Better Nutrition January 2020



JANUARY 2020 *



Want to keep your resolutions

in 2020? Change your mindset,

not your goals

Recipes Inside!

Slow Cooker Beef Stew


Cauliflower Steaks with

Sesame-Flax Butter


Cream of Mushroom




Recent research

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Which Is Better?



7 Foods High in


10 Fast Ways to



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Vitamin D-packed

Cream of Mushroom

Soup with Crispy


January 2020 / Vol. 82 / No. 1



The Cholesterol Question

How to find your optimum level.


The Food Side of Things

The story of Patagonia Provisions.


The Defined Dish

Customizing the Whole30 plan.



New and natural products.


Folate Facts and Forms

The scoop on this key B vitamin.


Healing Waters

How water can improve your health.



Resources &


For links to studies

cited in our articles

and other helpful

sites and books, visit

Soups From

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.


Relax. Focus. Balance. Revive.

Our 4-week plan for the New Year.


Superfood Beauty

Super veggies for hair, skin, and nails.


The Real Story on Collagen

The skinny on this trendy ingredient.


CBD Update

The latest research and uses.


Warming Stew for Colder Weather

The perfect healthy comfort food.


Eat Your D

No sun? No problem.


Shop GMO-Smart

Simple strategies for the store.


Just the Flax

Tiny seeds make super ingredients.

Aloo Gobi Potage

(Indian cauliflower

and potato chowder)


American Southern

Shrimp, Black-Eyed

Pea, & Okra Soup


German Sausage &

Pancake Soup


Greek Egg and Lemon



Japanese Hoto Soup

(udon and tofu)

Sign Up for Our

Healthy Buzz


You’ll receive a

carefully curated

list of articles,

recipes, and product

giveaways in

your inbox.

Photo (Cover and this page):

4 • JANUARY 2020

This season, when it comes to

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Do all you can to support your immune health:*

Eat healthy, get your rest— and take Ester-C®

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vegetarian tablets and effervescent powder

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These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

©2020 American Health Inc. | 19-AH-1274


A New Year

for the Taking


Our Writers

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.

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

One of the stumbling blocks to

the root cause of illness, rather than simply


success, says Burklund, is that many

treating symptoms.

Integrated Media Sales Kevin Gillespie

Director – Eastern U.S.

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.

in writing about aromatherapy and the


Don’t just have a goal to have a goal—

spa lifestyle.

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


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.

* 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.

* 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.

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.




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

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


Photo: ivector/

8 • JANUARY 2020



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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,

they recommended

double the amount of fat than

monitoring liver

the group who exercised after,”

enzymes and

said lead study author Javier

watching out for

potential drug

Gonzalez, PhD. “Importantly,

interactions when

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

chronic conditions.

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/; sonsedskaya/; amin/; nd3000/










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©2020 American Health, Inc. | 19-AH-1285


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

produced foods


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.

12 •


make it!

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.

Determined Development

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.

the recipe

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

of that.


877.599.5327 / XLEAR.COM



stay-healthy secrets from leading experts

The Defined Dish

Food blogger Alex Snodgrass takes the Whole30 diet

to a whole new level


Food blogger Alex

Snodgrass first

tried Whole30 in

2015 to drop baby

weight from her

two pregnancies.

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

subject line.

BN: Which

dairy- and



staples do

you use most?

AS: For glutenand

grain-free substitutes,

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

Nutpods Original

Creamer. You can use

it in place of coconut

milk to avoid that overpowering

coconut flavor.

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,

sriracha, and

tofu. I focused on using

compliant ingredients

(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

heritage influenced

these recipes?

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

and re-created

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

of those

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 |

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HOT BUYS * new & notable


Our favorite natural products hitting store shelves this month

OMG Omega

You’ll never forget

to take your omega

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

cognitive performance,

heart and blood vessel

health, vision, immunity,

skin hydration, and

joint health.

Bar Star

We fell in love at first

bite with Skout Organic

Bars—and from the

online reviews, so have

a lot of other people.

Vegan, gluten-free,

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

natural sweetness.

Flavors include Salted

Chocolate, Chocolate

Cherry, Peanut Butter,

and Coconut.

Immune Fortifier

Vibrant Health Immune

Defense provides the

body with additional


immune cells the

digestive tract produces

naturally. Bovine-based

immunoglobulins are

combined with other

powerful immune aids:

larch arabinogalactans

(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

overindulgent evening,

reach for this.

Get Rolling

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

odor-causing bacteria

naturally. CBD is

known to have natural

antibacterial properties

that help combat odor.

These roll-ons are

also super natural—

no propylene glycol,

petroleum, mineral

oils, or other harmful

ingredients. Pick from

Lavender & White Tea,

Unscented, Natural

Mint, Chamomile Tea,

and Matcha Tea.

The Berry Best

Get all the benefits

of berries without the

calories or sugar with

Life Extension Berry

Complete. These non-GMO

capsules are packed

with nutrient-rich extracts

from açaí berries,

grapes, blueberries,

raspberries, cranberries,

plums, tart cherries,

bilberry fruit, and

strawberries. Berries

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oxidative stress,

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glucose levels, and

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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


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

work together

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,

Photo: Elenathewise/

taking a B-complex supplement can

provide other essential B vitamins

that work together.

Photo (top right): tim9⁄

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

deplete folate.

A mutation to the MTHFR (methylenetetrahydrofolate

reductase) gene

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

side effects.

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

grain foods.

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

the conversion

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

improves behavior.

On the Label

Perhaps surprisingly, the synthetic

form of vitamin B 9

—folic acid—is

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.





Natural Superior

Factors Bio- Source

Coenzymated Methyl

Methylfolate Folate

+ Vitamin B 12

JANUARY 2020 • 19


answers to your health questions

Healing Waters

It’s not just for drinking anymore. Check out these four creative ways

to use water to improve your health


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

from water?

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:

Cold-Water Walking

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

Magic Socks

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.

Photo: DimaBerlin/

20 • JANUARY 2020

Steam Inhalation

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.

Soaking Baths

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

and sulfate.

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/

JANUARY 2020 • 21






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

Petitgrain **

12 drops

Essential Oil Rosemary **

14 drops


32 drops Essential Oil

Clementine **

10 drops

Essential Oil Peppermint **

Essential Oil


20 drops


Essential Oil

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

Week 1

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


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.

Week 2

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

Sweet Almond

or Grapeseed)


Essential Oil

10 drops Rose


Essential Oil




An great balm

for pre- or postworkout—or

when you need

energy. Massage

into skin and

breathe deeply.


12 drops Fir

Essential Oil


14 drops

Black Spruce

Essential Oil


10 drops




Try these blends

in your

diffuser too!

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.

Week 3

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.

Week 4

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

oils provide.

Photos (clockwise from top): kolesnikovserg /; Africa Studio /




AÇAI is an anti-aging


powerhouse. It restores

the skin’s elasticity

levels, moisturizes, and

instantly relieves dry

cracked skin.



BERRIES (blueberries,

blackberries, raspberries,

strawberries) improve

the skin’s clarity,

firmness, and glow, and

alleviate redness and



ORANGES tone skin,

balance oil production,

help prevent lines and

wrinkles, and reduce

sunburn, blemishes,

and dark spots.



skin cell generation,

even skin tone, and

fight acne-causing

bacteria and sun


24 • JANUARY 2020

pure ingredients for skin & body

Superfood Beauty

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

barrier function.


improve irritated skin,

acne, rosacea, and

eczema. They hydrate

skin and protect

against wrinkles and

discoloration caused

by environmental

damage. Mushrooms

were originally used to

lighten skin (kojic acid,

a well-known skinlightener,

is found in

shiitake mushrooms).


Photo: Yakobchuk Olena/

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

combination skin.

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. Nutrient-rich

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

environmentally induced

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


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

absolutely need—collagen.

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,

Photo: icka_kinamoto/

26 •


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

quite edible.

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












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

years ahead.

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

focus becomes.

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/

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.


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.


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

the journey.


that you’re thankful for each day.

Photos (clockwise from top): Monster Ztudio/; esoxx/

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.


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

morning commute.


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.


own mantra and repeat it throughout

the day.

Photo: arthurhidden/

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








Photo: Natallia/

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

echinacea.” Andrographis,

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

health formulas.

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

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

flu virus.

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

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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.

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JANUARY 2020 • 35


using CBD & hemp for health & wellness

CBD Update

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

of diabetes.


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

pharmaceutical remedies,

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: Irina/

Photo (top right): cendeced⁄

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.

Label Check

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

or allergens.

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.



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.

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CBD Gummies



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PILLS: If you prefer to swallow

pills, capsules and soft gels are



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

Dr. Formulated

CBD softgels

Smart Organics

Advanced CBD Oil


CBD Uses

Conditions for which CBD may be

beneficial include:

* Age-related macular


* Alzheimer’s disease

* Anxiety

* Arthritis


Attention deficit

hyperactivity disorder

* Blood clots

* Cancer treatment side effects

* Crohn’s disease

* Depression

* Eczema

* Epilepsy

* Fibromyalgia

* Glaucoma

* Headaches, including


* Heart disease

* High blood pressure

* Inflammation

* Insomnia

* Irritable bowel syndrome

* Menopause

* Multiple sclerosis

* Nausea

* Opiate addiction

* Panic attack

* Post-traumatic stress disorder

* Premenstrual syndrome

* Schizophrenia

* Skin conditions including


* Sleep problems

* Stroke recovery

* Thrombosis

* Thyroid disorders

* Traumatic brain injury

* Ulcerative colitis

* Vomiting

JANUARY 2020 • 37


more than 0.3 percent THC—too little

to produce a psychoactive effect.

Recent Research

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 •

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

health category

on iTunes!

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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,

B 12

, and the highest-quality protein—

without any of the “ingredients” you

40 • JANUARY 2020

recipe makeovers full of modern flavor

Warming Stew for

Colder Weather

This protein-packed dish is the perfect

healthy winter comfort food


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

animal products.

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

Instant Pot.

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,

if necessary.

make it!

Hearty Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Serves 8

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

choice, sliced

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

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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


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

soft-poached eggs.

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

daily value.

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

until done.



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

, rather

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.


Photo: vm2002/


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

make it!

Cream of Mushroom Soup

with Crispy Shiitakes

Serves 6

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,

thinly sliced

2 Tbs. melted coconut oil

2 cups small cauliflower florets

2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled

and chopped

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

mushrooms, chopped

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

serve immediately.

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



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

Shop GMO-Smart

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


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

Photo: zimmytws/


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

chemical pesticides.

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

Foods labeled

with the USDA

Organic seal

are produced

without the use

of GMOs, synthetic

chemical pesticides

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

for GMOs.

❷ Look for Non-GMO

Project Verified Seals

Products that carry

the Non-GMO Project

Verified seal are

independently verified

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.


Doctor’s Best CoQ10 Gummies

Give yourself a happy heart. Coenzyme Q10 contains antioxidant properties that

help support heart function and promote energy production in the cells. CoQ10

is very important for the creation of energy, muscular contraction, and protein

synthesis. These gummies give a healthy boost to your heart and immune system.

Life Extension Curcumin Elite

You’ve heard of the superfood spice called turmeric. Well, turmeric gets its power

from natural botanical compounds called curcuminoids—and the more curcuminoids

you absorb, the better. Curcumin Elite delivers over 45 times more free curcuminoids

(the easiest to absorb) and has 270 times better absorption of total curcuminoids,

making it the best curcumin supplement ever.

Host Defense MycoShield Sprays

MycoShield sprays are perfect for people on-the-go! They feature a combination

of 5 polypore mushroom species—agarikon, reishi, chaga, birch polypore, and

turkey tail—in five delicious flavors: Winter Mist, Cinnamon, Citrus, Peppermint,

and Licorice Root. These convenient sprays are perfect for anyone seeking

a quick immune boost!

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

healthy immune response. It may be served hot

or cold. So enjoy a cup today and check out the

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

coenzyme forms, at higher potencies based on today’s science. These

non-GMO multis also feature energy-boosting herbs, organic veggies,

and plant-based enzymes. Available in iron and iron-free options.

NOW AlliBiotic CF

NOW non-drowsy AlliBiotic CF is an herbal combination formulated to support

a healthy immune system. This comprehensive botanical formula features garlic

extract, plus elderberry, olive leaf extract, and oregano oil.

JANUARY 2020 • 47


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


Sumac-Flax Cauliflower Steaks

with Sesame-Flax Butter

Serves 6

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

and Forti-Flax

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;

4g sugar

Photos (clockwise from top): juliamikhaylova⁄; dule964⁄

48 •


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