned, stirring frequently. Add broth, ginger, cloves, star anise and cinnamon stick to pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes to concentrate flavors. Strain broth through a fine mesh strainer into a 4-quart Dutch oven; discard solids.

Add water, fish sauce and remaining sliced onion. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add sliced steak or mixed veggies; simmer, uncovered, 5 to 6 minutes or until the beef is no longer pink and the veggies are tender.

Meanwhile, cook and drain noodles as directed on package. Rinse with cold water; drain. Divide noodles among serving bowls; ladle soup mixture over noodles. Top with desired fresh garnishes and condiments. Enjoy!

Start A Food Revolution

Start a food revolution in your community. On May 15, 2015 Jamie Oliver is bringing awareness to his global campaign to put food education back in our schools and educate children on food in a fun way. There are many ways in which we can get involved.

Start A Food Revolution

1. CLICK HERE to sign the petition to get food education back on the school curriculum. 

2. You can get involved with a local school to get kids cooking. Jamie is filming an online cooking lesson, available to schools. Sign up your local school to get the video and get cooking on May 15th.

3. You can become an ambassador! Ambassadors are the spark of enthusiasm that can turn this into a local movement by connecting the dots of support. The Food Revolution aims to give those who have been working tirelessly a platform to share their knowledge with the local community and open up opportunities for even more people to learn about real food through participation. If you would like to become an ambassador, please sign up here.

4. Plant a garden at home to teach your children where food comes from, how to cultivate the land and make food prep fun. Here are some tips on how to start a vegetable garden.

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Benefits of Magnesium

The benefits of magnesium in the body are numerous. Consuming adequate amounts of magnesium in our diet is essential to life. Some of the benefits of magnesium include: the regulation of calcium in the body, it activates vitamin D, it regulates electrolytes, is essential for over 300 enzymatic functions in the body including our metabolism, it protects our heart, it is intricate in bone formation, the adrenal glands depend on magnesium to help ward off depression, it regulates insulin levels and it is a key component to energy production in the body.

I first began researching the benefits of magnesium years ago when I noticed my eye twitching randomly. I came to find out that I was not getting enough magnesium in my diet. Upon adding a magnesium supplement to my diet, the twitching stopped. There are many symptoms that could signify a magnesium deficiency such as muscle cramps, twitching, poor memory, confusion, calcium deficiency, anxiety, high blood pressure, fatigue and dizziness to name a few. If you have these symptoms, you may have a magnesium deficiency.

Through modern day farming practices, much of our soil has been depleted of the magnesium content that is needed to produce agriculture that is rich in magnesium. Many people are looking to supplements to put back in their diets the magnesium that has been stripped from it. I suggest adding more magnesium rich foods to your diet first. If you are still not getting the amount of magnesium you need daily, then look to supplements. Some foods high in magnesium are spinach, squash, black beans and nuts like cashews, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds. If you happen to get more magnesium then you need, which is harder to do then one might think, it can have a laxative effect.

The benefits of magnesium can be acquired as the skin absorbs the mineral transdermally. Taking an Epsom salt bath on a regular basis can help reduce inflammation, aches and pains and boost your intake of magnesium. Epsom salt is a natural compound of magnesium and sulfate. Taking a relaxing Epsom salt bath before bed can help you sleep well. You can make your own Espom salt bath bags.

We reap the benefits of magnesium when we get the recommended dietary allowance. This chart will help you figure out how much magnesium your body needs daily.  Here are some facts and figures on magnesium from the National Institute of Health.

Benefits of Magnesium

Benefits of Magnesium















Benefits of Magnesium

When we eat the following foods, our body will naturally attain the benefits of magnesium.

Benefits of Magnesium

*DV = Daily Value. DVs were developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help consumers compare the nutrient contents of products within the context of a total diet. The DV for magnesium is 400 mg for adults and children aged 4 and older. However, the FDA does not require food labels to list magnesium content unless a food has been fortified with this nutrient. Foods providing 20% or more of the DV are considered to be high sources of a nutrient.

Easy 3 Ingredient Energy Bars

These easy 3 ingredient energy bars are great for breakfast or as a grab and go snack. Easy to make and delicious these snacks will become a family favorite. Feel good about giving these snacks to your kiddos as they do not have all the added preservatives and fillers that store bought granola or energy bars have.

Easy 3 Ingredient Energy Bars

What You’ll Need:
1 cup of almonds
1 cup of dates
1 cups of raisins

Easy 3 Ingredient Energy Bars


What You’ll Do:
Add the 3 ingredients to a food processor or blender. Pulse until combined. Do not over process the mixture or you will get a paste. Line a 4×4 Pyrex container with plastic wrap. With a spatula, spread out the mixture, covering the entire pan. Pull the plastic wrap out of the container. Cut into squares. Use wax paper to separate squares so that they do not stick together. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. (They never last more than a day at our house). Enjoy.

Easy 3 Ingredient Energy Bars
Eating 23 almonds a day is an easy way get vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium in your diet. This snack is a heart healthy choice and aids in weight management. Additionally, almonds are a significant source of protein, fiber and healthy unsaturated fats.

Dates are a great source of fiber, potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium and vitamin B6. This sweet fruit promotes digestive health, boosts brain and heart health and are anti-inflammatory.

Raisins aid in bone formation, protect your eyes and teeth, modulate sugar absorption, reduce blood pressure, promote cardiac health and are being studied for their ability to prevent cancer.

Easy 3 Ingredient Energy Bars

My Morning Routine

My morning routine helped me rethink breakfast.  We know that eating a healthy breakfast each morning is a great way to start the day. When we sleep, our body goes in to a state of fasting. Eating a healthy breakfast breaks the fast our body has been undergoing while asleep and kick starts thermogenesis in our body. Thermogenesis boosts our energy and metabolism setting us up for good weight management. Our first meal of the day does not have to be huge, eating small meals at regular intervals keeps our metabolism burning all day. If you regularly suffer from a morning energy crash, reflect on what you ate for breakfast.

Many of the “breakfast food” items Americans consume on a daily basis are sugary cereals, bagels, muffins or pancakes with sugary syrup.  These food like substances lack the nutrition our bodies are craving. As we rethink what we eat for breakfast, we must let go of the notion that there are only particular foods we can eat at certain times of the day.  We should avoid all of the processed, sugary cereals first of all.  We want to start our day with nutrient dense foods that will sustain us until lunch.  For this reason my morning routine is unconventional. Consider incorporating soups into your morning routine, make a salad or eat last nights leftovers the next morning.  Here are a few of my favorite outside the box breakfast options:

A great way to start our morning is to have fruit.  The body utilizes different enzymes to break down fruit than the enzymes needed to break down proteins or carbohydrates.  Eating fruit first thing in the morning will help ensure optimal nutrient absorption of the fruit.  Click this link to learn more about proper food combining. An apple in the morning is more effective at waking us up than the coffee we tend to reach for and an apple won’t drain our adrenal glands like coffee will.

A bowl of fresh fruit or a morning smoothie is a great option.  Focus on adding the blue and purple food groups to your morning routine.  Make a smoothie with blueberries, blackberries or purple grapes.  The blue/purple foods are the food we get least in our diet and are an important source of phytochemicals for the body. Get our free Juicing and Smoothie Guide here.

My morning routine often includes one of my favorite breakfast meals, Quinoa Salad.  It’s great, I can make enough for 5 days and keep in it the fridge, all I have to do is warm it up each morning.  The quinoa is high in protein, I get lots of nutritious veggies and healthy fats to sustain my energy. It is so easy to make. Simply cook the quinoa per the package instructions.  Set aside. Sauté your veggie mixture in coconut oil.  My favorite mix is zucchini, onion, peppers, cilantro, black beans, tomatoes, garlic and cilantro.  I mix the veggies into the cooked quinoa and breakfast is ready for the whole week. Each morning I add sliced avocado so I get some healthy fats. For a little kick, add some hot sauce. It is so good!

My Morning Routine


Chia Seed Pudding with fresh fruit is another one of my favorite morning treats.

Chia Seed Pudding

My Morning Routine

Having an uncompromising morning routine will set us up for success throughout the day. Here is my morning routine. I start the morning with a large glass of water. Water first thing in the morning helps push toxins out of the body and refreshes our internal organs. Our goal is to drink half our body weight in ounces of purified clean water daily. I go downstairs and turn on the tea kettle. While the water is heated I read my daily devotion. I like the water to be warm but not boiling. Drinking water that is warm but not hot allows the body to assimilate the liquid quickly as the temperature is closest to our body temp. I have a big cup of warm water with the juice of one lemon in it and a dash of cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper is an added boost to my metabolism. This cup of tea helps energize me. I am typically pretty full after all the liquids I consumed so I will go get ready for the day and then come back downstairs for breakfast about an hour later.

Benefits to adding lemon to your water.

My Morning Routine

My morning routine helps minimize stress. A little planning the night before will make breakfast fast and nutritious. Implement a new morning routine for the next 21 days and rethink breakfast. In the comments, let us know how your mood and health has improved. Let us know some of your favorite unconventional breakfast ideas.

Healthy Fruit Snacks – Strawberry Lemonade Hearts

Healthy fruit snacks are easy to make at home. When we make our own healthy fruit snacks we know exactly what we are eating. We can avoid ingredients like HFCS that are in so many store bought fruit snacks. The best part is that we can make any flavor we want. Want healthy fruit snacks that are blueberry flavor? Substitute blueberry puree for the strawberry in the recipe or use a cup of fresh squeezed orange juice for orange flavored healthy fruit snacks. Feel good about sharing these healthy fruit snacks, these hearts are full of love.

Healthy Fruit Snacks  Healthy Fruit Snacks

What You’ll Need:
1 cup pureed organic strawberries
1/3 cup organic lemon juice
2 tablespoons raw honey
3 envelopes grass feed gelatin or Knox gelatin, unflavored

What You’ll Do:
To puree the strawberries, place them in a blender on high. No need to add water, the juice in the strawberries is enough. Over low heat mix the strawberry puree, lemon juice and honey together. Slowly add the gelatin powder into the mixture whisking constantly until dissolved. Avoid adding all the gelatin at once as the mixture will become clumpy. Place the molds on a baking sheet so it is easier to move from the counter to the freezer. Pour the mixture into a spouted measuring cup for easy distribution into your silicone molds. Put the fruit snacks in the freezer for 10 minutes. Remove and pop the fruit snacks out of the mold. Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Healthy Fruit Snacks*We suggest using organic products. Strawberries are on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list. Sixty-five different pesticides, fungicides and herbicides are registered for use on strawberries in the US. Strawberries have been found by the USDA Pesticide Data Program to have up to 45 pesticide residues in the fruit on average. Pesticides can have harmful effects on the body and can accumulate in the body over time. For more information on the Dirty Dozen visit