Better Nutrition December 2019






31 Days of


Enter to Win

Supplements, Cooking

Courses, Gift Cards,

& More!

p. 24




in the WINTER



Sweet Treats

made with monk fruit,

erythritol, & other

sugar alternatives

Eating for




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sugar-free, low-carb

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24 31 Days of Giveaways

’Tis the season, so we’re giving our

readers the gift of health this month.

Just go to every

day in December and register for your

chance to win supplements, cookbooks,

and more!

28 10 Ways to Flourish in

the Winter

Stress, colds and flu, indigestion—

the holiday season is full of unique

health challenges. Here’s how

to harness the healing power of

nature to stave off winter woes.

32 Sweet Treats

Keep your celebration sugar-free

and cut down on the carbs with

these festive confections made

with erythritol, monk fruit, and

other natural sugar alternatives.


Balance your blood

sugar and ease

inflammatory skin

conditions with

burdock root.


Shrug off coldweather


with our winter

wellness arsenal.


6 TRENDWATCH Jump Around

From the schoolyard to the gym,

jumping rope can keep you fit.

16 HOT BUYS Wintertime Essentials

Natural products we’re excited about

this month.

18 CHECK OUT Snooze Tonight

Tossing and turning? These 8 supplements

can help you get to sleep.


Get to know three “minor cannabinoids,”

constituents of the hemp plant

that hold promise for reducing inflammation,

easing anxiety, and more.

26 UNCOMMON HERBS Burdock Root

This member of the daisy family is

rich in anti-inflammatory compounds

that give it impressive healing powers,

such as improving eczema and

psoriasis symptoms.


New Lease on Life

Good health eluded cancer survivor

Bill Ellis for years—until he tried an

unconventional approach to healing.


Eating for Adrenal Health

Six foods that are packed with adrenalsupportive,

stress-busting nutrients.

42 NATURAL BEAUTY Gorgeous Gifts

Looking for last-minute holiday gifts and

stocking stuffers? We think you’ll love

these natural bath and body products.

44 VEG CORNER Sweet Potato Latkes

These savory-sweet Chanukah latkes

are so good that you may give up the

regular potato ones for good.


Mushroom Appetizer

Walnuts, mushrooms, rosemary, and

sage combine to make these tasty bites

a welcome—and healthy—guest at

seasonal festivities.


Grain-Free Holiday Crackers

Fiber-packed chia and flax seeds shine

in these festive, gluten-free treats.

2 • DECEMBER 2019

This season, when it comes to

your immune health:

or trust Ester-C ®

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©2019 American Health Inc. | 19-AH-1166


End of Year


It’s hard to believe that yet another year is coming to

a close. And not just the year, but the decade! So much

has changed over the past 10 years. Just think about the

advancements in supplements in that time—CBD had

yet to become a household name, collagen was not nearly

as popular as it is today, and products with non-GMO

ingredients were relatively rare. And these are just the

tip of the iceberg.

No matter how beneficial they might be, changes can

create inner turmoil and stress—whether that’s losing your

job, feeling frustrated by new technology, or even starting a

different way of eating. Pile on the typical holiday stress,

and you’re sure to hit a breaking point.

We have several articles in this issue to help you combat

stress of all kinds, and enjoy the holiday season! One of

my favorites is “10 Ways to Flourish in the Winter,” by

Michele Burklund, NMD (p. 28). She shares valuable tips

for supercharging your immune system, balancing stress,

improving digestion, and keeping your energy levels up

during the colder months. For example, did you know that

upping your fish oil intake in the winter can help prevent

dry skin? Or that taking Siberian ginseng can help you get

out of bed more easily on dark, frigid mornings?

Here’s another way to combat stress, both physical and

mental—make your holiday indulgences sugar-free whenever

possible. Consuming excess sugar is a surefire way to

weaken your immune system, not to mention leave you

feeling sluggish, puffy, and even stressed and depressed

(I’m speaking from experience here!). For scrumptious

desserts made with monk fruit, erythritol, and other sugar

alternatives, see Sweet Treats (p. 32). You will not miss

the sugar, and your family and friends will appreciate the

healthier options.

Wishing you joy and great health this season. Happy

holidays from everyone at Better Nutrition!



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Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, Michele

Burklund, NMD, Sherron Goldstein,

Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, DN-C,

RH, Chris Mann, Kim Stewart, Lisa

Turner, Neil Zevnik

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Chairman & CEO Andrew W. Clurman

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BETTER NUTRITION, ISSN #0405-668X. Vol. 81, No. 12. Published monthly by Cruz Bay

Publishing, an Active Interest Media company. 5720 Flatiron Parkway, Boulder, CO

80301; 303-253-6300; fax 303-443-9757. ©2019 Cruz Bay Publishing. All rights reserved.

Mechanical requirements and circulation listed in Standard Rate and Data Service. The opinions

expressed by the columnists and contributors to BETTER NUTRITION are not necessarily those

of the editor or publisher. Fraudulent or objectionable advertising is not knowingly accepted.

Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content of advertising and for

any claims arising therefrom. Articles appearing in BETTER NUTRITION may not be reproduced

in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. BETTER NUTRITION does

not endorse any form of medical treatment. The information presented here is not meant to

diagnose or treat any medical condition. We urge you to see a physician or other medical

professional before undertaking any form of medical treatment.

4 • DECEMBER 2019




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Feel like a kid again—and get in

amazing shape—by jumping rope


Plenty of Benefits

Even if you’re doing regular cardio workouts,

jumping rope is a different way of moving.

In addition to working the heart and

lungs, it:

Increases elasticity in the tendons and

muscles in the lower leg.

Improves balance, helps prevent falls,

and improves bone density.

Increases grip and wrist strength,

and works the shoulders.

Helps to stabilize knee

muscles and joints.

Works the upper leg

and hips, especially when

landing on one foot.

Is mentally engaging,

which helps to reduce

stress and may help ward

off dementia.

Where to Start

Pete McCall, a leading San Diego-based

fitness trainer, educator, and spokesperson

for the American Council on Exercise,

recommends first jumping without a

rope for 20–30 seconds, to make sure

weight is distributed correctly. Use the

balls of your feet, not the toes, to push off

and land, letting your heels come down

to the ground between jumps. Keep

knees slightly bent and

bounce lightly.


Harbinger Fitness HumanX

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a Rope

In your workout

shoes, stand with

one foot on the

middle of the rope

and hold the ends

straight up in

front of you. The ends of the rope (not the

handles) should be around armpit height.

If you’re in between two lengths, buy an

adjustable version of the longer one and

customize it.

Got Achy Joints?

If you have arthritis or other joint problems,

check with your doctor before starting to

jump rope. If your doctor approves, jumping

rope may be somewhat uncomfortable

at first, but will make joints healthier and

more mobile. “If you don’t use the range

of motion in the joint,” says McCall, “then

there’s a risk of losing that mobility.”

more at

Get jump rope exercises developed by

a trainer on our site, including a cardio

workout and a total body workout.

6 • DECEMBER 2019





Book Reviews

New in health!

What You Must Know About Dry Eye

by Jeffrey Anshel, OD

Scratchiness, burning, blurred vision, difficulty

driving at night, eye fatigue, eye pain—these are

all symptoms of dry eye. Sometimes mistaken for

allergies, dry eye involves diminished tear production

or tears that evaporate too quickly from the surface

of the eye. “The number one demographic for dry

eyes is women over 40,” says Dr. Jeffrey Anshel,

OD, author of the new book What You Must Know About Dry Eye (Square One

Publishers, 2019). “It seems that there are hormone receptors on the tear glands,

and as hormone levels change around the time of menopause, the production of

tears may be altered as well.” Who knew? You’ll learn about this and a lot more

from Anshel, who details the myriad causes of dry eye in his book. They range

from autoimmune diseases and computer use to medications and insomnia. We

especially like the chapter on “Foods and Supplements for Dry Eye”—find out

how açai, salmon, aloe vera gel, fish oil, grapeseed oil, green tea, and other foods

and nutrients can nourish and protect your eyes. This is a must-read if you have

(or think you may have) dry eye! Learn more about Anshel at

Blood Orange Serum

with vitamin C stimulates,

refreshes and vitalizes skin

for a fresh and vibrant look.

New in food & nutrition!

This Kitchen Is for Dancing

by Karlene Karst

Kitchens bring families together. It’s where we find

sustenance from food—and it’s also were we get

spiritual and emotional nourishment, says Canadian

nutritionist Karlene Karst, author of This Kitchen Is

for Dancing—Real Food, Pure Flavor. “When I say my

kitchen is for dancing, it’s really about the dance of

life that occurs while feeding the people you love,”

says Karst, who credits nutrition for helping her overcome a painful autoimmune

condition in her early 20s. Now a busy mom of three with her own company,

Karst has written a book designed to help other busy parents nourish their kids

with the healthiest foods possible, and rediscover the joys of coming together as

a family in the kitchen. This is a beautifully written book with gorgeous photography.

It’s filled with some of the best nutrition advice out there. And the recipes (more

than 100 total) could not look more delicious or easier to make—Apricot Chia

Jam, Peanut Butter Pasta, Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf, and Snickers Energy Balls,

to name a few. Treat yourself to this book or buy it for a loved one. Learn more

about Karst at


Stock up on TheraZinc now

to give your immune system a

boost when it needs it the most.

When the seasons change, immune

challenges (and their unpleasant side effects)

can result. It’s that time of year when germs

are everywhere. Take TheraZinc this season

to help strengthen your immune system


when it needs it the most.





* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This

product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Find TheraZinc at a store near you.

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Eating foods high in phosphatidylcholine is associated with a reduced

risk of dementia and enhanced cognitive performance, according to a

study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers

analyzed approximately 2,500 Finnish men between ages 42 and 60 for their

dietary and lifestyle habits. The risk of dementia was 28% lower in men with

the highest intake of dietary phosphatidylcholine compared to those with the

lowest intake. Men who consumed the most phosphatidylcholine-rich foods also excelled

in tests measuring memory and linguistic abilities. Phosphatidylcholine is a fatty substance

that contains the B vitamin choline. In addition to eggs and meat (the two richest sources),

soy, sunflower, and wheat contain the nutrient. You can also take phosphatidylcholine and

choline in supplement form.


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Counteracts the early formation

of fine lines and wrinkles

to give eyes a youthful glow.


In the Spotlight:

The Guilt-Free Gourmet

Irish-born chef and London-based author Jordan Bourke

joins with his nutritionist sister, Jessica, to serve up

tempting cuisine free of dairy, wheat, sugar—and guilt

/// By Chris Mann

Chef Jordan Bourke’s

latest project is

definitely a family

affair, thanks to

input from his sister.

“Jessica is a (Dublinbased)


therapist and is

always getting

asked by patients

for recipes that don’t

include certain

ingredients—most often

alternatives for

processed cane sugar,

wheat, or dairy,” says

Bourke, an award-winning

food writer who has made

a name for himself in the

UK for his scrumptiousbut-healthy

cuisine. “As a

chef I was aware that a lot

of ‘free from’ recipes out

there were in some way

lacking, so it seemed like

the perfect solution—to

come together with our

respective experience and


Win a copy of

The Guilt-Free


We have

5 copies

up for


Email your

name and

address to


Put “Gourmet”

in the subject


create a cookbook of delicious recipes

that make use of alternative ingredients.”

The result, The Guilt-Free Gourmet:

Indulgent Recipes Without Wheat,

Dairy or Cane Sugar, offers delectable

dishes that ditch these three waistlineexpanding

and, for many, allergy-inducing

ingredients in favor of healthier

swaps (think spelt and wheat-free flours,

coconut palm sugar and agave, and rice,

nut, and soy milks). “We’ve always said

to our clients and readers that food, no

matter what’s in it, should never be about

guilt. But at the same time, so many of

them were coming to us feeling guilty

about what they were eating, hence the

name of the book,” Bourke adds. “When

we offered recipes with alternatives to

the ingredients they had difficulty with,

it gave them a new lease on life in the

kitchen, with lots of new and exciting

ideas for them to cook with.”

more at

Read our complete interview with chef

Jordan Bourke and learn about his guiltfree

eating plan at





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Back to Basics

It was 1993, long before the current

craze for gourmet iterations of

rice—Uncle Ben’s boxes were the

familiar go-to for most American cooks.

On a trip to China, Levine and Lee were

bowled over by the taste and appearance

of a black rice they encountered; legend

held that it traditionally had been

reserved for Chinese emperors due to

its nutritional and medicinal properties.

And thus began their quest to bring a

wide variety of whole-grain heirloom

rice varieties to market.

But that was only the beginning.

A few years in, they were introduced to a

new method of rice farming, the System

of Rice Intensification (SRI)—a more

sustainable way to grow rice using less

water, less seed, and no agrochemicals

that results in a double yield for farmers.

“Learning about SRI and seeing the

benefits for people and the environment

is when we realized that growing rice

organically wasn’t enough, and that we

had to rethink altogether how the world

grows rice,” explains Levine. “We have

to feed the increasing global population

with less water, land, and labor. Especially

water, our most precious resource.”

And so that became their mission.

Partnering with small-scale farmers in

several countries, Lee and Levine worked

to emphasize better growing practices

by applying SRI methods, while also

establishing fair and effective supply

chains that would lessen environmental

impact and create social and economic

justice for farmers. “Working with smallthe


behind the Product

Rice, Reimagined

How Lotus Foods is changing the way this global

staple is produced and reducing its impact on the

environment /// By Neil Zevnik

It was after a trip to

China that Ken Lee

and Caryl Levine

were inspired to

start Lotus Foods.

Did you know that more than half of the

world’s caloric intake comes from rice?

That couldn’t be a bad thing, right? After

all, rice is cheap, plentiful, and nutritious,

and good way to feed the multitudes.

But now consider these facts about

traditional rice production: annually,

it consumes one-third to one-half of

the planet’s renewable fresh water;

hundreds of millions of women do

back-breaking repetitive tasks in

unhygienic conditions; and flooded

rice fields contribute mightily to global

warming by emitting methane gas.

Obviously, something needs to

be done to rectify the existing systems.

Enter Caryl Levine and Ken Lee,

co-founders of Lotus Foods.

“We realized

that growing

rice organically

wasn’t enough,

and that we

had to rethink


how the world

grows rice,” says


holder farmers has taught us so many

important lessons and has enriched our

lives. Having real social, economic, and

environmental impact is improving livelihoods

and creating mutually beneficial

relationships around the world,” says Levine.

Dramatic Results

The results of SRI implementation?

Savings of approximately 500 million

gallons of water annually; women’s

time spent in debilitating manual labor

reduced by half, and their exposure to

disease vectors drastically reduced; and

methane gas emissions from SRI rice

fields reduced by 40 percent. And the

farmers’ yields? Up to three times higher.

It has been a long and arduous journey,

to be sure, with disappointments and

setbacks, of course; and Levine and Lee

still find themselves dismayed by “all

that’s wrong today in our food system,

the corporate control of agriculture, and

the horrible toll it’s taking on our health

and our natural resources.”

But they find renewed inspiration in

the people whose lives they touch. “We all

have to work, so doing something of value

and making a difference by the way you

do your business is truly a blessing.”

Neil Zevnik is a private chef in Los Angeles who tends to the culinary needs of the rich and famous; blogs about food, nutrition, and the environment for The Huffington Post;

and volunteers with marine mammal rescue whenever he can. Learn more at

14 • DECEMBER 2019





*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Wintertime Essentials

Stave off colds and flu, combat dark circles, quell inflammation, and more

The Creamer of

Your Coffee Dreams

Step aside, coconut creamer. There’s a new

kid in town. Elmhurst Hemp Creamers, the

first hemp creamer on the domestic market,

are made from real hemp cream and have

350 mg of plant omega-3s per serving.

They’re crafted through a HydroRelease

method that uses just water to separate the

components, which are then reassembled.

The result is a rich emulsion that pairs well

with iced and hot coffee or tea. With six or

fewer ingredients, the creamers have zero

added gums, oils, or emulsifiers. Choose

from Original (unsweetened), French

Vanilla, Hazelnut, and Golden-Milk.

Freedom From


Inflammation is thought to be at the root of

most health problems, including joint and

muscle pain. To help tame it, we like Health

Thru Nutrition Freedom Softgels. This

formula boasts a proprietary blend of eight

ingredients clinically substantiated to combat

inflammation: curcumin, fish oil, gamma

linolenic acid (an anti-inflammatory omega-6

fat), vitamins D and E, hydroxytyrosol

(the main phenolic component of olive oil),

astaxanthin (a powerful antioxidant and

anti-inflammatory), and organic hemp seed oil.

You’ll Believe It

When You “C” It

Be on the lookout for two great new products

from Derma E: Vitamin C No Dark Circles

Perfecting Eye Cream and Vitamin C Gentle

Daily Cleansing Paste. Ever-so-slightly tinted,

the eye cream helps color correct dark circles

and laugh lines. Vitamin C helps tone skin,

while turmeric and mica visibly brighten

the eye area. Caffeine helps depuff for a

well-rested look. The cleansing paste gently

exfoliates for softer, clearer skin, thanks to a

trio of active ingredients: vitamin C, golden

turmeric, and non-abrasive ancient rice.



Sweet on Elderberry

A natural antiviral remedy, elderberry is one

of the best herbs to have on hand during the

cold and flu season. Pukka Herbs Organic

Elderberry Syrup is a delicious organic

blend that includes immune-bolstering

ginger, Manuka honey, and thyme. The

wild elderberries come from southern

Hungary, where there is a thriving industry

of wild herb collection. There are no added

sugars, dairy, gluten, or soy.




Energize With Charcoal

If you’ve been feeling exhausted from the

moment you wake up, you may have a

toxin build-up dragging you down. Yerba

Prima Activated Coconut Charcoal helps

cleanse your body of unwanted substances.

In addition to its detoxifying benefits,

this formula is designed to help alleviate

hangovers and gas and bloating. It may

also help rid the body of mold and lower

high cholesterol. There are no fillers or

additives—just 100 percent coconut shells.

16 • DECEMBER 2019



Snooze Tonight

8 science-backed supplements to help you

sleep /// BY LISA TURNER

Tossing and turning all night? You’re not alone. As many as

70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders, and roughly

half of all adults experience occasional bouts of insomnia. That’s

a problem: studies link lack of sleep with increased risk of heart

disease, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and other health issues.

Reduce your risk, and get ready to crash, with these supplements

that guarantee you’ll snooze.

1. Melatonin, a hormone naturally produced by the pineal

gland, signals your brain that it’s time to snooze. The production

and release of melatonin are driven by the circadian clock,

so levels are naturally higher in the evening and lower in the

morning. As we age, the body produces less melatonin—one

reason why older people have difficulty sleeping—and several

studies show that melatonin can improve insomnia in the

elderly. Taking melatonin also helps regulate sleep in those

who work night shifts or are experiencing jet lag. Studies show

that 2–5 mg of melatonin can significantly increase total sleep

time, shorten the time it takes to fall asleep, and improve overall

quality of sleep. Some research suggests that time-release

formats are the most effective.

2. Magnesium has a calming effect on the nervous system,

and insufficient levels of this mineral have been linked to

insomnia and sleep disturbances, as well as depression—one key

factor in restless sleep. It’s thought to work in part by regulating

circadian rhythms, ensuring regular and tranquil sleep, and by

decreasing cortisol, the main stress hormone.

Some research also suggests that magnesium helps regulate

melatonin production and influences brain levels of GABA,

a neurotransmitter that’s associated with relaxation. Several

studies show that taking magnesium before bed can reduce the

time it takes to fall asleep and reduce nighttime waking.

3. Lavender, a flowering plant prized for its volatile oils,

has long been used to promote calm and sleep. It’s high in

compounds thought to reduce anxiety by interacting with

neurotransmitters and the parasympathetic nervous system,

the part associated with rest versus activity. In one study,

an essential oil extract of lavender was more effective than

placebo in treating anxiety, and those who used lavender oil

showed significant improvements in sleep duration, sleep

quality, and the length of time it took to fall asleep.

18 • DECEMBER 2019


High Intensity.





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hydration for refreshed,

radiant skin

Learn more at

4. Valerian, a perennial herb used for

centuries to treat anxiety, stress, and

insomnia, is rich in valerenic acids and

valepotriates—compounds that are thought

to promote sleep by influencing GABA

and serotonin. Studies show that

300–900 mg of valerian taken

before bed can shorten the

time it takes to fall sleep,

increase total sleep time,

reduce nighttime waking,

and improve subjective

sleep quality. In one

study, valerian worked

as well as oxazepam,

a prescription drug for

insomnia and anxiety.

5. Lemon balm, a member of the mint

family, is traditionally used to reduce

stress and enhance sleep. It’s rich in a

variety of active components, including

flavonoids, polyphenolic compounds,

and others, that are thought to influence

GABA and impact other neurotransmitters

to promote a sedative and calming effect.

Studies show that lemon balm can calm

anxiety and stress, decrease restlessness,

and promote sleep. It may be most effective

when used with valerian—some studies

show that a combination of valerian

and lemon balm significantly improved

quality of sleep without causing morning

drowsiness or “hangover.”

6. 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) is

naturally produced by the body from

tryptophan as a step in the process of

making serotonin. It’s also indirectly

involved in the production of melatonin.

Because 5-HTP is effective at easing

anxiety and improving mood, it may be

especially helpful for insomnia related

to anxiety or depression. Other studies

suggest that 5-HTP can treat symptoms

of fibromyalgia, a condition that causes

chronic pain and is often linked with

sleep disturbances. Other studies suggest

that 5-HTP may be especially effective

when combined with GABA; one study

found that the combination shortened

Did You


Studies show that taking

magnesium before bed

can reduce the time

it takes to fall


the time it took to fall asleep and increased

sleep duration.

7. Curcumin, the active compound

in turmeric root, can promote sleep in

several ways. Research suggests that up

to 88 percent of people with chronic

pain also have sleep disorders,

and at least half of all people

with insomnia suffer from

chronic pain. Studies

show that curcumin can

ease arthritis and other

kinds of pain frequently

linked with disturbed

sleep. Curcumin may also be

effective in treating depression

and anxiety, important if sleeplessness

is caused by mood disorders.

8. L-theanine, an amino acid found in

green tea, can reduce stress and anxiety,

promote relaxation, ease depression, and

encourage sleep. Several studies suggest

that L-theanine can improve insomnia and

enhance self-reported sleep satisfaction.

It may be especially useful for encouraging

sleep in people with certain psychiatric

or cognitive disorders. In one study,

400 mg of L-theanine was shown to be

safe and effective in improving sleep

quality in boys diagnosed with ADHD.

Other studies show that a combination

of L-theanine and GABA decreased the

time it took to fall asleep and improved

sleep quality and duration better than

either supplement alone.




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Lisa Turner is a chef, food writer, product developer, and nutrition coach in Boulder, Colo. She has more than 20 years of experience in

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Beyond CBD

When it comes to healing compounds in hemp,

CBD may just be the tip of the iceberg /// BY VERA TWEED

Scientific study of cannabinoids—the

active compounds found in hemp—is

still in its early stage. But in addition

to CBD (one of the cannabinoids in

hemp), a few others have garnered

attention. In addition to the growing

body of private-sector research, the

National Institutes of Health budgeted

$1.5 million this year for researchers

studying these “minor cannabinoids.”

Here are just a few that show promise

as individual supplement ingredients:

1. Cannabigerol (CBG)

In the hemp plant, CBG is considered the

“mother cannabinoid” because it’s the

precursor to CBD. CBG levels are highest

in young plants, and decrease as the plant

matures. Lab and animal research shows

that CBG fights bacteria and fungi, reduces

inflammation, relieves anxiety, and promotes

bone growth. It can also inhibit the

development of cancerous cells, and may

reduce harmful pressure in eyes.

2. Cannabinol (CBN)

Some varieties of hemp plants naturally

contain high amounts of CBN. Lab and

animal research indicates that this

cannabinoid can enhance sleep, reduce

stress, and help to relieve pain. To reduce

pain sensitivity, it’s more effective when

combined with CBD.

3. Cannabichromene (CBC)

In hemp, CBC is the second-most-concentrated

cannabinoid, next to CBD. Lab

and animal research shows that CBC

reduces absorption of one of the human

body’s main internal cannabinoids—

anandamide—thereby boosting its active

levels. Anandamide is sometimes called

the “bliss molecule” because it enhances

mood. CBC reduces pain, protects the

nervous system and brain, and fights

bacteria and fungi. It holds promise for

treating acne, digestive disorders, and

migraines, but research has yet to confirm

these applications.

Supplement Facts

All of these cannabinoids are found in

full-spectrum hemp CBD products, but

not in isolated CBD extracts. In addition,

companies that supply ingredients have

discovered ways to extract significant

quantities of CBG, CBN, and CBC from

hemp plants, so expect to see new

products featuring these cannabinoids

individually or in combination.

There are no hard and fast rules about

which cannabinoids to use or how much

to take, and individual reactions vary.

Most experts recommend starting low

and going slow, allowing at least a few

hours to experience potential effects.

Although CBD in an isolated or fullspectrum

product is considered safe,

reported side effects include diarrhea, dry

mouth, drowsiness or fatigue, and reduced

appetite. For anyone taking medications,

CBD has a similar effect to grapefruit

juice, altering metabolism of a drug to

either increase or decrease its effects.

Contributing editor Vera Tweed has been researching and

writing about supplements, holistic nutrition, fitness, and

other aspects of healthy living since 1997. She is the author of

several books, including Hormone Harmony: How to Balance

Insulin, Cortisol, Thyroid, Estrogen, Progesterone and

Testosterone to Live Your Best Life.

22 • DECEMBER 2019




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Burdock Root

This time-tested botanical can help ease eczema and psoriasis, detoxify

the liver, combat constipation, and more /// BY KARTA PURKH SINGH KHALSA, DN-C, RH

Ellen Dart, 39, knows the distress of

chronic dermatitis all too well. She had

good skin when she was younger, but

developed chronic skin inflammation as

an adult—in spite of her healthy lifestyle.

“My skin was riddled with inflamed

cystic lesions that were almost like boils,”

she says, “but I was determined to get to

the source of the problems.”

Dart consulted several skin specialists

and made a few attempts at natural

remedies, but nothing was working.

“I knew I needed more, so I thoroughly

explored the basis of inflammatory

skin disease, studied the herbal approach

to treatments, and concluded that my

dermatitis was caused by a liver so

congested and burdened that it wasn’t

breaking down, processing, and eliminating

wastes properly,” says this Boulder,

Colorado, yoga teacher.

“I began taking burdock root and

dandelion root, and within nine months

of beginning this herbal work, the

dermatitis was gone,” continues Dart.

Three years have since passed, and “my

skin quite frankly, is gorgeous—totally

clear and smooth,” says Dart.

A native thistle from Eurasia, burdock

(Arctium lappa) is now firmly established

as a weed in North America. Over the

centuries, it’s become a mainline remedy

in Western and Chinese herbal systems

for a variety of health conditions. The

genus name (Arctium) from the Greek

arktos, or “bear,” is a reference to its seed

pod’s rough burrs. The species, lappa,

comes from “to seize.” Same idea.

This member of the daisy family is

rich in anti-inflammatory flavonoids,

lignins, and bitter glycosides. The root

contains up to 45 percent inulin, a

non-nutritious fiber, plus assorted other


Potent Skin Saver

There are many fine herbs for the skin,

but few are better than burdock root, as

Dart’s story perfectly illustrates. Burdock

has a long history of use as a detoxifier

in skin conditions, and it really earns its

stripes when it comes to skin inflammation,

including eczema, psoriasis, and boils.

Did You


Researchers at Heilongjiang

University of Traditional

Chinese Medicine, in

Harbin, China, believe

that burdock improves

the anti-aging


Clinicians in Britain consider it to be

specific for eruptions of the head, face,

and neck, for which it’s often combined

with dandelion root, yellow dock root,

red clover flowers, or cleavers.

Diabetes Remedy

The inulin makes burdock valuable in

treating diabetes by grabbing sugars

from the digestive tract and preventing

them from entering the bloodstream. A

2019 paper summarized its antidiabetic

action as regulating glucose homeostasis

and improving oxidative stress. Another

2019 study confirmed that the polysaccharides

in burdock help regulate blood

fats. Bonus: The inulin in burdock also

promotes the growth of beneficial

probiotic bacteria in the intestines.

Other Healing Actions

Burdock root is a general detoxifying

remedy that influences skin, kidneys, and

mucous membranes to remove accumulated

wastes. A 2019 study found that

it can also treat constipation. Burdock

is a bit diuretic and diaphoretic (sweatinducing),

which, combined with its

cleansing qualities, makes it useful for

easing arthritis as well.

Hildegard of Bingen, the medieval

German herbalist, used burdock to treat

cancerous tumors. Today, burdock

is a chief ingredient in the popular Essiac

and Hoxsey formulas, anecdotally

used as cancer remedies. One

study found that arctiin, a lignan

isolated from burdock, prevents

mammary cancer, while other burdock

lignans slowed the growth of

leukemia cells. Research from 2018

has identified arctigenin as another

potential anticancer constituent. And

similar research in 2017 showed that

arctigenin may reduce prostate tumors.

26 • DECEMBER 2019

British herbalists especially value

burdock for addressing all manner of liver

toxicity conditions, which are closely linked

to skin inflammation. Scientists in Taiwan

confirmed the powerful liver-protective

effect of burdock in a series of studies.

The high levels of lignans and inulin

in burdock have been shown to have

anti-inflammatory activities, explaining

its use in damp heat conditions, such as

laryngitis and skin inflammation. Chinese

researchers confirmed these effects in 2019.

Burdock’s polysaccharides are

antioxidant-rich, perhaps explaining why

the herb is included in many Chinese and

Ayurvedic upper-respiratory formulas.

Chinese scientists found that a burdock

lignan helped ease flu symptoms, and

another study showed that polysaccharides

from burdock may help suppress coughs.

Food and Supplements

You may have eaten burdock root at a

sushi restaurant. In Japan, it is cultivated

as a food, where it is called “gobo.”

Bearing a resemblance to a long (up to

3 feet!) brown carrot, the root is crisp,

with a sweet, pungent flavor. Try a glass

of fresh burdock root juice, or steam

carrot and burdock slices and serve with

dill or a light sesame oil sauce. (Soaking

the root before steaming helps reduce

some of its harshness.) The peeled,

steamed stem is edible, too.

Since burdock is a moderately

powerful cleanser, a tea prepared

from the dried root can be beneficial.

Try ¼ oz. (7 grams) by weight of the

dried herb, brewed, per day, or use

the equivalent in capsules, powder,

or tinctures.




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For links to the studies cited in this article,


Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, DN-C, RH, specializes in Ayurveda and herbalism, and has more than 40 years of experience in holistic medicine. Visit him online at to book a

consultation, learn about his Professional Herbalist course, and more.


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f l our is

in the WINTER

Here’s a complete guide to

supercharging immunity,

easing digestion, balancing

stress, and keeping energy

levels strong during the

coldest months of the year.


Wintertime is the coziest time of

year—especially when we think of

snuggling up next to a fireplace,

peering out at the picturesque snow-covered

backdrop, and sipping a warm cup of tea. But as

the temperatures drop and the weather gets

gloomy, the winter blahs can sneak in, and it can

become difficult to leave the comfort of home.

Our prescription: harnessing the healing power

of nature to help you flourish all winter long.

Here’s how:

28 • DECEMBER 2019

Banish Stress with Bs: A comprehensive

B-vitamin complex should be in everyone’s

winter arsenal to combat stress and promote a

healthy mood. B-complex vitamins refer to the

eight water-soluble Bs that play an active role

in a number of our bodily functions, including

building neurotransmitters and helping enzymes

to support energy production. Research has

shown that B-complex vitamins can help

promote a healthy mood, while also working

to decrease perceptions of stress. In fact, a

double-blind randomized, placebo-controlled

study published in the Journal of Human

Psychopharmacology found that the participants

who supplemented with B-complex

reported decreased anxiety and workplace

stress, as well as improved mood after 90 days

of use. Another study out of the University

of Miami evaluated the effects of B-complex

and found that adults who have been diagnosed

with depression experienced significant

improvement in their mental health with B vitamin

supplements. In addition to supplements, a

number of foods are rich in vitamin B, including

salmon, leafy greens, eggs, beef, oysters,

clams, legumes, chicken, turkey, yogurt,

and nutritional and brewer’s yeast.

Product Pick: Garden of Life

mykind Organics B-Complex

Adapt to the Times: It’s no secret that those dark winter mornings make us

all feel a little sluggish, and sometimes a little pick-me-up might be just what

the doctor ordered. Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus), commonly known

as Siberian ginseng, is a prized adaptogenic plant often used in traditional

medicine to elevate energy, increase athletic performance, and even

balance the body’s stress response. A study published in the Chinese

Journal of Physiology found that supplementation shows the

potential to enhance endurance, support cardiovascular health,

and improve metabolism. Eleuthero can be infused into water,

used in a tincture, or taken in a capsule.

Product Pick: Prince of Peace Ultra Ginkgo Plus Endurance Formula with

Eleuthero & Tibetan Rhodiola

DECEMBER 2019 • 29

Up Your Omegas: As temperatures hit the single digits, your skin can

become more vulnerable as it attempts to adjust to the frigid air outside. Support

your skin barrier from the inside out by increasing your omega-3 intake

from foods such as avocados, nuts, olive oil, and fatty fish. On the outside,

use a nontoxic nourishing daily moisturizer to ensure that your skin

holds its glow during the colder months. Fish oil supplements are

also a good way to cover all of your omega-3 bases.

Product Pick: Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega

Take Five: Even though this time

of year is supposed to be about

connection, celebration, and

feeling thankful, it can cause a

lot of panic and stress. Science

has proven that the mind and

body are deeply intertwined and

that stress is a leading contributor

to many diseases. When your

schedule is packed, it’s important

to allocate time for yourself to

clear your mind and maintain a

proper, healthy balance. In fact,

a recent pilot study published in

the Journal of American College

Health found that students who

practiced guided mindfulness

meditation for 5–12 minutes per

day over an 8-week period

reported decreased

anxiety and stress

levels. So setting

aside some time

for yourself, even

for as little as 5

minutes per day,

can do wonders for

your health.

Product Pick: Calm (an app that

offers a variety of guided meditations)

Get to the Root of It: It’s a worthy mission to brave

the cold on a trip to the farmer’s market to pick up

some root veggies, otherwise known as “winter superfoods.”

These underground delights are often underrated,

despite their impressive nutrient profile and comforting taste. Some of the most

common root vegetables include carrots, which are rich in vitamin A; hearthealthy

beets; fiber-packed sweet potatoes; and celery root, which is loaded

with vitamin K. Besides the endless recipe options for root vegetables, winter

harvests also supply cranberries, broccoli, squash, Brussels sprouts, and pumpkin.

A diet focused on seasonal foods does much more than just improve your

health on a physical level—it also puts you in touch with your local environment

and connects you with nature. Or take a full-spectrum superfood supplement.

Product Pick: Vibrant Health Spectrum Vibrance

Balancing the Gut: Hippocrates famously said, “All

disease starts in the gut,” and now, modern science is

proving the link between a balanced gut and a healthy

immune system. One recent study review published

in the Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism concluded

that probiotic consumption has a variety of positive

benefits for the immune system, including the ability

to modulate the allergy process. Support your gut flora

diversity by eating prebiotic foods such as artichokes

and asparagus; by focusing on plant-based and fermented

foods; and by ensuring that you always take

a probiotic after an antibiotic to help replenish your

supply of good-for-you bacteria. In addition, you

might want to consider adding a high-quality

probiotic into your daily regimen to ensure

that you’re doing everything you can to

balance the bacteria in your belly.

Product Pick: American Health Probiotic CD

30 • DECEMBER 2019

Flu-fighting Botanicals: Plants

that stimulate and support

the immune system include

elderberry, astragalus root,

echinacea, olive leaf, osha root,

and goldenseal. These triedand-true

herbs have been used

for centuries to help fight off

invading bugs and support immune

health. A study published in the

Journal of Evidence-Based

Complementary and Alternative

Medicine found that taking

echinacea extract as a preventative

measure reduced both the

number of colds and the duration

of the common cold compared

to the placebo. Infuse these

herbs into a warm cup of

tea to enjoy throughout

the day.

Product Pick:

Gaia Herbs Echinacea


Add Some Honey: Manuka honey is not only a sweet treat,

but a powerful functional food derived from the nectar

of manuka (Leptospermum scoparium) trees. It has been

studied extensively for its wound healing and antimicrobial

properties, as well as its effectiveness against bacteria that

can be resistant to antibiotics. In fact, a recent review study

published in the AIMS Microbiology Journal concluded that

Manuka honey has the potential to be a natural antibiotic

alternative due to its unique phenolic and methylglyoxal

content. Add it to a cup of tea, mix it into your morning

smoothie, infuse it into your salad dressing, or

simply enjoy it raw.

Comfort Food: Bone broth is a traditional food touted for its rich

nutrient content and health benefits. It’s made by boiling the bones

of animals (ideally grass-fed and organic) and infusing the mineraldense

broth with herbs and vegetables, creating a savory soup. An

interesting study published in the Journal of Psychological Science

found that comfort foods—including soups—are often associated

with gatherings and have a beneficial effect on mental

health and loneliness. Perhaps bone broth is the

perfect antidote for the mind and body on those

chilly, dark days.

Product Pick: Bonafide Provisions Chicken Vegetable

Soup with Bone Broth

Let the Sun Shine: It’s important

to keep your vitamin D (aka the

sunshine vitamin) stores at a healthy

level for optimal immune support

during the months when the light

isn’t as bright and more of your time

is spent indoors. Countless studies

have linked low vitamin D levels

to osteoporosis and other chronic

diseases, making it an essential

support for overall wellness. In fact,

a recent systemic review published

in the British Medical Journal found

that vitamin D supplementation was

associated with a decreased risk of

cancer mortality by 16 percent. Visit

your primary care doctor for

a checkup to ensure your

levels of D are in the

optimal range.

Product Pick: Carlson

Vitamin D3 Soft Gels 2,000 IU

Product Pick: Flora Manuka Honey 15+ UMF


For links to the studies cited in this article,


Michele Burklund, NMD, is a physician specializing in

holistic health and preventive medicine. Burklund

believes that true medicine discovers the root cause of

an illness, rather than simply treating symptoms. Visit to learn more.

DECEMBER 2019 • 31

Keep your



and cut down

on the carbs

this year

with festive


made with


monk fruit,

stevia, and





f you’re on a Keto or low-carb diet—or just


generally appalled by the sugar content

of most holiday treats—there’s a sweet

solution: natural, sugar-free substitutes that

let you indulge in cookies, pies, and cakes

without upsetting blood sugar or blowing

your daily carb count through the roof. Here’s

a roundup of the four best sugar alternatives,

plus recipes for low-carb, grain-free, no-sugar

treats that can sweeten your celebration without

sacrificing flavor.

32 • DECEMBER 2019

Pumpkin-Pecan Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

These muffins make an excellent dessert

or holiday breakfast. We used a monk

fruit 1:1 sweetener that’s combined with

erythritol for a simple sugar swap. For garnish

and texture, try adding pecan halves,

chopped walnuts, and pepitas on top.

21/2 cups almond flour

2 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup butter at room temperature

3/4 cup monk fruit 1:1 sweetener

4 large eggs

1 cup pumpkin puree, unsweetened

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease

12-cup muffin pan, or line with paper

muffin cups. In medium bowl, whisk

together almond flour, baking powder,

cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and


2. In standing mixer or large bowl using

handheld mixer, beat butter and monk

fruit sweetener until creamy and light,

scraping down sides of mixing bowl as

needed. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat

in pumpkin purée and vanilla. Stir dry

ingredients into wet ingredients until

well combined; stir in pecans.

3. Divide muffin mixture among muffin

cups. Bake 25 minutes, until puffy and

golden, and a tester inserted into muffins

comes out clean. Remove from oven

and let cool 10 minutes. Remove muffins

from tins and serve immediately.

Per muffin: 270 cal; 8g prot; 24g total fat (7g sat

fat); 10g carb; 80mg chol; 320mg sod; 4g fiber;

2g sugar

DECEMBER 2019 • 33

1. Xylitol. This sugar alcohol naturally

occurs in small amounts in strawberries,

raspberries, and other fruits and

vegetables, and is most abundant in birch

tree bark. It’s sold as a white crystalline

powder that’s similar in appearance and

sweetness to white sugar, but has 40

percent fewer calories and a very low

glycemic index of 10 (compared to white

sugar at 68). Because the body doesn’t

metabolize xylitol as a sugar, it has no

effect on insulin levels, and some studies

show that it can also prevent tooth decay

and possibly improve bone and tooth

health. It may also help control Candida

and prevent ear infections.

Like other sugar alcohols, xylitol can

cause bloating, gas, and flatulence, and

may have a laxative effect in large quantities.

Start small to let your body get

used to it, and limit consumption to 50

grams per day. And while it’s completely

safe for humans, xylitol is toxic to dogs, so

keep it in a pooch-proof container, and

don’t let pets sample your baked treats.

How to buy it. Though you can

find birch-derived xylitol, which is more

expensive, it’s often derived from corn,

which can contain GMOs. Look for

organic or non-GMO xylitol, and be sure

it’s free of fillers or other additives. We

like Xlear XyloSweet.

How to use it. Unlike most concentrated

sweeteners, xylitol bakes well,

adds bulk to recipes, and can be used as

a 1:1 substitute for white sugar. To avoid

any potential digestive distress, it’s best

combined with a concentrated sweetener

such as monk fruit or stevia.

2. Erythritol. Like xylitol, erythritol

is a sugar alcohol that naturally

occurs in grapes, pears, mushrooms, and

other fruits and vegetables. It’s made

commercially by fermenting glucose

from corn, and has a clean, neutral flavor

and color with a very low glycemic index

of 1. Erythritol doesn’t impact blood sugar

or insulin levels, and because it’s not

metabolized by bacteria in the mouth,

it won’t cause tooth decay and may

even promote remineralization of teeth.

Unlike other sugar alcohols, erythritol

Chocolate-Peppermint Mousse with Mint Whipped Cream

Serves 4

For a vegan alternative, swap full-fat coconut milk for the heavy cream.


3 large, very ripe avocados, halved and pitted

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup heavy cream or coconut milk

2 tsp. peppermint extract

1/8 tsp. salt

1/4– 1/2 tsp. monk fruit extract or stevia extract, or to taste


1/2 cup heavy whipping cream or 1 can full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight

Monk fruit extract or stevia extract to taste

2 Tbs. very finely minced fresh mint leaves or 1 tsp. peppermint extract

1. Scoop flesh out of avocado skins into food processor. Add cocoa powder, cream

or coconut milk, peppermint extract, and salt. Purée until smooth and creamy.

Add monk fruit or stevia extract, and purée again to combine. Taste, and adjust sweetener

and mint extract, if desired. Divide mousse among four parfait glasses

or small dessert bowls. Chill 30 minutes to 1 hour.

2. While mousse is chilling, using a standing mixer or a hand mixer, whip heavy

cream on medium-high speed until peaks form, 3–4 minutes. (If using coconut milk,

open chilled can of coconut milk, and scoop hardened cream from the top; reserve

remaining coconut milk for another use.) Sweeten to taste with monk fruit or stevia

extract. Gently stir in minced fresh mint leaves or peppermint extract.

3. Remove chilled mousse from refrigerator and top each serving dish with whipped

cream; serve immediately.

Per serving: 520 cal; 7g prot; 51g total fat (21g sat fat); 21g carb; 85mg chol; 105mg sod; 14g fiber; 3g sugar

34 • DECEMBER 2019

DECEMBER 2019 • 35

Monk fruit

is heatstable


can be used in

any kind of

cooking and


is mostly absorbed into the bloodstream

before it reaches the colon, and appears

to resist fermentation by gut bacteria. So

it’s less likely to cause digestive distress.

How to buy it. Because erythritol is

made with corn, look for organic or

non-GMO products in powdered form.

Some products contain added ingredients,

such as oligosaccharides or stevia,

to increase its sweetness; 100 percent

erythritol products are also available. We

like NOW Real Food Organic Erythritol.

How to use it. Erythritol can be

used in baking or any kind of cooking.

In general, use 11/3 cups of erythritol for

each cup of sugar. To improve flavor and

minimize any possibility of digestive distress,

combine it with other sweeteners

such as monk fruit or stevia.

3. Stevia. Derived from a plant

native to South America, stevia contains

compounds called steviosides and

rebaudiosides that are about 300 times

sweeter than sugar. It’s calorie-free, and

has no impact on blood sugar or insulin

levels. Though some early research

suggested that stevia could contribute to

infertility and cancer, these studies have

been debunked, and new studies suggest

that compounds in stevia may actually

protect against some types of cancer.

Other studies show that stevia lowers

insulin and glucose levels and may normalize


How to buy it. Though the raw,

powdered herb is the most natural form,

it has a bitter taste and slightly licorice

flavor, and isn’t good for baking. Concentrated

forms of stevia like Reb-A have a

cleaner flavor and less aftertaste. Make

sure the form you buy is organic or non-

GMO. We like Wisdom Natural, Sweet-

Leaf Liquid Stevia SweetDrops.

How to use it. While stevia is heatstable

and is ideal in puddings, ice cream,

or smoothies, it’s harder to use in baking

because it lacks bulk. Combine it with

erythritol or xylitol to add bulk, and use

a ratio of about 1/2 teaspoon stevia for 1

cup of sugar.

4. Monk fruit. This super-natural

sweetener from the lo han guo plant is

made by crushing the fruit to extract its

sweet compounds, called mogrosides.

Monk fruit has a clean, sweet flavor,

without a bitter aftertaste. But like

stevia, it’s calorie-free and doesn’t impact

blood sugar or insulin. Lo han guo has

been used for thousands of years in Chinese

medicine, and some studies suggest

that the plant has antibacterial activities

and can fight oral bacteria and Candida.

How to buy it. You’ll find monk fruit

in a variety of forms, from pure concentrates

to powders that combine monk

fruit with erythritol or other bulking

agents. If you’re buying monk fruit mixed

with other ingredients, look for organic

or non-GMO versions. We like Lakanto

Monkfruit Sweetener with Erythritol.

How to use it. Monk fruit is heatstable

and can be used in any kind of

cooking and baking. Like stevia, it lacks

bulk, so it’s best combined with erythritol

or xylitol. Or use a powdered form that

has added bulking agents. The amount

you’ll use in recipes varies depending

on what product you’re using; for pure

monk fruit extracts, use 1 teaspoon to

replace a cup of sugar.

Coconut Lemon Bars

Makes 16 bars

These, cool, zesty lemon bars are sweetened

with xylitol, which works well with

citrus and is an easy 1-to-1 swap for sugar.

If you’re concerned about digestive issues,

use erythritol, or swap ¼ tsp. monk fruit

or stevia for the ¼ cup of xylitol in the

crust to lessen the impact. For a coconut-free

variation, substitute almond flour

for coconut flour in the filling, and swap

coconut flakes with powdered erythritol

sprinkled on top of the bars after baking.

3 large lemons

1 cup almond flour

3/4 cup xylitol or erythritol, divided

1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 cup melted butter

1/4 cup softened butter

6 large eggs

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8x8 glass

baking dish with two sheets parchment

paper, crisscrossing parchment to line

bottom and both sides, and allowing

edges to overhang by 1/2 inch. Zest and

juice lemons, and set aside.

2. In medium bowl, whisk together almond

flour, 1/4 cup of xylitol or erythritol, and salt.

Stir in melted butter and 2 Tbs. lemon zest,

mixing until well combined. Press crust

along bottom of prepared baking dish.

3. In standing mixer or a medium bowl

using hand mixer, beat remaining xylitol

and softened butter until light and

creamy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add

lemon juice, remaining lemon zest, and

coconut flour, and beat until smooth.

4. Pour filling into crust and spread evenly,

smoothing top. Bake 25 minutes. Sprinkle

tops of bars with coconut, and bake

5–10 minutes more, until filling is set

and coconut is lightly toasted. Remove

from oven and let cool completely.

Refrigerate 1–2 hours, until chilled.

5. Using parchment overhang, lift bars from

pan and place on flat surface. Cut into 16

bars, and serve immediately.

Per serving: 190 cal; 5g prot; 14g total fat (7g

sat fat); 14g carb; 90mg chol; 160mg sod; 3g

fiber; 1g sugar

36 • DECEMBER 2019


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New Lease

on Life

Good health eluded

cancer survivor Bill

Ellis for years—until he

tried an unconventional

approach to healing


“You’ll be dead in two years” are words

Bill Ellis, 71, of Pikeville, Tenn., heard

at his first cancer diagnosis in 2007.

“Wild Country Bill” is no regular guy.

He dabbles in real estate … delivers a

calf here and there

… delivers the mail

“just to connect with


the doctors on his

route, with whom he

shares formidable

health research. It’s a

passion of Bill’s, borne

out of necessity and

sheer will to survive

lifelong health

challenges, from

prostate and bladder

cancer to a broken

neck. As a farmer, Bill

and his other family

members who got

cancer were unfortunately

exposed to

toxic pesticides. But

Bill took an alternative

treatment route.

In August 2018,

a new facial tumor

Bill Ellis (shown

above before

starting James’

program) realized

his health was falling

apart. After just

8 days on James’

regimen, Ellis

dropped 17 lbs.

His blood pressure

normalized and his

energy soared. His

PSA numbers have

gone from 36 to

13. Today, on right,

he is the picture of


had him concerned because it was near

a nerve, meaning if it was missed by

a biopsy, they’d have to do radiation.

Luckily, they got it all. However, Bill still

had a tumor that had spread from one

area of his prostate to another. He was

growing tired of the continual health

challenges. He was already on a targeted

supplement regimen at that point, which

included hyssop, nattokinase, vitamin D,

Carnivora (an extract of the venus flytrap

plant), and Haelan 951 (a fermented

non-GMO soy beverage for chemo

patients). But now he realized that bigger

changes were in order. [Editor’s note:

These are not intended as prevention

or cancer treatment supplements; work

with your doctor before adding any new

supplements to your regimen.]

Important: We don’t suggest that

anyone make the decisions Bill has made.

Cancer is a serious issue and you should

seek qualified medical supervision. In

fact, Bill did do just that; however, he

ultimately made decisions based on his

own extensive research.

Although he’d long cut out most sugar

and processed foods, he still battled pain

every day, which prevented him from getting

a good night’s sleep. He also had sleep

apnea and food regurgitation, poor energy,

and what he called a “basketball belly.”

The Leptin Connection to Cancer

In August 2018, just after the facial tumor

scare, Bill was listening to my radio show

on Sirius XM. I was talking about leptin

(the “master hormone”) and its relationship

38 • DECEMBER 2019

with certain cancers. Although leptin

(already in our bodies) has profound

effects on all systems, Bill’s interest

piqued when I mentioned how keeping

the hormone low (something only

achievable through an individualized

dietary strategy)—while optimizing its

function in the brain—had reduced

proliferative cancers in some research.

By sheer coincidence, I had an upcoming

educational seminar in Bill’s neck of the

woods, Chattanooga, Tenn. Taking it as a

sign from God, he registered right away

and embraced my unique high-fat, verylow-carb,

moderate-protein program (note:

excess protein correlates with cancer risk).

He was still under his docs’ supervision

and my coaching. And he understood that I

made no medical claims or promises.

After eight days on my regimen, Bill’s

weight dropped from 239 to 222 pounds

(yes, 17 lbs.). He felt lousy for two days, but

then saw a “ton” of swelling leave his body

as his blood pressure came down.

His appetite dropped and his energy soared.

By the time of the retreat, his PSA numbers

went from 36 to 13—something he and his

docs had simply never seen happen. At his

next prostate exam, his tumor had reduced

by about 40 percent to the size of a pencil

eraser. Docs were shaking their heads, and

a nurse commented that it “defied reason.”

(Again, no claims are made here that Bill’s

choices affected his prostate tumor, which,

of course, could have been a coincidence).

During my Chattanooga program retreat,

Bill was shocked to hit his high- school

weight of 198 lb. without feeling hungry.

Just to hit 200 had been his “bucket list”

goal that he thought he would never reach.

“Now if I could just run an 8.9-second 100-

yard dash again like I did in high school,

I’d be perfect,” he jokes.

“I haven’t been cancer-free since 2007.

The difference is the rest of me is healthy

for the first time. I don’t think I’ll be getting

sick again anytime soon. My fears

are gone,” says Bill.

Tennessee farmer, mailman, and real estate buff Bill Ellis in his element: “I have to remind myself

that I’m 71 now. Just had the best health exam ever. All numbers and sleep and even vision back to

normal! Best thing is I don’t fear the worst anymore.” Photo: Freida Holmes



Important: These are intended only

as health-supportive supplements,

not as “cancer-fighting” or prevention

supplements; please consult your

physician before taking supplements

if you are being treated for cancer or

any other disease.







Vitamin D: to optimize


Dr. Ohhira’s Probiotics:

to help with fungus and

Candida overgrowth

with the extra power of


DIM-plus by Nature’s

Way: to support

hormonal balance by

helping reduce harmful


Selenium: well-known for

its immune-supportive


Formula 109 by Kyolic:


blood pressure, and

relaxation support.

Reg’Activ Detox & Liver

Health by Essential

Formulas: increases

the master antioxidant

glutathione, which helps

detoxify pesticides and

other harmful toxins.

More at

Read more about Bill Ellis’ journey of

survival through cancer, including how

he found relief from inflammation,

candida, sleep issues, poor memory,

acid reflux, and sinus problems—only at Also online: Read Kat

James’ article “Transforming Our View of

Fat,” where she explains the connection

between leptin sensitivity, healthy fat

intake, and weight.

Kat James has been called “a master of self-transformation” by SELF magazine in response to her self-guided recovery from liver, autoimmune, and eating disorders. Her

controversial and pioneering dietary method—now recommended at top neurology, fertility, functional medicine, and even dental clinics—has left countless success stories in its

wake and been featured at top spas and institutions such as Omega Institute and Canyon Ranch, as well as on “Today,” Fox, and PBS, among others. Learn more about her upcoming

retreats at or by calling 877-54-TOTAL. Listen to her Sirius XM radio show Saturdays, 2 p.m. EST, on channel 131 (Family Talk).

DECEMBER 2019 • 39


Eating for Adrenal Health

Six foods to reduce stress and nourish your body /// BY LISA TURNER

We all have stress from time to time.

But when it goes on for weeks, or

months, chronic stress can impact all the

body's systems—especially the adrenal

glands, small organs that rest on top

of the kidneys and are responsible for

releasing important hormones. One of

these is cortisol, a stress hormone that

regulates energy, reduces inflammation,

and regulates blood pressure and blood

sugar. It also controls the sleep/wake

cycle: cortisol levels fluctuate during the

day, increasing in the morning when you

need to wake up, and decreasing at night

when it's time to sleep.

If you're in a state of constant tension

and anxiety, the adrenal glands may not be

able to keep pace and produce the necessary

hormones to help you cope. The result: a

condition called adrenal fatigue, includes

symptoms such as nervousness, sleep

problems, body aches, and depression.

While adrenal fatigue isn’t recognized by

the medical community, many naturopaths

and integrative practitioners treat it as a

true syndrome. In general, a diet that avoids

sugar, caffeine, refined grains, and alcohol

is recommended. And certain nutrients

that relieve stress, promote calm, reduce

inflammation, and balance blood sugar can

also help. Here are six foods packed with

stress-busting nutrients::

➊ Kefir. Studies suggest

that bacterial imbalances in

the gut contribute to stress

and anxiety. Naturally

fermented kefir is rich in beneficial

bacteria, which improve gut health,

reduce anxiety, lessen stress, and may

protect against inflammation. Probiotic

bacteria also improve serotonin levels and

can produce GABA, a neurotransmitter

that promotes relaxation and eases

tension. Low levels of GABA have been

linked with increased anxiety.

RECIPE TIPS: Combine kefir with rolled

oats, chia seeds, dried cherries, and

vanilla extract, and refrigerate overnight

for an instant breakfast bowl; make a

zesty dressing with kefir, minced garlic,

jalapeño peppers, and cilantro; strain

kefir through a cheesecloth overnight,

then mix in minced chives and garlic

powder for a creamy spread.

➋ Turkey. It’s high

in tryptophan, an amino

acid precursor to

serotonin and melatonin. (Serotonin is a

neurotransmitter that promotes calm

and relieves stress, while melatonin is a

hormone that enhances sleep.) Studies

show that tryptophan lessens anxiety

and also improves sleep, even at doses as

low as 250 mg—the amount in just one

serving of turkey. Turkey is also rich in

high-quality protein that minimizes

blood sugar spikes and enhances energy.

Vegan sources of protein and tryptophan

include edamame, kidney beans, white

beans, peanuts, and tofu.

RECIPE TIPS: Spread turkey slices with

mashed avocado, layer with arugula, red

onions, and shredded carrots, and roll up;

combine cooked turkey cubes with celery,

scallions, dried cranberries, and kefir;

sauté cooked turkey with mushrooms,

onions, garlic, and spinach, and toss with

spiralized sweet potatoes.

➌ Sunflower seeds.

They’re rich in protein

and B vitamins, which

keep the adrenal

glands healthy and improve the body’s

response to stress. Studies show that

thiamine (vitamin B 1

) protects the

adrenal glands from exhaustion and

reduces the body’s reaction to cortisol.

Pantothenic acid (vitamin B 5

) may buffer

cortisol and enhance adrenal function,

and deficiencies have been linked with

compromised adrenal function. Niacin

(vitamin B 3

) helps the body convert

tryptophan to serotonin, and also improves

sleep. And pyridoxine (vitamin B 6

) is

necessary for the synthesis of GABA,

serotonin, and other neurotransmitters

that protect against stress. Sunflower

seeds are also a good source of zinc, which

has mood-regulating and antianxiety effects.

Studies have linked low blood levels of

zinc with increased feelings of anxiety.

RECIPE TIPS: Combine sunflower seeds, kale,

parsley, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, and

red pepper flakes in a food processor, and

blend into a zesty chimichurri sauce; soak

sunflower seeds overnight, then drain and

purée with kefir, olive oil, and apple cider

vinegar for a healthy mayo alternative;

combine sunflower seeds with mashed

kidney beans, minced red peppers, and

shredded carrots, then form into burgers.

➍ Tea. While coffee is a

no-no on an adrenal health

diet, some varieties of tea

can help relieve stress and

anxiety and protect the adrenals. Green

tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid

that enhances the production of calming

neurotransmitters. While it does contain

caffeine, research suggests that L-theanine

offsets caffeine's stimulatory effects.

Studies also show that L-theanine

induces alpha-brain wave activity, which

correlates with a perceived state of

relaxation. Rooibos, made from the leaves

of the African red bush, has a balancing

effect on cortisol levels. And it’s caffeinefree.

Chamomile (also caffeine-free) has

been shown in many studies to relieve

anxiety and stress and improve sleep.

All three also contain antioxidants that

protect against inflammation.

RECIPE TIPS: Make a strong rooibos tea,

stir in honey and vanilla, then add ice

and almond milk for a cooling latte;

make a soothing digestive tea with

chamomile, peppermint tea, fennel seeds,

and chopped ginger; blend matcha green

tea powder with kefir and bananas for a

morning coffee alternative.

40 • DECEMBER 2019

Stuffed Red Peppers with

Turkey and Collards

Serves 4

This simple recipe takes only minutes of

hands-on prep, but looks special enough

for a festive dinner. You can blanch the

peppers and make the filling ahead of

time, then stuff the peppers and bake

just before serving. For variations, add

chopped broccoli, minced spinach or

mushrooms, and serve with a simple

sauce made with kefir, lemon juice,

garlic, and minced herbs.

4 medium red bell peppers

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 lb. ground turkey breast

2 small carrots, diced

1 cup finely chopped collard leaves

1/2 cup diced red onion

4 garlic cloves, finely minced

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

2 Tbs. minced rosemary leaves

1/2 cup grated Asiago or Parmesan

cheese, if desired

Chopped parsley and additional cheese

for garnish, if desired

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Bring large pot

of salted water to a boil.

2. Cut tops off bell peppers, and remove

seeds. Submerge peppers in boiling

water, and cook 3–4 minutes, until

crisp-tender; do not overcook. Transfer

peppers to colander, and rinse with

cold water to stop cooking. Drain

thoroughly and arrange, cut side up,

in 8x8-inch glass baking dish.

3. Heat olive oil in large skillet over

medium heat. Add turkey, and cook until

lightly browned and cooked through.

Add carrots, collards, onion, garlic, salt,

and pepper. Cook 5 minutes longer,

until carrots are tender. Stir in quinoa,

sunflower seeds, and rosemary and heat

through. Stir in cheese, if desired.

4. Fill peppers with turkey and collards

mixture. Bake 20 minutes, or until filling

is hot and peppers are very tender.

Remove from oven, and sprinkle

with parsley and additional cheese, if

desired. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 380 cal; 35g prot; 16g total fat

(3.5g sat fat); 24g carb; 65mg chol; 580mg

sod; 6g fiber; 9g sugar

FREE eBook!





How to Sharpen

Your Mental Focus,

Boost Memory,

Unlock Creativity,

& Feel Happier!

➎ Red peppers. They’re an

excellent source of vitamin C,

which helps support adrenal

function and balance cortisol.

In some studies, vitamin C improved the

ability of the adrenals to adapt to surgical

stress and normalized cortisol levels.

Other studies show that vitamin C

reduces anxiety, minimizes stress, and

improves mood.

RECIPE TIPS: Halve red peppers, remove

seeds, stuff with sautéed collards, leeks,

and cooked quinoa, and roast until tender;

combine chopped red peppers with zucchini,

eggplant, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and

oregano, and simmer until tender; simmer

puréed roasted red peppers with pasta

sauce, Kalamata olives, capers, basil, and

red pepper flakes for a puttanesca sauce.

➏ Collard greens.

They’re high in magnesium,

a mineral that

helps relieve stress, as

well as folate, a B vitamin that’s essential

for the production of neurotransmitters

that mitigate anxiety. Spinach, chard,

turnip greens, and kale are also excellent

sources of magnesium and folate.

RECIPE TIPS: Simmer chopped collard

leaves, red peppers, ginger, and curry

powder in coconut milk; sauté shredded

collard leaves in olive oil with chopped

black olives, garlic, and cumin; steam

whole collard leaves until tender, then use

as a wrap for cooked chickpeas and quinoa.

Lisa Turner is a chef, food writer, product developer, and nutrition

coach in Boulder, Colo. She has more than 20 years of experience in

researching and writing about nourishing foods, and coaching people

toward healthier eating habits. Find her at

Go to

to download

your copy!


Gorgeous Gifts

Spread delight and joy to friends,

family, and co-workers with these

gotta-have natural bath and body


1NOW Holiday Cheer Gift Case

You’re guaranteed to make someone’s day with this adorable

gift set. Here’s what you get: a mini essential oil diffuser; 1 bottle

Candy Cane Essential Oil Blend; 1 bottle Christmas Tree Essential Oil

Blend; 1 bottle Clove Essential Oil; and 1 bottle Nutmeg Essential Oil.

NOW Essential oils go through a rigorous test for identity, purity, and

adulteration to ensure the highest quality.


Deep Steep Organic Bubble Bath

Grapefruit Bergamot

Celebrate the simple pleasure of a restorative soak. This bathtime

gem has a soft, citrusy fragrance and silky lather. And it’s packed with

good stuff: organic coconut oil, shea butter, argan oil, aloe vera, and

essentials oils. To make your gift extra special, throw in the matching

body butter.


Petal Fresh Honey & Coconut Restoring

Body Butter

You can never go wrong with a good body butter, and this one

tops our list of favorites. This thick, rich cream features organic honey,

which has natural antimicrobial properties, and organic coconut oil for a

mega moisture surge. Argan oil and shea butter are also added for their

skin-smoothing benefits. Did we mention that the scent is heavenly?

There are no harsh preservatives, parabens, or GMOs.


Desert Essence Detoxifying Sea Salt Body Scrub

This spa-inspired body scrub is a luxurious treat. Detoxifying

sea salt and exfoliating almond meal and walnut shells are

blended with luscious shea butter, sweet almond, and jojoba

oils for smoother, softer skin. There’s also a touch of honey

to soothe and moisturize. This product is super-clean with no

parabens, sulfates, mineral oil, petroleum, silicone, or other

chemical additives.


Acure Welcome to Skin Wellness Kit

Goodbye, dark undereye circles and puffiness. These

soothing, de-puffing undereye hydrogels work like magic

to revitalize the eye area. Perfect for the always-stressed and sleepdeprived

folks on your list. This cute pouch contains four varieties:

Brightening Supergreens, Radically Rejuvenating, Seriously Soothing,

and Detox-Depuff Charcoal Lemonade. There are no parabens, sulfate,

mineral oil, petroleum, or silicone.






42 • DECEMBER 2019







Surya Brasil Nail Polish

If you haven’t tried them, all-natural

nail polishes are the bomb, ladies. Surya Brasil, a sustainable

company from Brazil, makes a line of long-lasting polishes in stunning

shades that we love. Certified cruelty-free, vegan, and “7-free” (free of

the most commonly used toxins such as formaldehyde, resin, TPHP),

the collection is inspired by nature’s vibrant colors and named after

exotic animals. Colors shown here are Pavao and Cobra Coral.


MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Shield Clear Stick

SPF 50

Smart sun protection is essential year-round. This go-anywhere

stick makes it easy to care for your skin the natural way. It’s made with

zinc oxide, a mineral-based, water-resistant sunscreen (with UVA and

UVB protection) that glides on smoothly and dries clear. It’s reef-safe,

all-natural, and moisturizing, thanks to the addition of cocoa seed butter,

and avocado, jojoba, and vitamin E oils.


Annemarie Börlind For Lips

Everyone loves a good lip balm, right? Skip the drugstore ones

and go with this deeply nourishing lip balm. A staff favorite,

For Lips is made with soothing shea butter, castor oil, and bisabolol

(a cannabis terpene found in German chamomile). It glides on lips and

instantly relieves dryness and chapping. Buy several for stocking stuffers

(and don’t forget to get one for yourself!).


Bulldog Shave Kit for Men

Here’s a gift the men in your life will actually use. Stylish and

travel-friendly, this washbag features three skincare essentials:

Original Face Wash for fresh, clean skin; Hydrating Shave Gel for a

smoother, nick-free shave; and Original Moisturizers, a non-sticky hydration

boost. Everything is made with clean, natural ingredients, including

aloe vera, camelina oil, and green tea.


South of France Hand Washes

These beautiful hand soaps lend a French countryside

feel to any room. All soaps from South of France are

vegetable-based and triple-milled in the Marseille tradition. They’re

made from coconut oil, sustainable palm oil, natural glycerin, and

shea butter. The creamy lather leaves your skin feeling clean and soft.

Choose from a variety of scents, including Climbing Wild Rose, Green

Tea, and Lavender Fields.

Sherrie Strausfogel is the author of Hawaii’s Spa Experience: Rejuvenating Secrets of the

Islands (the first book to feature aromatherapy in its pages). Based in Honolulu, she writes

about beauty, spas, health, cuisine, and travel. Her work has appeared in more than 100

magazines, newspapers, guidebooks, and websites.

DECEMBER 2019 • 43


Sweet Potato Latkes

These savory-sweet Chanukah latkes are so good that you may give up

regular potato ones for good /// RECIPE BY SHERRON GOLDSTEIN


Makes 18 latkes

We swapped out regular spuds for sweet

potatoes and added ginger for a little kick. The

result? Latkes full of savory-sweet goodness.

You can make these in batches and keep them

warm in the oven before serving.

2 lbs. sweet potatoes (about 3 medium),

peeled and coarsely shredded

2 Tbs. minced fresh ginger, or more to taste

5 scallions, finely chopped

2/3 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour

3/4 tsp. sea salt, or more to taste

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs, beaten

Vegetable oil, for frying

1. Drain liquid from potatoes (place potatoes

in dish towel and wring out excess

moisture, if necessary). Combine sweet

potatoes, ginger, and scallions in mixing

bowl, and set aside. In separate bowl,

combine flour, salt, and pepper. Return

to mixing bowl, and combine slowly with

flour mixture. Fold in eggs. Line baking

sheet with 3 layers of paper towels.

2. Heat about 1 cup oil in large, heavy

skillet over medium-high heat. Using

1/4 cup measure, scoop latke batter onto

skillet to form cakes about ½-inch high

and 3 inches round. Flatten with back of

spatula, taking care not to crowd skillet.

3. Cook until golden brown on one side,

about 4 minutes. Flip, and cook about

3 minutes more. Using spatula, transfer

latkes to prepared baking sheet. Keep

in 225°F oven if serving later, or serve

immediately with sour cream or drained

yogurt, if desired.

Per serving: 80 cal; 2g prot; 1.5g total fat (0g sat

fat); 15g carb; 20mg chol; 135mg sod; 2g fiber;

2g sugars

44 • DECEMBER 2019


Holiday Mushroom Appetizer

The health-promoting prowess of walnuts, mushrooms,

rosemary, and sage combine to make these

veggie bites a welcome guest at holiday festivities


This is one of those vegetarian dishes

that I love to see on the menu when

traveling. You just can’t go wrong with

nuts and cheese!

In this case, the nuts and cheese are,

respectively, walnuts and goat cheese,

and I love them both. Goat cheese tastes

creamy and fresh, and pairs exquisitely

well with crunchy nuts. Season the

whole thing with fresh herbs and stuff

it into mushrooms, and you’ve got a dish

that will never disappoint.

The spices here are two of the four

mentioned in one of the most recognizable

song lyrics in the world—parsley, sage,

rosemary, and thyme. Both rosemary and

sage are incredibly rich sources of antioxidants

and natural anti-inflammatories.

And let’s not forget shallots. A member

of the allium genus that includes onions,

leeks, and chives, shallots contain a range

of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory

compounds, including quercetin, which

is also found in apples, onions, and

dietary supplements.

Of course, the holidays are all about

flavor too. And guests will love the

richness of this vegetarian-friendly

appetizer, which goes well with almost

any holiday meal. Enjoy! —Dr. Jonny



Cremini mushrooms are simply young

portobello mushrooms, sometimes

called baby bellas. They’re pale brown

and firm, and the caps on the freshest

ones will cover the gills. If you can’t

find cremini mushrooms, you can

substitute large white button

mushrooms, but they won’t be

quite as flavorful.

Walnut and Goat Cheese

Stuffed Mushrooms

Makes 15 stuffed mushrooms

For an attractive holiday serving idea,

arrange a single layer of fresh cranberries

on a platter and top with stuffed

mushrooms and other appetizers.

15 large whole cremini mushrooms

(about 1 lb.)

1 large shallot, finely chopped

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

4 oz. chèvre (fresh goat cheese)

Scant ¼ cup toasted whole walnuts, finely


2 Tbs. minced fresh thyme

1 Tbs. minced fresh rosemary

1 Tbs. lemon or orange zest, optional

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cover baking sheet

with parchment paper, and set aside.

2. Brush mushrooms clean, twist off their

stems, and reserve. Spray mushroom

caps lightly with olive oil, and arrange

stem-side-up in prepared baking pan.

Roast 15 minutes.

3. While mushrooms are roasting, finely chop

reserved mushroom stems. Heat about

1 Tbs. olive oil in sauté pan over medium

heat. Add chopped stems and shallot.


Season lightly with sea salt and freshly

ground pepper. Sauté 3–5 minutes, until

mushrooms have released their liquids and

reduced in size. Set aside to cool slightly.

4. In mixing bowl, combine chèvre,

walnuts, thyme, rosemary, and zest,

if using. Add cooled stem and shallot

mixture, and gently combine all

ingredients. When mushrooms have

softened in oven, remove and carefully

drain any excess liquid.

5. Form generous balls out of goat cheese

mixture, and press into the center of

each mushroom cap, filling completely

and mounding high. Return to oven,

12 minutes or until goat cheese has

browned lightly on the top. Arrange on

a decorative platter to serve.

Per mushroom: 45 cal; 3g prot; 3g total fat

(1g sat fat); 3g carb; 5mg chol; 35mg sod;

1g fiber; 1g sugar

Like fish, walnuts are a brain food, largely because they contain more omega-3 fats

than any other nut. It’s not the same type of omega-3 found in fish, but like its fish-based

relatives, it’s anti-inflammatory, making it good for both brain and heart. Walnuts contain

about 2.5 grams of omega-3 per 1 oz. serving, which isn’t bad. They also contain a similar

amount (about 2.5 grams per serving) of monounsaturated fat, which is the same fat

found in olive oil.

Please note that all walnuts are not the same. The two most common varieties

you’re likely to run into are English walnuts and black walnuts. Black walnuts contain

much more monounsaturated fat than their English cousins, but fewer omega-3s. On the

other hand, black dried walnuts have a little more protein (6.7 grams) per 1-oz. serving

than the English variety (4.3 grams). Both types of walnuts have a nice amount of

fiber—just under 2 grams per serving—and roughly the same number of calories.

46 • DECEMBER 2019

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DECEMBER 2019 • 47


Grain-Free Holiday Crackers

Fiber-packed flax and chia seeds shine in this festive, gluten-free appetizer


Chia-Rosemary Crackers

with Black Olive Hummus

Serves 12

These grain-free crackers are made with

seeds and loaded with fiber. We used

rosemary and Parmesan cheese for extra

flavor. For a vegan version, swap 2–3 Tbs.

nutritional yeast for the cheese.

Or skip the savory herbs and spices,

and add 2 Tbs. coconut sugar for

a sweeter treat. For faster prep,

use pre-made hummus and

skip roasting the olives. You

can also swap roasted red

peppers for olives.


1 cup chia seeds

½ cup flax seeds

1¼ cups water

1½ tsp. sea salt

1 tsp. garlic powder

3 Tbs. finely minced fresh rosemary

⅔ cup finely grated Parmesan or

Asiago cheese

Coarse sea salt for sprinkling on crackers

1 cup pitted black olives

¼ cup plus 2 Tbs. olive oil

2 15-oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

½ cup tahini

¼ cup lemon juice

4 garlic cloves, minced

Chopped parsley for garnish

Carrington Farms Organic Flax Chia Blend

1. Preheat oven to 225°F. Line two large

baking sheets with parchment paper.

In medium bowl, combine chia, flax,

and water. Stir to mix well. Let stand

15 minutes, stirring once or twice.

2. Add salt, garlic powder, rosemary, and

cheese, and mix well. Spread mixture

evenly on prepared baking sheet,

spreading into thin layer to edges of

pan. Bake 1 hour. Remove from oven.

3. Using edges of parchment, lift crackers

from baking sheet and carefully flip

onto second parchment-covered baking

sheet. Peel parchment from top of

crackers, and sprinkle with coarse salt,

if using. Return to oven. Bake 1 hour

more, or until crackers are firm. Remove

from oven.

4. Score warm crackers into individual

squares and let cool completely

before breaking apart. (Alternatively,

let crackers cool and break into freeform


5. While crackers are cooling, make

roasted olive hummus: Heat oven to

400°F. Toss olives with 2 Tbs. olive

oil, spread on baking sheet, and roast

15 minutes.

6. While olives roast, combine chickpeas,

tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and remaining

olive oil in food processor. Process

until smooth and creamy. Add roasted

olives, and pulse 8–10 times, until

olives are chopped into small bits. Transfer

hummus to medium bowl, and chill

2 hours (if you’re pressed for time, you

can skip the chilling). Arrange crackers

on large platter; place bowl of hummus

in center. Sprinkle with parsley and

serve immediately.

Per bar: 360 cal; 12g prot; 24g total fat

(3.5g sat fat); 29g carb; 5mg chol; 610mg sod;

12g fiber; 3g sugar

More at

Visit and search

“flax and chia seeds” for more information,

including how these two seeds differ and a

recipe for Superfood Nut Butter.

48 • DECEMBER 2019

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