YOUR ULTIMATE RESOURCE FOR NATURAL LIVING
JANUARY 2020 * betternutrition.com
Want to keep your resolutions
in 2020? Change your mindset,
not your goals
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7 Foods High in
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January 2020 / Vol. 82 / No. 1
The Cholesterol Question
How to find your optimum level.
12 PASSION BEHIND THE PRODUCT
The Food Side of Things
The story of Patagonia Provisions.
14 IN THE SPOTLIGHT
The Defined Dish
Customizing the Whole30 plan.
16 HOT BUYS
New and natural products.
18 CHECK OUT
Folate Facts and Forms
The scoop on this key B vitamin.
20 ASK THE NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR
How water can improve your health.
For links to studies
cited in our articles
and other helpful
sites and books, visit
Around the Globe
Get ready to take a
trip around the world
without leaving your
kitchen. You’ll find
the recipes only at
New Year’s Guide to
Making Lasting Changes
Every year, thousands of people make New
Year’s resolutions with every intention of
sticking to them—only to watch them fall
by the wayside by St. Patrick’s Day. But the
key to resolution success isn’t to change your
goals, but your mindset.
Beat the Bugs
The holidays may be over, but cold and flu
season is still in full swing. Want to avoid the
sneezing, sniffling, body aches, and cough
this winter? Try this curated assortment of
time-tested and science-backed supplements,
herbs, and lifestyle practices that really work.
22 AROMATHERAPY Rx
Relax. Focus. Balance. Revive.
Our 4-week plan for the New Year.
24 NATURAL BEAUTY
Super veggies for hair, skin, and nails.
26 NATURAL REMEDY
The Real Story on Collagen
The skinny on this trendy ingredient.
36 CBD SCOOP
The latest research and uses.
40 HEALTHY DISH
Warming Stew for Colder Weather
The perfect healthy comfort food.
42 EATING 4 HEALTH
Eat Your D
No sun? No problem.
44 ASK THE NUTRITIONIST
Simple strategies for the store.
48 COOK WITH SUPPLEMENTS
Just the Flax
Tiny seeds make super ingredients.
Aloo Gobi Potage
and potato chowder)
Pea, & Okra Soup
German Sausage &
Greek Egg and Lemon
Japanese Hoto Soup
(udon and tofu)
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Photo (Cover and this page): adobestock.com
4 • JANUARY 2020
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©2020 American Health Inc. | 19-AH-1274
A New Year
for the Taking
YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO NATURAL LIVING
Meet the passionate people behind this
Editor in Chief Nicole Brechka
issue of Better Nutrition!
Creative Director Rachel Joyosa
Executive Editor Jerry Shaver
Associate Editor Elizabeth Fisher
* Jeannette Bessinger, CHC, is an
Digital Editor Maureen Farrar
award-winning educator, author of
Copy Editor James Naples
Beauty Editor Sherrie Strausfogel
multiple books, and a real-food chef.
We usually kick off January with a
She’s helped thousands of people make
Contributing Editors Vera Tweed, Helen Gray
feature article on diet and weight
lasting changes to deeply entrenched
Contributing Writers Jeannette Bessinger, CHHC,
loss. All of this is great, but I wanted
habits that no longer serve them.
Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, Michele
Burklund, NMD, Cheryl Cromer, Chris
to go a little further this year. Michele
Mann, Melissa Diane Smith, Lisa
Burklund, NMD, had just emailed me * Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, is a boardcertified
nutritionist and the bestselling
Ad Production Coordinator Kim Hoff
Turner, Neil Zevnik
about the power of creating rituals
author of 14 books. His latest is The Great
SalesForce Coordinator Cossette Roberts
and how to keep positive momentum
Prepress Manager Joy Kelley
Cholesterol Myth, written with Stephen
going—not just for the month of
Sinatra, MD. jonnybowden.com
Editorial Offices 512 Main Street, Suite 1
January, but throughout the year.
El Segundo, CA 90245
* Michele Burklund, NMD, specializes
I wanted to learn how to accomplish
in holistic health and preventive medicine.
General Manager Rob Lutz
this, and I thought you might too.
She believes that true medicine discovers
AIM Retail Group email@example.com
One of the stumbling blocks to
the root cause of illness, rather than simply
success, says Burklund, is that many
treating symptoms. medicinewild.com
Integrated Media Sales Kevin Gillespie
Director – Eastern U.S. firstname.lastname@example.org
people mistakenly put their focus on * Cheryl Cromer is an artisan aromatherapist
and International 603-305-5106
the goal itself, rather than the mindset,
with more than 20 years’ experience.
Integrated Media Sales Candice Smith
feelings, and intentions behind it.
Based in Winter Park, Fla., she specializes
Director – Western U.S. email@example.com
in writing about aromatherapy and the
Don’t just have a goal to have a goal—
Retail Development Group 2400 NE 65th Street, Ste. 623
think about what you really want, and
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308
* Chris Mann is a California-based
then develop a passion and meaningful
800-443-4974, ext. 702
wellness and fitness writer, natural health
routine around it. On p. 28, we have
Director of Retail Sales Joshua Kelly
brand storyteller, entertainment author
nine ways to help you do this, and
and journalist, and digital-content
800-443-4974, ext. 702
then you can watch your New Year’s
Marketing Designer Judith Nesnadny
resolutions turn into a daily reality. * Melissa Diane Smith, Dipl. Nutr., is
What would you like to have happen
a holistic nutritionist who has 25 years
Accounting & Billing Yolanda Campanatto
of clinical experience and specializes in
in your life this year? It’s a fresh start,
using food as medicine. She is the author
a new decade, and a chance to move in
of Going Against GMOs and other books.
the direction of your dreams. Health is
a big part of that for most of us. When
* Sherrie Strausfogel has been writing
you feel good—not just physically,
about natural beauty for more than
but also emotionally and mentally—
20 years. Based in Honolulu, she also
anything is possible. Wishing you a
writes about spas, wellness, and travel. She
ACTIVE INTEREST MEDIA, INC.
happy, healthy New Year!
is the author of Hawaii’s Spa Experience.
Chairman & CEO Andrew W. Clurman
Senior Vice President, Treasurer, CFO, & COO Michael Henry
* Lisa Turner is a chef, food writer, product
Vice President, IT Nelson Saenz
developer, and nutrition coach in Boulder,
Vice President, Audience Development Tom Masterson
Colo. She has more than 20 years of
Vice President, Production and Manufacturing Barb Van Sickle
Vice President, People & Places JoAnn Thomas
experience in researching and writing about
AIM Board Chair Efrem Zimbalist III
nourishing foods. lisaturnercooks.com
* Vera Tweed has been writing about
supplements, holistic nutrition, and
fitness for more than 20 years. She is
the editorial director at Natural Health
Connections and the author of Hormone
Harmony and other books. veratweed.com
* Neil Zevnik is a private chef specializing
in healthy cuisine, with clients that have
BETTER NUTRITION, ISSN #0405-668X. Vol. 82, No. 1. Published monthly by Cruz Bay Publishing,
included Elizabeth Taylor, Pierce Brosnan,
Jennifer Garner, Charlize Theron, and the
CEO of Disney. He maintains an extensive
organic garden, and is devoted to his
pound pup Pearl. neilzevnik.com
6 • JANUARY 2020
an Active Interest Media company. 5720 Flatiron Parkway, Boulder, CO 80301; 303-253-6300;
fax 303-443-9757. ©2020 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.
Pure Food Supplements from our certified organic farms to YOU.
BIOAVAILABLE VITAMINS & MINERALS • NON-GMO • SUSTAINABLE
BY VERA TWEED
The Cholesterol Question
What is high cholesterol? The answer can be confusing because it depends
on an individual’s overall health situation. Cholesterol is one of the markers
used to estimate risk for cardiovascular disease, but its impact on your
health depends on additional factors.
If you’ve already had a heart attack or stroke, or have stents, your cholesterol
status must be evaluated by a doctor. Otherwise, if you’re between the ages
of 40 and 79, there’s a formula—created by the American Heart Association
and the American College of Cardiology—to calculate whether your cholesterol
level is unhealthy.
The formula uses age, gender, race, cholesterol and blood pressure readings,
diabetes status, and smoking status to produce an atherosclerotic cardiovascular
disease (ASCVD) score. This score estimates your risk of heart disease
or stroke in the next 10 years. For example, a score below 5 means low
risk—odds of less than 5 in 100. But a score over 20 means high risk.
Depending on your ASCVD score, plus family history and other health
conditions, your cholesterol level may or may not need lowering. For example,
if your father had coronary artery disease before age 55, or your mother
did before age 65, or if you have an inflammatory disease, kidney disease,
or metabolic syndrome, risk is higher, even if the ASCVD score is low.
If a cholesterol-lowering drug is indicated, medical guidelines call for
doctors to discuss individual risk, lifestyle, ways to improve health, and a
patient’s preferences before writing a prescription.
How to Calculate Your Score
Online calculators are designed for
people between the ages of 40 and
79 who haven’t had a heart attack or
stroke and whose total cholesterol is
not above 320. The simplest one to use
can be found at cvriskcalculator.com.
You’ll need to know:
Your total cholesterol level
Your HDL cholesterol level
Your systolic blood pressure number
Your diastolic blood pressure
Whether or not you have diabetes
Tests to determine these factors are
routinely performed during health
8 • JANUARY 2020
Potencies based on today’s science
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For additional information on Bluebonnet nutritional supplements, please visit
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Ashwagandha Improves Sleep
A study in India has found that taking 300 mg of an ashwagandha extract
twice daily helps people fall asleep faster and sleep better. Published in the
journal Cureus, the study tested a specific patented extract of ashwagandha—
KSM-66—found in several brands of supplements. The name of the extract
may be listed on the front of a product label or in the Supplement Facts.
CBD UPDATE: Dogs and Cats
CBD can help pets with anxiety, arthritis, seizures, and abnormal
growths, but dogs and cats don’t absorb it equally well, according
to a study led by the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine in
Ithaca, N.Y. Researchers tested hemp-derived CBD on eight dogs
and eight cats and found that compared to dogs, cats absorbed
only one-fifth the amount.
The study, published in the journal Animals (Basel), tested
safety and absorption. Researchers gave each animal an amount
based on weight: 1.1 mg of CBD per pound of body weight every
12 hours for two weeks. Dogs received the CBD in chews, and
cats received capsules containing CBD in fish oil. In a couple
cases, the capsules caused a problem when they broke before
being swallowed, making cats lick themselves excessively.
Blood tests showed that levels of CBD
A study of overweight and obese reached their maximum in 1.4 hours in
men in the United Kingdom
dogs but took 2 hours to peak in cats.
has found that exercise before
There was no evidence of harmful effects,
although a few dogs experienced loose
breakfast delivers greater health
stools and vomiting. One cat had
benefits than exercise after the
elevated liver enzymes, but it wasn’t
morning meal. “We found that
clear if CBD was the cause.
the men in the study who exercised
before breakfast burned
Researchers concluded that hemp
CBD seems to be safe. However,
double the amount of fat than
the group who exercised after,”
said lead study author Javier
watching out for
Gonzalez, PhD. “Importantly,
whilst this didn’t have any effect hemp CBD is
on weight loss, it did dramatically continually given
improve their overall health.”
to dogs or cats for
It turns out that morning
exercise on an empty stomach
brings about a greater sensitivity
to insulin, which reduces
JUST 4 CROPS, rice, wheat, maize,
risk for diabetes and heart
and potato, provide 60 percent of the calories currently
disease. Similar research is consumed by humans around the world. Historically,
planned with women.
more than 7,000 plant species have been used for food.
10 • JANUARY 2020
Photos (clockwise from top): Arundhati/adobestock.com; sonsedskaya/adobestock.com; amin/adobestock.com; nd3000/adobestock.com
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©2020 American Health, Inc. | 19-AH-1285
PASSION BEHIND THE PRODUCT *
companies fostering personal & global well-being
The Food Side of Things
Patagonia, the popular outdoor clothing retailer, has expanded its
vision of socially responsible business into the world of sustainably
BY NEIL ZEVNIK
If you’re an outdoorsy sort of person, you
probably know Patagonia as a purveyor
of high-end, environmentally conscious
activewear. But what you may not know
is that Patagonia has extended its “rescue
the planet” mission into the food sector
with Patagonia Provisions—and the
world will (hopefully) never be the same.
At any rate, that’s the goal of founder
Yvon Chouinard and his Managing
Director Birgit Cameron. After years
of dealing with agriculture in terms of
fabrics and supply chains, it became
apparent that, as Cameron notes,
“food agriculture is one of the biggest
reasons for the climate issues we are
facing today.” So it became imperative
to “tackle the food side of things, to go
beyond our mission of building the best
product and causing the least amount of
harm” to an even greater goal. “We’re in
business to save our whole planet, and
every single choice you make really has
to come from that place.”
Cameron has food “in her
genes,” as she laughingly explains,
with her father and grandfather
leading the way. So utilizing her
life-long expertise with food in
service of her environmental
consciousness was a no-brainer.
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard (left) and Managing Director Birgit Cameron are
taking sustainable business practices to a whole new level. “We’re in business to
save our whole planet,” says Cameron.
Their first product was wild sockeye
salmon, sustainably sourced from
family- and community-operated
Alaskan fisheries. This was followed by
pink salmon obtained via the old-school
reef-net method of the Lummi
tribe in Washington that avoids
by-catch and prevents
crowding and damage
Get to the fish.
Then they moved
for Neil’s Pink
Salmon Toasts at from sea to land,
betternutrition. and became even
com more courageously
partnered with the
Rodale Institute to establish an
international certification program
for Regenerative Organic Agriculture,
now in pilot programs across the
globe. “In terms of ecosystems, we
don’t need to re-engineer everything,”
explains Cameron. “What we have to
do is understand how they actually
work, and work with them. Then we will
have an abundance of food.”
Patagonia’s Buffalo Jerky fell in
line with these beliefs, produced from
free-roaming American bison. The
company expanded into even more
arenas—organic soups, breakfast grains,
more seafood (including mussels), and
fruit-and-nut bars. All of these offerings
are organic, sustainably sourced, “clean,”
and produced in service of Patagonia’s
ambitious goal to save the planet.
But for Cameron, as for all of the
dedicated people at Patagonia, these
global ideals all come down to the personal,
to the urgency of the dilemmas facing
us on all sides today. “Having children
of my own … well, there’s nothing like
that to emphasize, to punctuate the need
to do something about the state of our
planet. This is a journey that is incredibly
inspiring, and provides a lot of hope.”
Food that delights, satisfies, and
provides hope—surely we need more
877.599.5327 / XLEAR.COM
IN THE SPOTLIGHT *
stay-healthy secrets from leading experts
The Defined Dish
Food blogger Alex Snodgrass takes the Whole30 diet
to a whole new level
BY CHRIS MANN
Food blogger Alex
tried Whole30 in
2015 to drop baby
weight from her
And the results
extended well beyond
her whittled waistline.
“I found it helped me in
so many ways, more than just feeling
lean,” says the recipe developer and
food stylist, 32. “Eating cleaner foods
without a doubt makes me function better
on a cognitive level. I definitely think
sugar triggers my anxiety the most,
so cutting back on alcohol and sugarinfused
foods are what is best for me.
“I found that Whole30 set off a chain
reaction: I realized how important it was
for me as a mother to tend to my own
personal needs. Paying attention to the
foods I ate spurred me to take the time
to work out and do so much more for me.
It was very liberating and eye-opening.”
Her insights pepper The Defined
Dish: Whole30 Endorsed, Healthy and
Wholesome Weeknight Recipes, her
new cookbook of mostly Whole30- and
Paleo-compliant recipes. This essential
guide for those who’ve completed Whole30
reintroduces wholesome ingredients
such as legumes, tortillas, and yogurt in
savory dishes. And she serves up plenty
of healthy and fun, too!
Win a copy of The
Defined Dish! We
have 5 copies of up
for grabs. Email your
name and address
Put “Dish” in the
you use most?
AS: For glutenand
I love arrowroot
starch as a thickener,
cassava flour as a flour
substitute, and tapioca
as a breading. I also
love brown rice pasta.
For dairy-free, there’s
nothing better than
Creamer. You can use
it in place of coconut
milk to avoid that overpowering
BN: How did you
manage to make a
Hot and Sour Soup?
AS: Making a Whole30
Hot and Sour Soup is
like teaching pigs to
fly. It’s hard to make a
soup compliant when
its classic ingredients
include soy sauce, cornstarch,
tofu. I focused on using
(such as rice vinegar,
Red Boat fish sauce,
and coconut aminos) to
create similar tangy and
sweet flavors that make
you feel like you are
enjoying Hot and Sour
Soup without the MSG.
I am really happy with
the final product!
BN: How have your
Texas roots and Italian
AS: You’ll see my
Texas roots shine in
my “Southern Charms”
chapter, which features
southern, soulful classics
(think Whole30 Chicken
Fried Steak with Cauliflower
Gravy and Easy
Skillet Cauliflower Rice
Jambalaya), as well as
my “Tacos Y Mas”
chapter that’s filled
with the Tex-Mex-inspired
dishes I grew up
eating. My mom is also
half-Italian, and I grew
up enjoying her family
staples. I’ve taken the
Italian influence from
my mom and grandmother
cleaner versions of my
BN: What ingredients
go into your Cleaned
Up Foods for Kids?
AS: I like to share
cleaned-up versions of
the foods I grew up
loving to eat—think pizza
bagel bites, Hamburger
Helper, and grain-free
chicken nuggets. Most
of these are gluten-free
and dairy-free, or easily
modified to be.
BN: How does your
mantra “Nourish. Not
Punish.” help keep
you on track?
AS: I think the term
“balance” is just a word,
not something we can
accomplish. To be in
perfect harmony 100
percent of the time is
an old wives’ tale. My
mantra of “Nourish.
Not Punish” reminds
me to never dive into
the yo-yo diet culture
and to embrace living
a little. We all have busy
times in our lives where
we might eat and drink
more than we would
really like to. We all
travel and experience
the joy of vacation, and
we all just live a little
in general. Punishing
ourselves for that is
the worst path that
we can take ourselves
on. I like to be more
forgiving and understanding
decisions and choose
to come home and heal
myself with nourishing,
filling foods rather than
punishing myself for
the “unruly” behavior.
14 • JANUARY 2020
I give this to my 3-year-old
daughter when she’s
feeling a little under the
weather, and it totally
helps. I also give it to
her before she goes to
daycare where there are
tons of germs around
and I really feel like
it helps keep her
immune system strong. ”
- Sarah B., Happy Customer
ChildLife® First Defense is Dr. Murray Clarke’s unique combination of herbal and
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HOT BUYS * new & notable
Our favorite natural products hitting store shelves this month
You’ll never forget
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supplement again with
Doctor’s Best Omega + DHA
Gummies in Seriously
Citrus. These tangy
vegan chews contain
omega-3, -6, and -9
fatty acids from chia oil,
along with DHA from
algal oil and vitamin C.
This powerful blend is
designed to support
heart and blood vessel
health, vision, immunity,
skin hydration, and
We fell in love at first
bite with Skout Organic
Bars—and from the
online reviews, so have
a lot of other people.
soy-free, and non-GMO,
the bars have 10g of
plant-based protein with
7 or fewer ingredients.
They’re bound together
with organic dates for
the perfect combination
of soft texture and
Flavors include Salted
Cherry, Peanut Butter,
Vibrant Health Immune
Defense provides the
body with additional
immune cells the
digestive tract produces
combined with other
powerful immune aids:
(an extract of the larch
tree), peppermint leaf,
rosemary leaf, beta
glucans, and red marine
algae. When you feel
that first tingle of
a cold, or after an
reach for this.
CBD can’t get you high,
but it can keep you
dry. Lafe’s CBD Roll-On
Deodorants, infused with
50 mg of full-spectrum
CBD oil, help fight
naturally. CBD is
known to have natural
that help combat odor.
These roll-ons are
also super natural—
no propylene glycol,
oils, or other harmful
ingredients. Pick from
Lavender & White Tea,
Mint, Chamomile Tea,
and Matcha Tea.
The Berry Best
Get all the benefits
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Life Extension Berry
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capsules are packed
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*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.
CHECK OUT *
An essential B vitamin, folate—called
folic acid in supplements—deserves
special attention because a shortfall can
contribute to serious health problems,
including heart disease, stroke, and
neural tube defects in babies. Lack of
folate can also lead to megaloblastic
anemia, a condition characterized
by abnormally low numbers of red
blood cells that become enlarged, with
symptoms that include lack of energy,
irritability, and trouble concentrating.
Studies have also found possible
links between low folate levels and
increased risk for depression,
cognitive difficulties, Alzheimer’s
18 • JANUARY 2020
guide to cutting-edge supplements
Folate Facts and Forms
Studies link low folate levels to depression, cognitive difficulties,
stroke, heart disease, and more
BY VERA TWEED
disease and other types of dementia,
preterm births, and possibly cancer.
For decades, folic acid supplementation
has been emphasized for
women to prevent birth defects in
their children, and such tragedies
have been reduced. But older people
are also at risk of deficiency because
of poor diet, poor digestion,
or other health conditions.
Folate and vitamin B 12
to make red blood cells, prevent anemia,
and perform other vital functions.
An Australian study of 900 people
between the ages of 60 and 74 found
that supplementing daily with
400 mcg of folic acid and 100 mcg
of B 12
reduced mental distress and
improved memory. In addition,
taking a B-complex supplement can
provide other essential B vitamins
that work together.
Photo (top right): tim9⁄adobestock.com
What Causes Folate Deficiency?
A diet that’s low in folate is one obvious
cause. Others include alcoholism, poor
nutrient absorption due to digestive
diseases or age, and medications that
A mutation to the MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate
that prevents the nutrient from being
converted into an active form in the
body can also be a culprit. It’s estimated
that this genetic mutation occurs in
about 10 percent of Caucasians and
Asians, 25 percent of Hispanics, and
1 percent of African Americans. Although
not all experts agree about its importance,
studies show that the active form of
a folate supplement—5-MTHF—can
overcome the genetic problem and
compensate for poor absorption.
Drugs that deplete folate include
metformin for type 2 diabetes, methotrexate
for rheumatoid arthritis, and
some diuretics and antiseizure drugs.
Medically supervised supplementation
with folic acid can reduce the harmful
Different Forms of Folate
Folate is the form of vitamin B 9
in food. Beef liver and leafy greens
are the most plentiful natural sources.
Many supplements use synthetic
forms of the vitamin, including:
Folic Acid: Found in many multivitamins
and other supplements, folic acid is also
added to breakfast cereals and other
5-MTHF: In your body, natural folate
from food, folic acid from supplements,
and folic acid that has been added to
foods must all be converted to the
active form of the vitamin: 5-MTHF.
This form is found in many supplements,
listed on labels as 5-MTHF, methylfolate,
or methyltetrahydrofolate. Supplements
that contain the active form eliminate
step and are more
easily used by your body.
Folinic Acid: Another active form of
folate, folinic acid is found in some
supplements. Research is testing this
form in autistic children to see if it
On the Label
Perhaps surprisingly, the synthetic
form of vitamin B 9
better absorbed than the folate found
naturally in food. Labels are now required
to reflect this, by listing micrograms
of dietary folate equivalents (mcg DFE),
instead of simply micrograms. The
“DFE” represents bioavailability.
Compared to folate from food, you
need only half as much folic acid in
supplements if it’s taken on an empty
stomach, and 60 percent if it’s taken
with food. For example, 100 mcg of
folate from food would equal 60 mcg
DFE of folic acid taken with food, or 50
mcg DFE taken on an empty stomach.
No separate measurements have been
set for 5-MTHF or folinic acid.
Getting the Right Amount
On product labels, the simplest approach
is to look for the %DV (Percent Daily
Value). Teens and adults need 400 mcg
DFE daily. Women need 600 mcg
DFE when pregnant and 500 mcg
DFE when breastfeeding.
For any woman who could get
pregnant, it’s important to get the daily
requirement of folic acid (400 mcg DFE),
because a shortfall at the time of conception
increases risk for birth defects—and not
all pregnancies are planned.
The safe upper limit for any form of
folic acid from supplements and fortified
foods is about 1,700 mcg DFE daily
(1,000 mcg). However, higher doses may
be recommended by health professionals
in specific, supervised situations.
If you have older (but not expired)
supplements that list dosages in mcg,
multiply the amount of folic acid by 1.7
to get the amount in mcg DFE.
Factors Bio- Source
+ Vitamin B 12
JANUARY 2020 • 19
ASK THE NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR *
answers to your health questions
It’s not just for drinking anymore. Check out these four creative ways
to use water to improve your health
BY EMILY KANE, ND, LAC
routine, consider increasing the bracing
effect by sitting down in the cold water
for another few seconds. I like to splash
into my armpits (lymph nodes near the
surface there) and up to my mid-back
(where the adrenal glands sit, above the
kidneys). If this routine (which really
only takes a few minutes) is too much,
then try rinsing with cold water for
30–60 seconds when you shower. It’s an
excellent habit to acquire and will keep
your skin glowing, your hair shiny, and
your energy primed.
QI’ve always felt like water has
healing powers. Other than
just drinking more of it, what
are some of other ways to benefit
Humans are 60 percent water, and
water is one of the most essential
nutrients for our health and well-being.
Of course, we need to drink water
throughout the day, but water can
also be applied to the skin for therapy
through a wide variety of techniques.
Water immersion (such as swimming
or snorkeling) is extremely calming to
the nervous system. In Germany, boys
diagnosed with hyperactivity disorders
are often sent to summer camp, which
keeps them in a cool lake for much of
the day. I absolutely love the simplicity
and effectiveness of using alternating
hot and cold water, or, when tight on
time, just plain cold water, as a general
tonic. The main idea is that cold causes
blood vessels to constrict temporarily
(to conserve precious body heat). After
removing your body or body part from
contact with cold water, a reverse reaction
quickly kicks in. The blood vessels open
up, flooding the treated area with fresh
blood containing nutrients, oxygen,
and white blood cells—a magic elixir
required for physical healing.
Here are a few more water therapies
that I use frequently and are easy to add
to your routine:
If you have an outdoor stream nearby,
that’s the best. Otherwise, use your
bathtub or a Rubbermaid-type tub
large enough to stand in comfortably.
(I generally do my whole-body skin
brushing routine while the water is
filling.) Run cold water at least ankle
deep, and walk in place for 60 seconds.
Then get out of the tub and pat dry.
It’s a great way to start your day—
who needs coffee after this cold dip?
Once you learn to love this morning
This simple technique works on folks of
all ages—including the young—at the
onset of mild colds and flu. Thoroughly
dampen a pair of cotton socks and put
them in the freezer. I like to put frozen
juice cans inside the socks to make
them easier to put on later. At bedtime,
place the frozen socks on your feet,
and then put on a pair of wool or fleece
socks (wool is best) and go to bed.
When covered with wool, damp
socks draw congestion from the head
and chest and work overnight to
stimulate the circulatory and lymphatic
systems. The socks will dry overnight
as the body brings warm, fresh blood to
the feet. This invigorates the immune
system by increasing white blood cell
production, which helps to fend off
acute illness. Magic socks can be used
several days in a row to nip an acute
respiratory illness in the bud, or more
frequently to treat insomnia. Be cautious
about using this treatment for anyone
who has compromised circulation in
the feet, such as inadequately treated
diabetes or neuropathy. The therapy
could well help these ailments, but
check with your doctor first.
20 • JANUARY 2020
This is a fantastic technique to relieve
sinus congestion—with a fringe benefit
of getting a nice facial as well! You’ll need
steaming hot water, a large pot or bowl,
a large towel, and some essential oils or
herbs (fresh or dried). I particularly like
the “pizza” herbs thyme and oregano for
steam inhalation, since they’re broad
antimicrobials that can help knock out
bad bacterial and fungal infections.
Bring at least 3 cups of water to a boil,
pour into the large bowl, add the herbs,
and allow to steep for 5–10 minutes.
There’s no need to steep if you are using
5–8 drops of the best indicated essential
oils—thyme, oregano, eucalyptus, and
peppermint are all terrific to relieve
upper-respiratory congestion, and
mints are cooling, so they’re a good
choice with redness or other heat signs.
Place the bowl carefully on a table,
pull up a chair and place your face
(closed eyes) over the steam with the
big towel draped over your head and
shoulders and the bowl, trapping the
steam inside the tent you have created.
Find a relaxed position leaning on your
forearms and simply breathe deeply
for 3–10 minutes. This therapy can be
used several times daily. After feeling
the sinuses and lungs open up, consider
splashing your face with cool water to
close the pores.
Everyone loves a warm bath. Enhance
this time-honored relaxation experience
with Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate)
to promote muscle relaxation and
detoxification. The benefits of Epsom
salts aren’t just folklore. Numerous
studies have demonstrated the profound
and wide-ranging benefits of magnesium
Almost all of the biochemical pathways
in the body that promote detoxification
require the element sulfur. Native
Americans prized natural sulfur springs
for their curative powers. It has been
said that pneumonia can be cured by
inhaling the vapors of a sulfurous hot
spring. Magnesium is the second most
abundant mineral in a healthy body after
calcium, and most of us are deficient.
(Calcium, among its other actions, promotes
muscle contraction, while magnesium
promotes muscle relaxation.)
You should also experiment with
essential oils in your bathwater. Lavender
is especially lovely for emotional calming.
Frankincense (boswellia) is helpful
for reducing inflammation, improving
complexion, reducing respiratory
congestion (including soothing asthma),
and relieving nervous tension.
If you can’t stand disrupting the end
of your bath time with a whole-body cool
rinse, at least consider rinsing your feet
in cold water after your bath and before
you go to bed to close the pores and keep
your heat in without feeling sweaty in bed.
Photo: Oleg Breslavtsev/adobestock.com
JANUARY 2020 • 21
AROMATHERAPY Rx *
Spritz throughout Use this mist
the day to calm as either a room
and center. or body spray.
4 oz. Lavender **
4 oz. Sweet
Hydrosol or Orange **
1 oz. Carrier
Distilled Water Hydrosol or
24 drops Distilled Water
Essential Oil Rosemary **
32 drops Essential Oil
Essential Oil Peppermint **
22 • JANUARY 2020
improve your life with essential oils
Relax. Focus. Balance. Revive.
It’s a New Year, and time to tap into aromatherapy with our four-week
plan to help reset your wellness quotient in 2020
Relax. Release tension in body, mind,
and spirit. With your morning stretch
session, diffuse an aromatic blend
featuring uplifting petitgrain essential
oil (Citrus aurantium) to gently ease
you into the day. Petitgrain, or bitter
orange leaf, is a steam-distilled citrus
essential oil with a tart but less floral
fragrance than cousins neroli and sweet
orange. This essential oil eases anxiety
BY CHERYL CROMER
and re-centers stressed souls
with its fresh scent. Pair it with
clementine (Citrus clementina)
to combat stress and promote
contentment; blend these
two restoratives with lavender
(Lavandula angustifolia) to
support your new pattern of
self-care and renewal.
Focus. Inhaling pungent, refreshing
rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) helps
get your brain whirring into top gear.
High in camphor, rosemary has been
celebrated for centuries as the herb of
remembrance. Scientists have studied the
oil’s effect on sharpening brain function
and memory. Diffuse during the day
Apply the blend
to pulse points
or use a capful
in your evening
Oil (such as
10 drops Rose
An great balm
for pre- or postworkout—or
when you need
into skin and
12 drops Fir
Try these blends
with the clarifying scent of peppermint
(Mentha piperita) or sunny lemon (Citrus
limon) to promote focus, or create an
aromatic mist to use as you tick off
items on that to-do list.
Balance. To support a new mindfulness,
choose bergamot (Citrus bergamia),
a fruity citrus oil you may recognize
as the scent of Earl Grey tea. Bergamot
combats moodiness with adaptogenic
properties that respond to the nervous
system’s varying needs for stimulation
or relaxation—a natural balancing act.
Blend with rose geranium (Pelargonium
roseum), which offers a sense of harmony
and emotional wellness. Both bergamot
and rose geranium are low-key aromatics
that mesh with other oils. Blend with
rosemary for a morning lift and with
lavender in the evening to relax.
Revive. Now you’re now ready to
enhance your spirit with the rejuvenating
scent of fir (Abies alba) or its sister conifer,
black spruce (Picea mariana). The bracing
aroma of fir will erase fatigue, lift low
spirits, and motivate the weary. Black
spruce offers a rousing aroma that, like
fir, stimulates the respiratory system;
along with woodsy eucalyptus (Eucalyptus
globulus), this trio will spur you to
achieve your next goal. And the natural
anti-inflammatory and antibacterial
properties of these oils combat
germs to keep you healthy.
Apply them in a preor
warriors love the
energy burst these
Photos (clockwise from top): kolesnikovserg /adobestock.com; Africa Studio /adobestock.com
NATURAL BEAUTY *
AÇAI is an anti-aging
powerhouse. It restores
the skin’s elasticity
levels, moisturizes, and
instantly relieves dry
the skin’s clarity,
firmness, and glow, and
alleviate redness and
ORANGES tone skin,
balance oil production,
help prevent lines and
wrinkles, and reduce
and dark spots.
skin cell generation,
even skin tone, and
bacteria and sun
24 • JANUARY 2020
pure ingredients for skin & body
The same antioxidant-packed fruits and veggies that boost your
health can also do wonders for your skin and hair
Superfruits and vegetables, packed with powerful
antioxidants, are cropping up in face creams, serums,
eye creams, cleansers, masks, body lotions, and hair care
products. These multitasking antioxidants detox your
skin and scalp, hydrate skin and hair, help boost collagen
production, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, help repair
sun damage, fade age spots, and fight acne and breakouts.
Not all produce is created equal. Six colorful superfoods—açai,
berries, oranges, pomegranate, avocado,
and mushrooms—are especially chockful of antioxidants,
vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, flavonoids, and other
nutrients that feed your skin.
AVOCADOS hydrate skin
and hair, encourage
healthy skin cell function,
and improve skin’s
improve irritated skin,
acne, rosacea, and
eczema. They hydrate
skin and protect
against wrinkles and
were originally used to
lighten skin (kojic acid,
a well-known skinlightener,
is found in
BY SHERRIE STRAUSFOGEL
Photo: Yakobchuk Olena/adobestock.com
Fight shine and breakouts
with Pacifica Pore Warrior
Booster Serum. Extracts of
raspberry and black currant
help limit sebum oxidations,
protect your skin’s natural
barrier, and help correct
uneven skin tone. Niacinamide
helps regulate oil production,
protects skin, and improves
the appearance of enlarged
pores. This concentrated
serum is best for oily and
Get glowing skin as you
wash away dirt, oil, and
makeup with Acure Brightening
Cleansing Gel. Pomegranates,
blackberries, and açai are
packed with polyphenols
that counter free radicals
and increase blood flow.
These superfruits are also
anti-inflammatory and have
the power to soothe skin
while repairing surface cells
and deterring wrinkles.
Purify inside and out
with Four Sigmatic Mushroom
Face Mask & Tonic. Reishi
and chaga mushrooms
combined with powdered
cacao, cinnamon, nutmeg,
charcoal, ginseng, gotu
kola, and ginger make an
organic face mask that’s good
enough to drink. A weekly
mask clears pores, smooths
fine lines, hydrates, and
reduces redness, while a daily
tonic helps you stress less,
sleep better, and detox.
Hydrate thirsty strands
from roots to ends with
John Masters Organics Conditioner
for Dry Hair with Lavender &
avocado, lavender, and jojoba
seed oils intensely moisturize
and strengthen hair without
weighing it down. Hair is left
shiny and soft with a light
lavender scent. It’s ideal for
hair parched by dry winter
winds and indoor heating.
Invigorate your skin
with Annemarie Börlind Orange
Blossom Energizer. Orange
extract and orange blossom
water, along with carrot and
beet extracts, refresh your
skin and help protect it from
premature aging. Jojoba
and macadamia nut oils
moisturize and boost tired
skin tone and elasticity.
JANUARY 2020 • 25
NATURAL REMEDY * holistic strategies to help you feel better
The Real Story on Collagen
Everyone seems obsessed with collagen right now.
You might be wondering: What are the benefits of this popular
supplement? Read on
BY JONNY BOWDEN, PHD, CNS
Back in the 1990s, I worked in New York
with nutritionist Oz Garcia. Oz was very
cutting-edge with nutritional supplement
recommendations, and we had an
entire dispensary filled with all kinds of
high-end brands of designer vitamins,
exotic nootropics from Europe, and
injectables like glutathione and alphalipoic
acid. Top-of-the line stuff.
And right there on the shelf alongside
these superstar supplements was a big
carton of plain old Knox gelatin.
That’s right, gelatin. Like the stuff
they make Jell-O from. And it was
on the shelf with all the superstars
because—at the time—it was one
of the most powerful natural
treatments we had for joint health.
The reason we used gelatin for
joints was that it’s a precursor
to something our joints
And in those days, we were taught
that you couldn’t really take collagen
supplements because they weren’t
well digested, so an envelope of gelatin
seemed like the only option.
That was then, this is now
The notion that you couldn’t digest and
absorb oral collagen supplements has
long since been buried on the garbage
dump of wrong nutritional theories,
and collagen supplements have now
become, as they say, a thing.
So what’s the deal? What’s the
difference between gelatin and collagen?
And what’s the difference between
collagen supplements for the skin and
collagen supplements for the joints?
And what’s up with collagen protein
powder? Glad you asked.
Collagen & Gelatin
First, let’s sort out the gelatin-collagen
relationship. Gelatin is the cooked
form of raw collagen. The raw collagen
itself comes from animals, particularly
the parts of the animal that we usually
don’t eat, like gristle, cartilage, tendons,
3 Reasons to Try Fish Collagen
There really is no vegan source of collagen, but there is a pescatarian
one—fish collagen. As a commercial product, it hasn’t been around as
long, but it does have a few definite selling points.
Fish collagen is the only option for vegetarians—or at least those who eat fish.
Fish collagen peptides are smaller than beef collagen peptides, and studies
have shown that they are very well absorbed and digested. Many of my
naturopathic doctor friends, like Nikki Arguinzoni-Gil, ND, recommend fish
collagen supplements for patients with any gut issues or sensitivity, since they
are so easy on the gut.
Fish collagen is high in a particularly valuable amino acid—hydroxyproline—that
seems to have particular value in stimulating collagen synthesis.
A recent study showed that people taking antioxidants together with fish
collagen had improved measures of moisture and skin elasticity.
and bones. When you cook that stuff—
as you do when you simmer bones in a
broth for 12 hours—the collagen heats
up and turns into a form we know as
gelatin. And that’s exactly what it looks
like, a kind of gelatinous yellow waxy
substance floating in the bone broth,
that, though unattractive, is nonetheless
The problem is that bone broth isn’t
an efficient way to get collagen into
your body—at least not if you want that
collagen to do the things it is known for
(like helping to improve joints and skin).
Here’s why. Bone broth contains
collagen proteins in the form of gelatin,
and that’s a good thing, as collagen
protein is a terrific protein. But collagen
proteins are big messy molecules, and
they need to be broken down further
if you really want to absorb them. Your
body will absorb the collagen protein—
but it won’t effectively break it down
into small enough particles for it to
be of maximum use in repairing and
maintaining connective tissue. That’s
where hydrolization comes in.
Enter hydrolyzed collagen
Hydrolyzed collagen is collagen that’s
been broken down into tiny, microscopic
particles that the body will just suck up
and use at exactly the places you need it.
And it’s hydrolyzed collagen supplements
that are primarily sold for skin, hair,
nails, and joints. Don’t get me wrong—
bone broth is a terrific food that supplies a
rich array of vitamins and micronutrients
and some collagen in the form of gelatin.
But if you want collagen for more specific
purposes, hydrolyzed collagen supplements
are the way to go.
And, although there are many variations
and combination products, most fall
into one of two categories: products that
provide collagen 1 and 3, and products
that provide collagen 2.
What are all these different
kinds of collagen?
There are at least 16 different types
of collagen, but about 90 percent of
the collagen in your body consists of
types 1, 2, and 3. Collagen 1 and 3 are
found mainly in the skin. Collagen 2
is found in the joints. All collagens
serve the same purpose: to help tissues
withstand stretching. Many collagen
supplement companies offer at least
two formulas—a combined collagen 1
and 3 supplement (for the skin) and a
collagen 2 supplement (for the joints).
So why do we need collagen supplements?
Number one, collagen is the
most abundant protein in the body, so
it’s pretty important. Number two, we
need it for just about everything: strong
bones, cartilage, tendons, joints, skin,
hair, and nails. (Remember, it’s the
main protein in connective tissue!) And
last but not least, we make less of it as
we get older.
We don’t know why collagen production
declines with age, but it does. After the
age of 20, one percent less of collagen is
produced in the dermis every year. In our
40s, we essentially stop making it.
When you don’t have enough collagen,
bad stuff happens. In the skin, the
fibers thicken, stiffen, and lose their
elasticity—all resulting in aging lines
and wrinkles. Joints become less flexible.
Joint aches and pain increases.
Collagen protein powder
While collagen supplements are a great
way to get support for skin and bones,
there’s a trend toward high-quality
collagen protein powders, which offer
a much greater dose of the collagen
peptides. Collagen protein powder is
rich in amino acids that are important
in building joint cartilage. Clinical studies
suggest that 10 grams per day of
pharmaceutical-grade collagen reduces
pain in patients with osteoarthritis of
the knee or hip. One published review
concluded that “Collagen hydrolysate
is of interest as a therapeutic agent
of potential utility in the treatment of
osteoarthritis and osteoporosis,” adding
that “its high level of safety makes it
attractive as an agent for long-term use
in these chronic disorders.” Another
study showed improvement of joint pain
in athletes who were treated with the
dietary supplement collagen hydrolysate.
I consider collagen protein an excellent
choice and often use it instead of whey
just for variety. It might be a particularly
good choice for those who are extremely
sensitive to dairy.
It’s also worth pointing out that
products that come from beef, such
as collagen or whey protein, should
always be sourced from healthy cows.
A number of companies have grass-fed/
pasture-raised collagen in their product
lineup—a very encouraging sign indeed!
JANUARY 2020 • 27
IF YOU WANT TO KEEP
YOUR RESOLUTIONS THIS
YEAR, THE KEY ISN’T
TO CHANGE YOUR GOALS,
BUT YOUR MINDSET
BY MICHELE BURKLUND, NMD
The New Year is an exciting
time, full of possibilities
and potential to make a
real change in our lives. But
despite the best of intentions,
many of us have a hard time
getting started. In fact, a shocking
study from U.S. News and World
Report showed that 80 percent
of New Year’s resolutions will fail by
February. Why? Because our focus is on
the goal itself, rather than the mindset,
feelings, and intentions behind it.
This step-by-step guide will give you
the tools you need to create lasting
change, to replace habits with meaningful
rituals, and to thrive in 2020 and all the
28 • JANUARY 2020
1Be passionate: When thinking about setting a goal, ask yourself how much
you really want it. Choose a New Year’s resolution that is not only practical,
but creates positive feelings and emotions. A well-known study from the
University of Pennsylvania discovered that “grit” is a key attribute for attaining
goals. Grit, which is defined as having both the perseverance and passion for a
long-term goal, is an important predictor for long-term success. For example, let’s
say your resolution is to “get healthy.” Now ask yourself how getting healthy will
make you feel. What do you see yourself doing once you achieve your goal?
Keep in mind that less is more when deciding upon which goals to pursue.
The more goals you choose to focus on at any given time, the more scattered your
PERSONAL EXERCISE: Choose one goal. Write down how you would feel when you
achieved it, then write down what you would do if you achieved it.
Photo: Monster Ztudio/adobestock.com
JANUARY 2020 • 29
2Define it: Now that you have a New
Year’s resolution that you’re passionate
about, it’s time to break it down into
small actionable steps that will create
profound change over time. The famous
saying by Lao Tzu is still relevant today: “The
journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
Continuing with the example of “get healthy,”
break this goal down into smaller parts focusing
on nutrition, exercise, and overall wellness, making
this large goal seem more attainable with a clear
plan of action. Some examples could include
adding one serving of greens into your daily
meals, starting a daily food journal, going for
20-minute walks 4 days a week, working with a
fitness trainer once a week, having a nutrient-dense,
home-cooked meal twice a week, or practicing
mindfulness for 10 minutes each morning.
PERSONAL EXERCISE: Write down 5 actionable
steps that will help you to achieve your goal.
3Set a date: Having clear and
measurable goals will set you
up for success. Over 2,000 years
ago, the philosopher Aristotle detailed
this approach by stating, “First have
a definite, clear, practical ideal; a goal,
an objective. Second, have the necessary
means to achieve your ends: wisdom,
money, materials, and methods. Third,
adjust all your means to that end.”
The modern twist on this ancient
method goes by the acronym “SMART,”
which stands for Specific, Measurable,
Actionable, Reasonable, and Timely.
A recent study published in the Journal
of Health Education and Teaching found
that the SMART approach was successful
in preventing weight gain in a group of
college students who used it. The study
also confirmed that having a passion or
a clear motivation improved outcomes,
as did consistent monitoring.
PERSONAL EXERCISE: Write down
measurable actions to achieve your
goals within a clear time frame.
4Adjust accordingly: Reaching
a goal is never a straight road.
Socrates said, “Falling down is
not a failure. Failure comes when you
stay where you have fallen.” Focus on
progress rather than perfection. Allow
yourself to approach failure with a new
mindset—see it as part of the journey,
and continue forward.
PERSONAL EXERCISE: Take 15 minutes
each week and go over the actions you
performed that got you closer to your
desired goal. Next, write down the
actionable items that you didn’t get
done, and then write what held
you back and what you will
do moving forward.
5Be conscious: This is easier
said than done because many
of our biggest obstacles are
unconscious actions, such as grabbing
the chips while watching TV or going
straight for the soda at the grocery
store. Think about the feelings or
routines that bring about these
unhealthy behaviors. The more you
become aware of them, the better
you will be at stopping them.
PERSONAL EXERCISE: Write down
your “triggers” or times/activities that
tempt you to veer off course.
6Feel grateful: It has literally
been proven that a grateful
mindset can improve many
aspects of your life, from your stress
level and mood to your blood pressure.
A study published in the Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology found
that a grateful outlook improved both
psychological and physical well-being
among its participants. Counting your
blessings is also an important attribute
for reaching your New Year’s resolution
by helping to keep you positive through
the challenges that might arise along
PERSONAL EXERCISE: List 5 things
that you’re thankful for each day.
Photos (clockwise from top): Monster Ztudio/adobestock.com; esoxx/adobestock.com
30 • JANUARY 2020
7Visualize: This has long been a
secret to success among Olympic
athletes, and a study from the
Journal of Sports Science & Medicine
showed that the practice of mental
imagery along with physical training
was able to minimize the risk of injuries,
physiological stress, and overtraining
while improving muscle strength.
Your brain doesn’t know the difference
between a visualization and reality.
PERSONAL EXERCISE: Take several
minutes each day to visualize yourself
as if you have achieved your goal, and
focus on the feelings that accompany it.
8Replace habits with
inspiring rituals: A ritual is
an intentional set of actions done
with a purpose—something that goes
beyond just the action itself. A habit,
on the other hand, is an unconscious
action done from repetitive actions.
By creating rituals, you’re adding
more meaning into your life, your focus
is on the power of that moment, you’re
enjoying and even celebrating each
action, and you’re mindful during the
entire routine. For example, if you find
yourself repeatedly hitting the snooze
button on the alarm, taking a quick
shower and not remembering if you
shampooed your hair, or mindlessly
eating your breakfast while stuck in
traffic, these are all habits that can be
replaced with intentional and empowering
rituals instead. Try choosing the music
or sounds you want to hear as you
wake up, begin practicing mindfulness
meditation for 10 minutes each morning,
place some eucalyptus inside your
shower to awaken your senses, make
a delicious breakfast smoothie packed
with protein and phytonutrients, or
practice being present during your
PERSONAL EXERCISE: Design your
morning ritual with purpose and
meaning from the time you wake up
to the time you begin your day.
9Create a mantra: Mantras have
been used for thousands of years
to help set intentions, clear the
mind, and energize a thought. Creating
a mantra to help you reach your goal will
help set that intention, keep you focused,
and bring awareness to it. In fact, a pilot
study from India that evaluated the effect
of mantras on overall well-being, stress,
and depression recruited students from
top-ranking colleges to select a mantra
of their choice and listen to it for a
period of time. The study found that the
students who listened to their selected
mantras had both an improved level of
psychological well-being and better clarity
of mind. For this exercise, a mantra can
be a word, a prayer, a statement, or even
a sound—something that resonates with
you to help you on your journey that you
can repeat throughout the day either
silently or out loud.
PERSONAL EXERCISE: Create your
own mantra and repeat it throughout
JANUARY 2020 • 31
Fever, body aches, sore throats, and coughs that
last till spring—it’s that time of year again. But
you don’t have to be miserable. Herbs, supplements,
foods, and lifestyle practices can help
you kick that sickness to the curb. Just try these
science-based remedies that really work.
1Suck on some zinc.
It can significantly reduce the duration of
colds and severity of symptoms. Taken within
24 hours after symptoms start, zinc lozenges can
shorten the length of colds by up to three days and cut
the duration of some symptoms, such as stuffy nose,
by as much as 58 percent. While lozenges have the
best immediate effect, zinc supplements may also
support immunity and lower your risk of getting sick.
To stop a cold in its tracks, take zinc lozenges as soon
as symptoms appear. For longer-term protection,
take zinc capsules or tablets. But avoid zinc nasal
sprays and swabs—they’ve been linked with an
irreversible loss of the sense of smell.
32 • JANUARY 2020
FIGHT FLU, AND
BY LISA TURNER
JANUARY 2020 • 33
2Get more sunshine. When
skin is exposed to sunlight, the
body produces vitamin D, critical
for healthy immune function. In cold,
cloudy winter months, when you’re not
out as much, you may need supplements,
since low levels of vitamin D can make
you more susceptible to colds and flu.
Epidemiologic studies show that high
vitamin D levels are linked with a
reduced risk of upper respiratory tract
infections, and supplementing with
vitamin D significantly lowers risk of
infection. In one study, vitamin D cut
the risk of respiratory infection in half,
especially in people who were deficient.
Look for vitamin D 3
in gel caps or
liquids for best absorption.
3Load up on echinacea. It’s
rich in compounds that support
the immune system by activating
the body’s defense systems. Some
studies show that echinacea can inhibit
the flu virus, viral growth, and the
secretion of pro-inflammatory compounds
in the body. Studies on echinacea’s
effects on colds are mixed, but some
research suggests that it can inactivate
certain respiratory bacteria, reverse
inflammatory effects caused by these
bacteria, and control symptoms. In
some cases, echinacea may reduce
the likelihood of getting a cold by
10–20 percent. Choose standardized
echinacea tinctures for maximum
absorption, or try echinacea capsules.
4Don’t forget “Indian
also called “Indian echinacea,”
supports immune function and can
both prevent sickness and significantly
improve symptoms. Studies show that
andrographis is twice as effective as
a placebo at reducing respiratory tract
infection symptoms (cough, sore throat,
runny nose, fever), and can lessen
the duration of illness. One review
of 33 studies found that andrographis
was significantly better than other
herbal therapies at reducing symptoms
of respiratory tract infections. Most
34 • JANUARY 2020
studies used a product that combines
andrographis with Siberian ginseng.
Try andrographis capsules or tablets,
or look for it in combination respiratory
5Sauté some shiitakes. They’re
rich in compounds called beta
glucans that support immune
function and protect against colds and
flu. Add broccoli or kale—like other
cruciferous vegetables, they support
immune function—and carrots or other
orange vegetables that can protect against
infection. Include lots of garlic, which
activates the body’s natural killer cells
and reduces the severity of cold and flu
symptoms. And sprinkle your stir-fry
with nutritional yeast, which increases
the body’s potential to defend against
invading pathogens and can reduce
infections by as much as 25 percent.
If you don’t love mushrooms, try a
supplement. Look for reishi, maitake, lion’s
mane, or cordyceps, or choose a blend
formulated to support immune function.
6Boost your berries. Blueberries,
blackberries, strawberries, and other
berries are rich in polyphenols
that support immune function and
may protect against the flu. Elderberry
in particular is rich in antioxidant
polyphenols that enhance immune cell
activity and may block a virus’s ability to
spread. Research shows that elderberry
both inhibits the flu virus and reduces
symptoms if you do get an infection.
In one study of people who had the flu,
almost 47 percent of those who took an
elderberry extract for three days had a
complete resolution of their symptoms.
In another study, elderberry extract cut
duration of flu symptoms in half. Look for
syrups, lozenges, or effervescent tablets,
and take as soon symptoms appear.
7Rest easy. A good night’s sleep
protects immune function and
can reduce your risk of colds and
flu. Part of the reason: the body releases
chemicals during sleep that help regulate
immune response and fight infection.
Sleep also lowers stress, which can
make you more susceptible to sickness.
Quality is as important as quantity: one
study found that people who slept less
than seven hours a night were almost
three times more likely to get a cold,
and those who slept poorly were more
than five times more prone to colds.
If you struggle to snooze, try melatonin,
valerian, or kava kava, which have all
been shown to improve quality of sleep.
8Get back to your roots. In
herbal medicine, it’s thought that
the healing compounds of many
plants are more concentrated in the
roots. Three to try:
Ginseng has a long history of use in
traditional Chinese medicine for its
immune-supportive effects. It helps
protect against upper respiratory
infections, and some studies show that
taking ginseng daily for 3–4 months
during flu season can significantly decrease
the risk of developing a cold or flu and
reduce the number of colds in a season.
If you do get an infection, ginseng can
reduce symptom severity and duration.
Choose standardized ginseng in tinctures
or capsules, ideally organic, and look for
a formula that’s been tested for purity.
Pelargonium, from a plant known as
African geranium, has both antiviral
and antibacterial activities, and
is effective in treating a number of
respiratory conditions, including
bronchitis, sinusitis, and the common cold.
Other studies show pelargonium extract
may inhibit infection by, and prevent
the replication of, respiratory viruses.
It’s sold under the brand name Umcka
or as umckaloabo, in syrups, liquids,
drink mixes, and chewable tablets.
Turmeric, traditionally used in Ayurvedic
medicine, is known for its ability to reduce
inflammation and support immune
function. It also has antibacterial and
antiviral properties, and can protect
against viruses that cause a variety of
respiratory illnesses. In some studies,
For One Doctor, the Choice Is “Xlear”
Gustavo Ferrer, MD, an experienced pulmonologist trained in both Cuba and the U.S., has seen more than
his fair share of cold and flu cases. As the founder of the Cleveland Clinic Florida Cough Clinic, Ferrer has been
treating patients for all kinds of respiratory ailments for more than 20 years. One of his favorite weapons for
combating colds and flu isn’t Mucinex, Sudafed, or another OTC product—it’s Xlear, a natural nasal spray that Ferrer
says works consistently among his patients. We wanted to hear more, so we sat down with Ferrer and asked him a few questions.
BN: You’ve said Xlear Nasal Spray has become one of your
favorite natural products. How has it helped your patients?
I have been using Xlear for my patients for more than five
years. I was first introduced to Xlear from Burke Lennihan, RH,
CCH, the coauthor of my book Cough Cures. She was using it
with her patients for years. I carefully reviewed the research,
and then I started using it for chronic cough, rhinitis, postnasal
drip, and sinusitis. My patients love it.
BN: For people not familiar with Xlear Nasal Spray, what is
it, and how can it help keep colds and flu at bay?
Xlear Nasal Spray features xylitol, a natural ingredient that
clinical studies show helps break up bacterial colonies called
biofilms and inhibit bacteria from sticking to nasal and sinus
tissues. It safely cleanses the nose and sinuses by helping
the body flush contaminants out of the body.
BN: How does it differ from saline and other nasal sprays
(OTC and prescription)?
Saline nasal sprays, though natural, do not offer enough impact
to promote health. Additionally, saline alone can dry out
the nasal passages, creating a more susceptible environment
for illness. People also complain of an uncomfortable burning
sensation when using saline. Prescription nasal sprays contain
medication that could cause rebound symptoms (e.g., congestion)
or even dependence. Prescription medications do not work
with the body—in fact, they can turn off the body’s natural
defenses, which could create more of a problem. I’ve found
that Xlear Nasal Spray is highly effective while still being
natural and safe to use as much as needed. It also works with
the body’s natural processes to defend itself.
BN: What’s the best way to use it?
Xlear Nasal Spray is best used daily to keep the nose and
sinuses clean. If people are needing a stronger punch during
cold and flu season, Xlear Rescue, a separate product, is the
best option. Xlear Rescue combines the original saline-andxylitol
formula with health-promoting herbs like oregano
and other essential oils, added for additional benefit when
people need it most.
Learn more about Ferrer at gustavoferrermd.com.
curcumin, the active compound in
turmeric, prevented replication of some
strains of the flu virus by 90 percent. It’s
also effective in preventing bronchitis.
Look for standardized forms in capsules
or tinctures, and be sure it contains
black pepper extract (piperine) to
dramatically increase its absorption.
9Supercharge your smoothie.
Make your breakfast count with
an immune-boosting smoothie:
start with plain yogurt, rich in probiotics
that support immune function, improve
the activity of natural killer cells, and
prevent infection. Research shows that
probiotics are effective for fighting the
common cold and flu-like respiratory
infections, and can reduce the number
of respiratory tract infections. Add some
kiwis, peaches, or papaya—all are high
in immune-enhancing vitamin C to
protect against pathogens and reduce
the frequency of colds. Sweeten your
smoothie with Manuka honey, a special
variety that comes from Australia and
New Zealand. Studies show that it has
antibacterial and immune-supportive
properties, and may protect against the
a hike. Exercise
enhances immune function
and can help your body fight
off bad bugs. A brisk walk or hike is
ideal; in one study, regular moderate
Maitake D Fraction
exercise reduced respiratory infections
by a third, but strenuous exercise
increased susceptibility. And hike with
a friend—social interactions reduce
stress and improve immune response.
Start exercising before cold and flu
season to bolster your body’s defenses.
If you have a bug, take it easy. Gentle
movement with a common cold can
speed healing, but if you have a fever,
chills, body aches, or chest congestion,
rest until you’re better.
Immune Vrl Pro
JANUARY 2020 • 35
36 • JANUARY 2020 THE CBD SCOOP *
using CBD & hemp for health & wellness
CBD is everywhere these days—in products from supplements to
sparkling water to shampoo. What’s the best way to benefit? A doctor
and a pharmacist explain
“Hemp-derived CBD has a very large
therapeutic potential to help in a
multiplicity of ways,” says Joseph
Maroon, MD, a neurological surgeon
at the University of Pittsburgh, a
pioneer in nutritional healing, and
coauthor of a recent scientific review of
CBD published in Surgical Neurology
International. “It is a significant antiinflammatory;
it’s an analgesic—a pain
reliever; and it’s an antianxiety agent.”
And it does these things safely. In
using CBD with hundreds of patients,
Maroon has found no side effects other
than some gastrointestinal upset in
one or two cases. He recommends it
for neck pain, back pain, degenerative
disk disease, osteoarthritis, trauma,
sleep problems, anxiety, and peripheral
neuropathy, such as burning, painful
feet that are a common complication
BY VERA TWEED
For any type of pain, CBD is a safer
alternative to over-the-counter remedies
such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
“Ibuprofen kills 16,000 to 17,000 people
a year from gastric hemorrhage, and it
hospitalizes over another 100,000 for
gastrointestinal bleeds,” says Maroon.
And acetaminophen, when used longterm,
is a common cause of liver failure
and the need for a liver transplant.
However, says Maroon, “CBD is not
a cure-all.” Rather, it works best when
used much like aspirin or the other overthe-counter
as a safer, plant-derived alternative.
How CBD Works
CBD, short for cannabidiol, brings
about benefits by influencing the endocannabinoid
system—a signaling system
that helps to regulate inflammation, the
brain and central nervous system, and
the immune system. Although its
effects aren’t fully understood, CBD
has a balancing effect.
“It’s an adaptogen,” says Earl Mindell,
a pharmacist, pioneer in nutritional
healing, and author of Healing With
Hemp CBD Oil. “It adapts to your needs.”
As an example, someone taking CBD for
pain might also experience reduction in
anxiety or improvement in sleep, even
though these weren’t the symptoms
that prompted the use of CBD.
Can CBD Get You High?
The short answer is, “No.” CBD can
be extracted from hemp or marijuana.
Unlike hemp-derived products, CBD
from marijuana may be combined with
THC, the component in the marijuana
plant that does produce a high.
The hemp plant contains traces of
THC, but by law hemp may not contain
Photo (top right): cendeced⁄adobestock.com
What to Look for in a CBD Product
The quality of CBD products varies a great deal. Look for a company
whose website describes its agricultural, extraction, and testing methods
and provides a Certificate of Analysis (COA)—results of testing by a
competent lab. Tests should be done to ensure that products do not
contain any microbial contaminants, pesticides, or other toxins that could
be harmful. In addition, products should be tested to make sure that the
label accurately states quantities of CBD and other ingredients.
In capsules and tinctures, hemp CBD
should be extracted from the aerial
parts of the plant and should be “broad
spectrum,” or “full spectrum,” meaning
that in addition to CBD, it contains
other beneficial components found
naturally in the hemp plant. On labels,
take note of the serving size and look
for the quantity of CBD per serving.
When choosing topical CBD balms
or lotions, check other ingredients
on labels for possible skin irritants
How to Use CBD
CBD is best absorbed with fat,
and some tinctures and soft gels
contain fat. Otherwise, take CBD
with a fatty food.
TINCTURES AND SPRAYS: For
fastest absorption, try an oilbased
hemp CBD tincture or
spray designed to be taken
under the tongue or into the
cheek. These are absorbed from
your mouth, rather than going
through your digestive system.
Organic CBD Hemp
PlusCBD Oil Hemp
PILLS: If you prefer to swallow
pills, capsules and soft gels are
BALMS AND LOTIONS: Rub on
a painful area and reapply as
How Much to Take
The overriding recommendation
is “Start low and go slow.” Maroon
recommends starting with 15 mg
daily for three days and if needed,
increase to 30 mg for another three
days. If needed, keep increasing the
dose by 15 mg every three days, up
to 100 mg.
To enhance sleep, take CBD in
the evening. To relieve anxiety, pain,
or other symptoms, take it during
the day. In some cases, it makes
sense to split the daily amount
into two or more doses—if you
experience anxiety relief for only
a few hours, for example.
For localized pain, such as a painful
joint, start with a CBD balm or cream,
rubbed on as needed. If, after a few
days, you need more relief, try adding
a tincture or pill.
Garden of Life
Advanced CBD Oil
Conditions for which CBD may be
* Age-related macular
* Alzheimer’s disease
* Blood clots
* Cancer treatment side effects
* Crohn’s disease
* Headaches, including
* Heart disease
* High blood pressure
* Irritable bowel syndrome
* Multiple sclerosis
* Opiate addiction
* Panic attack
* Post-traumatic stress disorder
* Premenstrual syndrome
* Skin conditions including
* Sleep problems
* Stroke recovery
* Thyroid disorders
* Traumatic brain injury
* Ulcerative colitis
JANUARY 2020 • 37
THE CBD SCOOP
more than 0.3 percent THC—too little
to produce a psychoactive effect.
The popularity of CBD has been driven
by user experience, and the legalization
of hemp cultivation in the United States
in 2018 has opened the door to a proliferation
of research. Mindell estimates
that there are more than 40 human
trials of CBD currently underway.
CBD formulated as an FDA-approved
drug, Epidiolex, is used to treat certain
forms of childhood epilepsy, and there is
anecdotal evidence that over-the-counter
CBD products can also reduce epileptic
seizures. Other study highlights:
Pain: One study tested a hemp CBD
extract among people who had been
taking opioids for chronic pain for
at least a year. The study, published
in Postgraduate Medicine, tracked
94 patients of a pain clinic based in
New Albany, Ind., who took an extract
containing approximately 15 mg of CBD,
twice daily in most cases. After 8 weeks,
53 percent of patients had significantly
reduced or eliminated use of opioids, and
94 percent reported better quality of life.
In Poland, researchers tested a
topical hemp CBD oil against a placebo
for jaw pain in 60 people. In the study,
published in the Journal of Clinical
Medicine, applying hemp CBD oil
topically to jaw muscles, twice daily
for 14 days, significantly reduced pain
intensity—by 70 percent in those using
hemp CBD oil, compared to about 10
percent in those using a placebo oil.
Sleep and anxiety: At a mental health
clinic in Fort Collins, Colo., the effects
of CBD were tracked in 72 patients
suffering from anxiety or poor sleep.
Nearly all patients took 25 mg of CBD
daily in capsules (a handful took larger
doses) as an adjunct to their usual drug
treatment. After a month, there was
mild improvement in sleep and greater
improvement in anxiety.
Among those who continued to take
CBD for another month—56 percent—
sleep varied but improvements in anxiety
were sustained. Results of the research
were published in The Permanente Journal.
Parkinson’s disease: A review of studies
that used CBD doses ranging from 75 to
400 mg daily, taken in addition to medications,
found that patients experienced
improved mental and emotional health
and less disruptive involuntary movement
while sleeping. The review was published
in the European Archives of Psychiatry
and Clinical Neuroscience.
Find us on:
iTunes • TuneIn • activeinterestradio.com
Stitcher • Spotify • iHeart RADIO
or your favorite podcast app.
Listen on the go as radio host Lisa
Davis, MPH, interviews some of the
best brains in health and wellness.
Each week brings a new inspirational
podcast on healthy living. Plus, there’s
an impressive, searchable archive
with a huge range of topics, like:
• eating clean
• adding supplements
• recipe and fitness hacks
• achieving balance, and much more!
in the top
in the alternative
and tune in to
living info anytime,
anywhere. Totally free!
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HEALTHY DISH *
Few foods offer hearty comfort as well
as a hot, tasty, well-made beef stew.
Here’s a way to make it healthy as
well: Choose lean, grass-fed beef. Most
restaurant beef stew is made with
fatty, low-quality factory-farmed beef,
complete with a nice (unwanted) helping
of antibiotics, steroids, and hormones.
Not so with grass-fed. You’ll get
everything you need from beef—iron,
, and the highest-quality protein—
without any of the “ingredients” you
40 • JANUARY 2020
recipe makeovers full of modern flavor
Warming Stew for
This protein-packed dish is the perfect
healthy winter comfort food
BY JONNY BOWDEN, PHD, CNS, AND JEANNETTE BESSINGER, CHHC
don’t want. And speaking of iron, we
need it—badly. (Especially growing
kids!) There are actually two kinds
of iron in our diet—heme iron and
non-heme iron. The heme kind is far
more absorbable but is only found in
This stew is as easy as pie to prepare—you
assemble the ingredients in
a flash in the morning and return home
to a rich, warm, fragrant dish that is sure
to satisfy on any chilly winter night!
Notes from the Clean Food Coach
For faster preparation, use the manual pressure cooker setting on your
❶ Add 1 Tbs. olive oil to the instant pot, and set to sauté. Add beef, Italian
seasoning, cracked pepper, and salt, and brown meat lightly, turning frequently,
for 3–4 minutes. Transfer beef to a bowl to rest.
❷ Add onion, celery, and carrots to Instant Pot and sauté until onions begin
to soften. Stir in garlic, potatoes, and mushrooms, and gently turn everything
over a few times.
❸ Turn off the sauté function; drain and discard juices from the reserved
beef; and add meat to the Instant Pot. Add broth, tomato sauce, red wine,
and Worcestershire sauce, and stir gently to combine. Lock lid and set to
manual, high pressure for 35 minutes.
❹ In small bowl, combine cornstarch and water, and whisk with a fork until
dissolved. Set aside. Remove peas from freezer and set aside. When cook time
has completed, let the Instant Pot rest 10 minutes, then release pressure valve.
❺ Carefully remove lid, stir cornstarch slurry again and add to stew, stirring
gently about 30 seconds to thicken. Stir in peas, taste, and adjust seasoning,
Hearty Slow Cooker Beef Stew
1 large sweet onion, chopped
4 medium celery stalks, chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and
1 lb. young red or purple potatoes,
unpeeled and chopped
6 oz. mixed wild mushrooms of
1½ lbs. pounds stew beef (sirloin best)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
¾ tsp. salt, or to taste
1½ cups beef bone broth
1 14-oz. can tomato sauce
½ cup burgundy wine
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbs. cornstarch (or kudzu)
2 Tbs. water
1 cup frozen peas
1. In large slow cooker (at least
3.5 quarts), scatter onions, celery,
carrots, potatoes, and mushrooms.
Top with beef cubes, and sprinkle
garlic, Italian seasoning, cracked
pepper, and salt evenly over meat.
2. In medium bowl, combine bone
broth, tomato sauce, wine, and
Worcestershire sauce, and mix
gently to combine. Pour evenly
over meat and vegetables.
3. Cook on high about 4 hours, or on
low about 6 hours, until vegetables
are tender and meat is cooked
through, but not overdone.
4. In small bowl, combine cornstarch
and water, and whisk with fork until
dissolved. Remove slow cooker lid,
and stir in cornstarch slurry to thicken
stew slightly. Stir in peas. Taste, and
adjust seasoning, if necessary.
Per serving: 280 cal; 22g prot; 9g total fat
(3g sat fat); 25g carb; 60mg chol; 710mg
sod; 5g fiber; 7g sugar
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EATING 4 HEALTH *
Over the past decade,
vitamin D (technically a
hormone) has become one of
the most researched nutrients—
and for good reason. Not only is it
critical for bone health, cell growth,
immune function, and other body
processes, it may also play a role
in preventing inflammation and
protecting against several forms
of cancer. There has been some
controversy around the optimal
amount: while the RDIs for vitamin
D were recently updated to 600 IU
per day for adults, some studies
suggest that a higher intake (as much
as 3,000 IU per day) is needed to
maintain optimal blood levels.
Your body naturally produces
vitamin D when UV rays from the
sun hit your skin, but in cold winter
months or northern climates—
or if you use sunscreen religiously—
you may not get enough. And because
vitamin D is naturally present in very
few foods, mostly animal products,
vegetarians and vegans are at a
particularly high risk of deficiencies.
Here’s how to meet your needs during
the coldest, grayest days of winter:
Eggs. One large, commercially
raised egg has about 20 IU of
vitamin D, but pasture-raised
versions have three to four times as
much. Eggs from chickens who were
fed vitamin D-enriched feed may have
42 • JANUARY 2020
foods & meals that heal
Eat Your D
No sun? No problem.
Try these 7 cold-weather sources
of the sunshine vitamin
BY LISA TURNER
as much as 500 IU per egg. The vitamin
D is concentrated in the yolk, so egg
white omelets won’t do it. If you’re
worried about fat, poach or boil eggs
instead of cooking them in oil.
RECIPE TIPS: Combine eggs, chopped
mushrooms, spinach, and grated
cheese, and bake in muffin tins for
mini-frittatas; mash hard-boiled egg
yolks with avocado and spread on
sandwiches; top braised greens with
2Oysters. They’re high in
vitamin D—one 3.5-ounce
serving has 320 IU—and low in
fat, with only 68 calories per serving.
Oysters are also loaded with zinc,
important for immune
function: one serving has
91 mg, or about 600 percent of the
RECIPE TIPS: Simmer oysters with
stock, milk, onions, and garlic for a
simple stew; mix chopped smoked
oysters with cream cheese and spread
on crackers; top oysters in the shell
with lemon and garlic, and broil
Mushrooms are the only
plant source of naturally
occurring vitamin D; they contain
a type of sterol, called ergosterol, that
converts to D in the presence of
sunlight. (The primary form produced
by mushrooms is vitamin D 2
than the D 3
found in animal foods.)
But all mushrooms aren’t created
equal. Some commercially grown
mushrooms are raised in the dark,
and contain very little vitamin D. But
if they’re exposed to UV light, they can
contain high amounts—UV-exposed
portobellos, for example, have about
52 percent of the RDI per one-cup
serving. To make sure you’re getting
D, look for mushrooms that are labeled
“UV-treated” or “high in vitamin D.”
RECIPE TIPS: Brush portobellos with
olive oil and grill until tender; sauté
brown mushrooms with leeks and
tarragon; toss shiitakes with tamari
and garlic, and roast till tender.
Salmon. It’s a rich source
of vitamin D, but amounts
vary depending on how it’s
raised. Wild-caught versions are
higher: some have as much as 988 IU
of vitamin D per serving, while farmed
varieties have only about 25 percent
as much. Tuna, herring, mackerel,
catfish, and halibut are other good
sources of vitamin D.
RECIPE TIPS: Mix canned salmon with
Greek yogurt, minced dill, and capers;
top salmon fillets with Kalamata olives,
chopped tomatoes, and rosemary, and
roast until tender; combine cooked
salmon with cumin, salsa, scallions,
and avocado cubes and serve as tacos.
Sardines. These small, oily fish
in the herring family are also
excellent sources of vitamin D,
with 272 IU per serving. Like salmon,
they’re also loaded with omega-3 fats
and other nutrients. The big plus:
canned sardines are super-convenient,
and if you buy the bone-in varieties,
they’re an excellent source of calcium,
with about 350 mg per serving.
RECIPE TIPS: Sauté sardines with
roasted red peppers and arugula, and
toss with cooked pasta; top pizza with
tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella, and
sardines; sauté chopped kale, onions,
and sardines in olive oil, and sprinkle
generously with red pepper flakes.
Dairy. While vitamin D doesn’t
naturally occur in milk, cheese,
yogurt, or other dairy products,
most commercial varieties contain
added D. In the 1930s, the United States
began fortifying milk with vitamin D
to enhance calcium absorption and
prevent rickets, a childhood skeletal
disease. Dairy from grass-fed or pastured
animals is also higher in omega 3 fats
and other nutrients.
RECIPE TIPS: Warm low-fat Greek
yogurt with minced garlic, parsley,
and shredded Parmesan cheese for a
healthier Alfredo sauce; simmer milk,
honey, vanilla, and unflavored gelatin,
pour into ramekins, and let cool till
Cream of Mushroom Soup
with Crispy Shiitakes
This rich, silky soup is made with a
base of puréed potatoes and cauliflower
instead of cream, which creates the
same hearty texture with much less fat
and lots of fiber and nutrients. We added
cream as an option, for extra richness.
When you’re roasting the shiitakes,
be sure not to crowd them to prevent
steaming and ensure the mushrooms
get extra crispy—use two pans if
necessary. To make sure you’re getting
vitamin D from your mushrooms, look
for those labeled “UV-treated” or “high
in vitamin D.”
2 cups shiitake mushroom caps,
2 Tbs. melted coconut oil
2 cups small cauliflower florets
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 sprigs thyme
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
firm; purée milk, frozen cherries, and
cocoa powder, sweeten to taste, and
freeze in an ice-cream maker.
Soy milk. Because animal
products are the only sources of
vitamin D 3
, vegans, vegetarians,
or people with dairy sensitivities may
be at risk for vitamin D deficiencies—
so most soy, almond, oat, and other
plant-based milk substitutes are fortified
with the vitamin. Most varieties
contain 15–25 percent of the DV for
vitamin D per cup, about the same as
4 Tbs. olive oil
1 lb. cremini or portobello
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
Chopped flat-leaf parsley or
minced chives for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Toss shiitake
mushrooms with coconut oil and
spread in single layer on large baking
sheet. Sprinkle with salt, and roast 20
minutes, stirring once or twice during
cooking, until mushrooms are crispy.
Remove from oven and let cool briefly.
2. While shiitakes are roasting, combine
cauliflower, potatoes, onion, garlic,
thyme, and broth in medium pot. Bring
to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer,
covered, 12–15 minutes, or until
cauliflower and potatoes are tender.
3. While soup cooks, heat olive oil in a
large skillet. Add cremini or portobello
mushrooms, and cook 5–7 minutes,
until tender, stirring frequently.
4. Remove thyme sprigs from cauliflower
and potato mixture and discard.
Transfer mixture to a high-powered
blender or food processor, and purée
until very smooth and creamy. Season
to taste with salt and white pepper.
5. Return cauliflower-potato mixture
to pot, and add cremini or portobello
mushrooms. Stir in cream, if using,
and simmer 5 minutes.
6. To serve, divide soup among individual
bowls. Top each bowl with crispy
shiitakes and parsley or chives, and
Per serving: 250 cal; 6g prot; 14g total fat
(5g sat fat); 28g carb; 0mg chol; 510mg sod;
5g fiber; 5g sugar
fortified cow’s milk. Plus, most are also
fortified with calcium for bone health.
Fortified orange juice is another good
option for vegans, vegetarians, or those
with dairy sensitivities.
RECIPE TIPS: Purée fortified orange
juice, vanilla soy milk, and ice cubes
until creamy; purée soy milk with
probiotic powder, pour into a bowl,
cover with a towel, and let stand
24 hours for dairy-free yogurt; simmer
soy milk with cinnamon, cardamom,
ginger, and vanilla, then whisk in
matcha green tea powder.
JANUARY 2020 • 43
ASK THE NUTRITIONIST *
I want to avoid genetically
modified organisms (GMOs)
when I buy food. But I still
don’t understand the current
labels on products, and I read that
GMO labels based on a new law might
start appearing. Can you provide a
rundown of what I need to know to
stay away from GMOs when I shop?
Knowing how to avoid buying genetically
engineered foods, also known as
genetically modified organisms (GMOs),
was confusing for consumers before
the USDA published its final National
44 • JANUARY 2020
answers to your food questions
The USDA’s new GMO disclosure law doesn’t provide the clear
labeling and understandable terms Americans want, but there are still
surefire ways to steer clear of genetically modified foods at the store
BY MELISSA DIANE SMITH
Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard
(NBFDS) in the Federal Register on
December 21, 2018. Believe it or not,
the new law actually has made the
whole process even more convoluted!
Under the new law, some products
may disclose that they are bioengineered
in 2020; others by 2022. But don’t take
that disclosure too seriously. Consumer
groups have spoken out against many
loopholes and omissions in the new
law. “The USDA has betrayed the public
trust by denying Americans the right to
know how their food is produced,” says
Andrew Kimbrell, executive director
at the Center for Food Safety. “Instead
of providing clarity and transparency,
they have created large-scale confusion
and uncertainty for consumers, food
producers, and retailers.” According to
the Non-GMO Project, the new law:
Exempts most products that have
been processed and refined, which
means the majority of GMO foods.
A product can have many different
highly refined GMO ingredients and
still not be labeled under this law.
Largely exempts GMO ingredients
developed through new techniques
ASK THE NUTRITIONIST
Non-GMO vs. Organic: Which Is Better?
What’s the bottom line? Overall, buying organic is better for people and
sustains the health of soils, ecosystems, and people.
To be as safe as possible, choose USDA Organic foods, preferably
those that are also Non-GMO Project Verified. Selecting products
with the two seals together gives extra assurance and the strongest
protection against GMOs, particularly for foods that are commonly
genetically modified, such as corn, soy, and sugar.
such as CRISPR or RNAi because
websites, send text
many do not contain detectable
messages, or make telephone
calls to find out if some of their
Does not use the term GMO. Instead, food contains GMOs.
labels will say “bioengineered” or
“derived from bioengineering.”
Using this confusing terminology
misleads consumers: More than
diet will not require disclosure.
95 percent of consumers are familiar
with the term GMO, but most
people do not understand what
bioengineered food means.
Fails to include any technical
requirements to ensure that
GMO testing is meaningful (e.g.,
testing method, accreditation of
labs, sampling plan requirements).
Doesn’t keep up with the rapid introduction
of new GMOs: it only updates
its list of GMO foods once per year.
Allows a 5 percent-per-ingredient
level for GMO contamination. For
context, the European Union and
the Non-GMO Project both use a
0.9 percent level for most foods.
Does not require products that
need a bioengineered disclosure to
have a plain-text label. Consumers
may need to scan QR codes, visit
46 • JANUARY 2020
Buying products labeled Non-GMO Project Verified or USDA Organic are
both excellent ways to steer clear of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
But do you know how to distinguish the difference between the two?
Products that have the Non-GMO Project Verified seal, the square box
with a butterfly, are free of GMOs and have been tested for at-risk ingredients.
However, products with this label still could be sprayed with synthetic
In contrast, products that have the USDA Organic seal cannot, by law,
contain any GMO ingredients. Organic foods also must be produced without
irradiation, sewage sludge, antibiotics, and growth hormones, and without
synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides. And organic foods are more
nutritious than non-organic foods, according to reviews of multiple studies.
planet: It supports an environmentally beneficial food production system that
Does not apply to animal feed.
Therefore, meat, eggs, and dairy
products from animals fed a GMO
Has no penalty for failing to comply
with the law. In contrast, the USDA’s
National Organic Program levies
fines of up to $11,000 per violation.
These shortcomings and exemptions—coupled
with a lack of fines for
non-compliance—prevent the law from
delivering meaningful disclosure of
food produced using GMOs. So what’s
a consumer to do?
How to Avoid GMOs
The good news is that we actually can
learn to identify and avoid GMOs with
confidence when we shop even without
reliable GMO labeling mandated by the
government. As I explain in my book
Going Against GMOs, there are four
tried-and-true guidelines for shunning
GMO products. They are:
❶ Buy Organic
with the USDA
without the use
of GMOs, synthetic
and fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation,
artificial dyes, artificial sweeteners,
and antibiotics and artificial growth
hormones (in the production of meat,
dairy, and eggs). Farmers and processors
must show that they are not using
GMOs; however, organic certification
does not require testing
❷ Look for Non-GMO
Project Verified Seals
Products that carry
the Non-GMO Project
Verified seal are
to be in compliance with North
America’s most rigorous standard for
GMO avoidance, including testing of
at-risk ingredients. Fortunately, the
USDA’s final rule allows Non-GMO
Project Verified claims, so looking for the
Non-GMO Project Verified seal remains
an easy and accessible way for consumers
to avoid GMOs.
❸ Learn & Avoid the At-Risk Foods
Currently, the following genetically
modified foods are available in the
U.S.: alfalfa, Arctic apples, canola,
corn, cotton, eggplant, papaya, pink
pineapple, potatoes, AquAdvantage
salmon, soybeans, sugar beets, yellow
squash, and zucchini. Either avoid
these foods and products containing
them, or choose Non-GMO Project
Verified or USDA Organic versions.
❹ Upgrade Your Animal Protein
Avoid conventional meats and dairy
products from animals or farmed
fish that are fed GMO feed. Switch to
wild-caught fish, and eggs, poultry,
meat, and dairy products labeled USDA
Organic or Non-GMO Project Verified.
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Host Defense MycoShield Sprays
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Bio Nutrition Black Seed Tea
Bio Nutritions’s new black seed tea is a robust-tasting tea that
may be helpful for balancing blood sugar and maintaining a
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company’s other premium quality teas.
Bluebonnet MaxiONE Multivitamin
New and improved MaxiONE—now in vegetable capsules—is bursting
with over 25 crucial nutrients, including B vitamins and some of their
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non-GMO multis also feature energy-boosting herbs, organic veggies,
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NOW AlliBiotic CF
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JANUARY 2020 • 47
COOK WITH SUPPLEMENTS *
easy ways to boost your nutrition
Just the Flax
Rich in plant-based omega-3 fats, protein, and fiber, flax seeds and
flax oil shine in this vegetarian entrée
BY LISA TURNER
Sumac-Flax Cauliflower Steaks
with Sesame-Flax Butter
Thick cauliflower “steaks” are coated
ith a savory blend of ground flax and
sumac—a bright-red, tart Middle Eastern
seasoning—and served with a tahini-inspired
butter that incorporates flax and za’atar,
a Middle Eastern seasoning blend with
thyme, oregano, sumac, sesame seeds,
and other spices. The sesame-flax butter
is made with flax oil—a good way to use
…this delicate oil, which should never be
heated. We used golden flax seeds for the
butter for a pale, pretty look, but brown flax
works just as well. For an even creamier
sauce, swap whole yogurt for the water.
2 medium heads of cauliflower
¼ cup ground flax seeds
2 Tbs. sumac
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. sea salt
Olive oil for brushing cauliflower
²⁄ ³ cup sesame seeds
¹⁄ ³ cup golden flax seeds
4 Tbs. flax oil
Juice from one large lemon
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbs. za’atar
½ cup water
¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
2 Tbs. black sesame seeds
Barlean’s Organic Flax Oil
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Trim bottom of
cauliflower stem, keeping core intact.
Using sharp knife, slice cauliflower heads
from top toward stem, cutting
three or four ¾-inch thick
“steaks” from each head.
Reserve remaining florets
for another use. Arrange
steaks on two large, rimmed
baking sheets, and set aside.
2. Whisk together ground flax, sumac, cumin,
garlic powder, and salt in small bowl.
Brush both sides of each steak with olive
oil, and sprinkle both sides with spice
and flax mixture. Roast 20–25 minutes,
rotating pans and flipping each steak
halfway through cooking, until lightly
browned and tender.
3. While cauliflower is roasting, combine
sesame seeds and golden flax seeds in
high-powered blender or food processor,
and grind into coarse powder. Add flax oil,
and continue grinding until thick paste
forms. With blender or food processor
running, add lemon juice, garlic, za’atar,
and water to make a thick, creamy spread.
Season to taste with salt and pepper,
and transfer to serving bowl.
4. Remove cauliflower steaks from oven
and arrange on a serving dish. Sprinkle
with cilantro and black sesame seeds,
if using, and serve with sesame-flax
butter on the side.
Per serving: 310 cal; 8g prot; 25g total fat (3g sat
fat); 17g carb; 0mg chol; 260mg sod; 8g fiber;
Photos (clockwise from top): juliamikhaylova⁄adobestock.com; dule964⁄adobestock.com
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