YOUR ULTIMATE RESOURCE FOR NATURAL LIVING
SEPTEMBER 2020 * betternutrition.com
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September 2020 / Vol. 82 / No. 9
Thai is long on
fiber and short
Why You Should Go Organic
It’s better for you—and the planet.
10 PASSION BEHIND THE PRODUCT
Why LesserEvil is the last word in
tasty and delicious indulgences.
For links to studies
cited in our articles
and other helpful
sites and books, visit
The Secrets of Becoming
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by all the
new tensions we’re facing, but these four simple
strategies can help you feel calmer and more
centered as you face the pressures of modern life.
Back To School Online
Distance learning provides its own unique
set of challenges for young scholars. Here’s
a roundup of essential tips and tricks—plus
must-have supplements—to keep kids happy
and healthy in this brave new world of learning.
How to Eat After a Heart
Prevention is the best medicine—especially when
it comes to preventing a second heart attack.
Holistic cardiologist Steven Masley, MD, offers
dietary advice gleaned from his years of clinical
experience that can help enhance recovery and
protect the heart from further damage.
12 IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Food for the Soul
Author Leah Vanderveldt on the
spiritual side of eating and wellness.
14 HOT BUYS
Healthy Fall Finds
Natural products we’re excited about.
16 CHECK OUT
How to Benefit from Calcium
This key mineral works better with a
little help from its friends.
18 ASK THE NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR
Antiviral Herbs & Vitamins
The best immune-boosting nutrients.
22 NATURAL BEAUTY
Witch Hazel: A Skin-Healing
The ancient secret to radiant skin.
40 ASK THE NUTRITIONIST
6 Must-Know Benefits of Eating
The foundation of a healthful diet.
Why you need them and where to
44 HEALTHY DISH
A Better (Mini) Burger
Delicious light-and-lean sliders.
The Skinny Secret
A high-protein, low-calorie take on
Chicken Pad Thai.
48 COOK WITH SUPPLEMENTS
A Honey Like No Other
Sweeten up your life with Manuka.
Be Well: Immune-
Recipes, & Herbs
Here’s a way
to make the
15—with five easy,
for any occasion.
Plus, learn about
the seven things
that weaken your
and read up on four
herbs you’ll want
questions and sharing
natural solutions for
New blogs monthly,
Editor posts from
experts such as Jonny
Bowden, PhD, RD.
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Photo: (cover) adobestock.com ; (this page) Megan Olson
2 • SEPTEMBER 2020
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EDITOR’S * LETTER
Has your life been turned upside down
since the pandemic began? Most of us
have been forced to adapt to a radically
new way of living. Plans have gone
out the window. Work has changed
or, in many cases, has ended altogether.
Socializing is awkward and tricky. And
there seems to be no end in sight. It’s
no wonder so many of us are struggling
with stress, depression, and anxiety.
Taking care of yourself is more
important than ever. If there’s a theme
to this issue, I think it’s that—self-care.
Chris Mann’s interview with wellness
expert Leah Vanderveldt, author of
Magical Self-Care for Everyday Life,
illustrates this so well. As you’ll read on
p. 12, Vanderveldt “sprinkles conscious
and soulful eating with a bewitching
blend of earthy and otherworldly
self-care ingredients.” I especially like
her breathwork tips. I did one of her quick
exercises just now, and it definitely
helped me feel more centered and calm.
One of the other standout articles
in this issue as it relates to self-care is
“The Secrets of Becoming Stress-Hardy”
on p. 26 by Melissa Diane Smith.
Blending her own experience with
research, Smith developed four
stress-relief techniques to help diffuse
anxiety, tension, and other challenges.
When I’m feeling overwhelmed,
I take an extra magnesium capsule,
something Smith covers in her article.
If I feel stressed right before bed,
the magnesium does the trick and
I’m able to fall asleep.
I hope all of the articles in this issue
give you new ways to care for your mental,
physical, and spiritual health.
Meet the passionate
people behind this issue
of Better Nutrition!
Jeannette Bessinger, CHHC, is an
award-winning educator, author of multiple
books, and a real food chef. She’s helped
thousands of people make lasting changes
to unhealthy habits. jeannettebessinger.com
Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, is a boardcertified
nutritionist and the bestselling
author of 15 books, including The 150
Healthiest Foods on Earth and Living
Low Carb. jonnybowden.com
Emily A. Kane, ND, LAc, has a private
practice in Juneau, Alaska, where she lives
with her husband and daughter. She is the
author of two books on natural health,
including Managing Menopause Naturally.
Chris Mann is a California-based wellness
writer and interviewer with 20 years’ experience
in natural health publishing. He is also an entertainment
author and podcaster. ChrisMann.tv
Megan Olson is a Phoenix-based certified
nutrition practitioner and the founder of
Skinny Fitalicious. She has been featured in
Shape magazine, Women’s Health, and more.
Melissa Diane Smith, Dipl. Nutr.,
is a holistic nutritionist who has 25 years
of clinical experience and specializes in
using food as medicine. She is the author
of Going Against GMOs and other books.
Kimberly Lord Stewart is an awardwinning
journalist who has worked for
leading natural product publications since
1996. She’s the author of Eating Between
the Lines. eatingbetweenthelines.net
Sherrie Strausfogel has been writing
about natural beauty for more than 20 years.
Based in Honolulu, she also writes about
spas, wellness, and travel. She is the author
of Hawaii’s Spa Experience.
Lisa Turner is a chef, food writer, product
developer, and nutrition coach in Boulder, Colo.
She has more than 20 years of experience
in researching and writing about nourishing
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
author of Hormone Harmony. veratweed.com
Neil Zevnik is a private chef specializing
in healthy cuisine, with clients who have
included Jennifer Garner, Charlize Theron,
and the CEO of Disney. neilzevnik.com
YOUR ULTIMATE GUIDE TO NATURAL LIVING
Editor in Chief
Print Ad Coordinator
& East Coast Sales
Integrated Media Sales
Director, West Coast
Director of Retail Sales
Senior Brand Marketing
Accounting & Billing
Vera Tweed, Helen Gray
Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, Jeannette
Bessinger, CHHC, Emily A. Kane,
ND, LAc, Chris Mann, Megan Olson,
Melissa Diane Smith, Kimberly Lord
Stewart, Lisa Turner, Neil Zevnik
512 Main Street, Suite 1
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BETTER NUTRITION, ISSN #0405-668X. Vol. 82, No. 9. Published monthly by Cruz Bay Publishing,
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BY VERA TWEED
Nutritious and sustainable,
organic food is better for
you—and the planet.
Many people choose organic food to lessen
their exposure to synthetic pesticides
and fertilizers, but there are many
more benefits to this wholesome way
of eating. Health-wise, organic crops
contain more concentrated nutrients
than conventional crops, so they’re
better for you. Plus, organic farming
methods protect and enhance our
environment, making our food supply
more sustainable, diverse, and secure.
“What happens on organic farms
has a synergistic impact,” says Jessica
Shade, PhD, Director of Science Programs
at The Organic Center, a nonprofit
educational and research organization.
Organic farming makes the soil richer,
more resilient to climate change,
and capable of absorbing and retaining
more carbon monoxide from the
atmosphere. And organic farmers
grow a much greater variety of crops,
which helps us develop more diverse diets
while also enabling essential pollinators,
such as bees and birds, to thrive.
“Organic farms have almost twice as
many pollinators as conventional farms,”
A review of 35 different studies,
published in the journal Nutrients,
compared the health of people who
regularly eat conventional produce with
those who eat a mostly organic diet.
less infertility, and
pregnant women who
ate organic experienced
and their babies
had fewer birth defects.
Children who ate
a mostly organic diet
had fewer allergies
and ear infections, and
adults were less likely to be overweight
or to develop serious health issues,
including heart disease, diabetes,
stroke, or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
An analysis of more than 300 studies
found that when compared to
conventionally grown crops, organic
plant foods contain:
did you know ...
Organic farms grow flowers
and other plants just to
attract pollinators such as
bees, as well as lady bugs
and other beneficial insects
that eat harmful bugs.
69% more flavanones
51% more anthocyanins
50% more flavonols
28% more stilbenes
26% more flavones
19% more phenolic
And it’s not just veggies. When
compared to conventional meat and
milk, organic versions have been
found to contain more beneficial
omega-3 fats and antioxidants.
In addition, organic meat contains
less cholesterol, and organic milk
contains more minerals.
For more information, visit organic-center.org
6 • SEPTEMBER 2020
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People who walk significantly
more steps each day live
longer, according to a study that
tracked nearly 5,000 people for a
decade. More specifically, researchers
compared the lifespans of Americans
who were age 40 or older at the outset
and took no more than 4,000, 8,000,
or at least 12,000 steps daily. Compared
to people taking 4,000 or fewer daily
steps, risk of death from any cause
was 50 percent lower for those taking
8,000 daily steps and 65 percent
lower for 12,000 daily steps.
Steps can be measured with
pedometers, smartwatches, fitness
bands, or the Apple Health app on
iPhones and the Google Fit app
on Android phones.
8 • SEPTEMBER 2020 NEWS*BITES
Ubiquinol is the active form of
CoQ10, a nutrient used by cells to
produce energy. While many studies
have shown that it can help people
with heart failure, a new study
in Japan found that Ubiquinol
supplements can also revitalize
energy in healthy middle-aged
people who experience fatigue.
In a group of 60 people, researchers
compared the effects of 100 or 150 mg
of Ubiquinol daily to a placebo during
a 12-week period. They measured
blood levels of the nutrient and
surveyed participants’ energy levels
during and after a series of challenging
mental tests. They found that both
doses of Ubiquinol raised blood levels
of the nutrient and significantly
enhanced energy. The study was
published in the journal Nutrients.
FISH AND FISH OIL
REDUCES BRAIN DAMAGE FROM
Air pollution makes the brain shrink faster with age, but the omega-3
fats in fish and fish oil can counteract the effect. In a study of 1,315
women with an average age of 70 who lived in polluted areas, brain
scans showed that those with the highest blood levels of omega-3s
suffered the least brain shrinkage. Although
individual needs vary, eating salmon,
sardines, or other omega-3-rich fish several
times a week—or taking 1,000 mg or more of
fish oil or vegan omega-3 supplements—can
usually get blood levels into a healthy range.
PASSION BEHIND THE PRODUCT *
companies fostering personal & global well-being
Charles Coristine, owner of LesserEvil, left his Wall Street job to
buy this boutique snack company—and the world is a sweeter
(and cleaner) place because of it.
BY NEIL ZEVNIK
There was a time not so long ago when
“snacking” was a dirty word. If you
were someone who “ate healthy,” you
eschewed all of those between-meal
indulgences that were most likely
fried in some unhealthy oil and/or
loaded with sugar and preservatives.
Unfortunately, sensible options were
few and far between—and their flavor
often left a lot to be desired.
But then attitudes changed. Nutritional
information became more available.
“Grazing” became a viable dietary habit.
And a wide panoply of healthy and tasty
snacks inundated store shelves.
So the question now becomes not
which snacks are genuinely healthy,
but which ones make the greatest
contribution to personal and planetary
welfare? Enter Charles Coristine and
his LesserEvil brand.
When Popcorn and
Coristine left behind a successful career
on Wall Street to dive into a whole new
world when he bought boutique snack
company LesserEvil. Focused on organic
popcorn and inspired by his meditations
at a holistic nutrition retreat, he conceived
of a laughing Buddha as the perfect
packaging guru for his brand.
“The gurus on our packages represent
our curiosity around our existence
and interconnectedness,” Coristine
says. “We want to endorse a holistic
message of universal tolerance, love,
and peace. We believe that there is
a guru in each and every one of us.
People love the playful and universal
messaging, they care about organic,
and they care about what they put
into their bodies. ”
10 • SEPTEMBER 2020
Online House Call:
A 5-Part Series
to Foster Your
“Our mantra around food is that we
would not put anything in our snacks
that we wouldn’t feed our own
children,” says Charles Coristine of
his LesserEvil brand.
So Coristine set out to source only the
best ingredients he could find. For sound
reasons. “They actually taste better and
are better for you and your family,” he
says. “Our mantra around food is that
we would not put anything in our snacks
that we wouldn’t feed our own children.”
That means organic of course.
But it also includes no GMOs, no
refined sugars or salts, no vegetable
or hydrogenated oils, no antibiotics or
hormones, no preservatives, and no
artificial colors or flavors.
All of which would mean nothing
without flavor. “It’s all about the oils,”
says Coristine. You can feel the difference
organic coconut oil, avocado oil, and
ghee make. It comes down to the
experience of eating and how you feel
afterwards. Does it make you feel light
and fulfilled, or heavy and guilty?”
It’s About More Than Healthy
Not content with just creating splendid
snacks, LesserEvil wants to make a
contribution to improving the world in
other ways as well. Organic ingredients,
sustainable sourcing, energy-saving
initiatives, and biodegradable packaging
are just a few of their contributions to
the welfare of the planet. And they even
compost most of their factory waste.
Because for Coristine, LesserEvil
is as much a way of life as a business.
“I think, if you believe in your heart,
all-in conviction is a very powerful
thing,” he says. “This is our recipe for life:
super-clean ingredients and dynamite
taste, for what we hope is a down-anddirty
smash-em-up beautiful life.”
Paleo and Egg
White Puffs in a range of
tasty flavors. And when you want
something sweet to sink your teeth
into, try LesserEvil’s scrumptious
mini cookies in Almond Butter
Chocolate Chip and Snickerdoodle.
Many of the products are compatible
with common dietary restrictions,
including dairy-free, vegan, Paleo,
The Institute for Natural Medicine
is pleased to offer a FREE online
learning series with hands-on,
mini-sessions from naturopathic
medicine’s leading experts.
Nutrition & Diet Remain
Your Best Medicine
Denise Long, ND discusses the cleanseelimination
approach, an anti-inflammatory
diet and how to find the right food choices for
your best health.
Crane Holmes, ND shares an overview of
special diets and the microbiome and why you
might benefit from changing your daily eating
The Radical Impact of
Movement & Exercise
Michelle Simon, ND inspires you to bring
movement to your life and shows easy-to-learn
exercises to keep you in shape and well.
Mark Heisig, ND teaches novel physical
medicine approaches that address chronic
pain and explores effective approaches to
the Mind-Body Connection
Nicola Dehlinger, ND explains why mind-body
medicine is essential to healing and offers
techniques to connect you to your best self.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT *
stay-healthy secrets from leading experts
Food for the Soul
Nutrition writer and wellness expert Leah Vanderveldt looks
at the spiritual side of eating and wellness in her latest book,
Magical Self-Care for Everyday Life.
BY CHRIS MANN
As the author of several forwardthinking
cookbooks, including 2019’s
The CBD Kitchen, Leah Vanderveldt
has long known that nourishment
extends significantly beyond the
physical to the mental, emotional,
and even the enchantingly spiritual.
Her latest book—Magical Self-Care
for Everyday Life: Create Your Own
Personal Wellness Rituals Using the
Tarot, Space-Clearing, Breathwork,
High-Vibe Recipes, and More—sprinkles
conscious and soulful eating with
a bewitching blend of earthy and
otherworldly self-care ingredients.
“Magical self-care means connecting
to your intuition to take care of yourself
holistically,” she says. “It uses mystical
and everyday tools and practices to
get you in touch with your core self
and inner wisdom. It’s about adding
a little fun, mystery, and magic to your
For Vanderveldt, who embraces
alternative therapies ranging from reiki
to herbalism to astrology, this expanded
approach to wellness meaningfully
augments her primary self-care habits
of getting enough sleep, drinking a lot of
water, and eating well. “I think intentional
rituals can enhance and make us more
mindful of the routine things we do to
care for ourselves anyway,” she says.
“For example, before sleep I like to wind
down with an herbal infusion and some
breathwork. I infuse my drinking water
with crystals as a way to make hydrating
more exciting. And when I prepare a
meal for myself, I think of how I want to
feel and channel that into my cooking.
Adding these intentional elements
makes these things feel special and
brings me into the present moment.”
Win a copy of Magical Self-Care for Everyday Life! We’re giving away
5 copies. Email your name and address to betternutritionfreebie@
gmail.com. Put “Self-Care” in the subject line.
Photo: Diana Zapata
12 • SEPTEMBER 2020
Everyone Wants to Know …
BN: What are some key ways to get practical
with magic in the kitchen?
LV: First, ingredients. So many plants have magical
properties. It’s worth doing a quick search on herbs
and plants that you want to use in your cooking and
just seeing if they have any lore behind them. Basil is a
great herb for abundance, for example, and just knowing
that as you’re cooking with it can be a little magical.
Second, set an intention for your meal. Beyond it being
cooked well and tasting good, your intention could be, “I
want to feel really supported and calm as a result of eating
this dish.” As you prep and stir, think of your intention.
BN: Why is it helpful to embody the four seasons?
How can we do that with food this fall?
LV: Nature is such a good mirror for us. It subtly
prompts us to change our rhythms and get a balance of
everything throughout the year. In the fall, we get foods
that want to be roasted and turned into soups and
stews—we’re being encouraged to warm ourselves from
the inside out as the weather gets colder. As the harvest
comes in and the leaves begin to fall, we’re asked to
turn toward our homes and ourselves a little bit more
and reflect on what we’d like to shed. The grounding,
warming, sweet foods of fall help to steady and support
us as we go through this transitional time of year.
BN: How can the tarot factor into daily self-care?
LV: I use it as a daily check-in. If something’s on my
mind or I’m feeling a little off, I’ll ask the tarot about
it or just come to my deck with an open mind and
pull a card. I journal about whatever comes up. The
tarot is an intuitive tool, but it also helps you get to
know yourself better, which is key to finding self-care
that really nourishes you. You can also ask the cards:
What kind of self-care would best support me today?
How would my mind feel cared for? My body? My heart?
BN: Which high-vibe recipes help ground your
favorite magical rituals?
LV: I love a hearty stew or lentil dish after a breathwork
practice. There’s a specific type of breathwork that
involves deep, continuous breathing for 30 minutes at a
time. The experience is challenging but transformational.
I find that I need something really filling and comforting
to eat afterward to ground down. Breath represents
the air element, and lentils are from the earth, so they
balance each other out nicely. It helps me come back
to Earth and feels cozy.
BN: What goes into The Empress Breakfast?
LV: I love making toast that feels a little fancy. I found
myself doing my daily tarot check-in over breakfast and I
decided to make a meal as a tribute to one of my favorite
cards—The Empress (a tarot card symbolizing abundance,
receptivity, and self-worth). I use fresh ricotta, roasted
squash, basil, olive oil, and pomegranate seeds—which
is the Empress’s signature fruit.
BN: What role does breathwork play in
LV: It’s one of our most accessible wellness tools—it’s
free, simple, and holistically cleansing. It can physically
cleanse the body, but it helps emotionally and spiritually
cleanse too. As the parent of a one-year-old, my days
feel busy and a little all over the place. But I can always
make time to breathe. I like to do a six-count inhale and
six-count exhale four times in a row. In a minute I feel
calmer and more connected to myself.
I do longer breathwork sessions (like I mentioned
above) that help with emotional release. Breathwork is
connected to the idea that unprocessed emotions are
stored in the body, and when we engage the breath in a
way that activates the whole body, we’re able to get into
those stuck places and release them. When I find myself
feeling really tense and overwhelmed, I know it’s time to
do a long breathwork practice.
BN: How has embracing the feminine in you
changed your life?
LV: I’m not burnt out all the time, I feel more creative,
and it’s given me the strength to do what I really love
and do it in a way that feels good. We’re so encouraged
to be on, doing, and productive all the time, but that
needs to be balanced by quiet, space, connection, and
softness. It’s an ongoing process, but it’s helped me
balance my nervous system and feel more grounded
throughout my day.
BN: How can eating well help cultivate a kinder
relationship with oneself?
LV: It’s about finding what feels good for you and your
body. I think we get caught up in trying to eat a certain
way or eat certain things because they’re “good” for
us. But I think there’s an element of listening to what
our bodies need and want that’s really important to
our emotional and physical health. Balance is where
the kindness lies—not being too rigid about your food
while also giving yourself everything you need to thrive.
SEPTEMBER 2020 • 13
HOT BUYS *
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Healthy Fall Finds
From yummy elderberry gummies to skin-brightening cleansing pads, may
we present our favorite new products of the month.
Give It a Shot
make a powerful
in Four Sigmatic Wellness
Shots. These shelf-stable
shots are super easy
to use: just twist and
sip. Pick from Adaptogen
Focus with Lion’s Mane;
Adaptogen Immune Support
Elderberry with Chaga; and
Adaptogen Beauty with
Tremella. Try starting
your day with Focus,
then try caffeine-free
Immune Support midday,
and end with Beauty.
Enjoy the Sweet Life
Kick sugar, keep candy.
That’s the tagline for
Smart Sweets, a company
dedicated to making
delicious candy you can
feel good about. Their
Sweet Fish candies taste
even better than the
and they are infinitely
healthier. They feature
and are free from
sugar alcohols, artificial
sweeteners, and added
sugar. Just 3 grams of
sugar per bag.
It’s the Berries
Black elderberry has
been used for centuries
in traditional herbalism
for immune support.
Gaia Herbs Elderberry
Gummies are a tasty way
to reap the benefits of
berry. These vegan,
are made from real
fruit. The elderberries
They’re available in
three varieties: Everyday
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Elderberry; and Black
Elderberry Extra Strength.
16 • SEPTEMBER 2020 CHECK OUT *
guide to cutting-edge supplements
How to Benefit from
We all know that calcium helps build strong bones,
but there’s a lot more to it than that.
Calcium for bone health is one of the
most widely doctor-recommended
supplements, but conventional advice
to take it typically omits a few important
facts. Too much supplemental calcium,
as well as too little, can be detrimental
to your health. And it doesn’t work
alone. Calcium needs a few other
vitamin D, and vitamin K 2
its rightful benefits.
Calcium and Magnesium
These two minerals need to be balanced
because they work together in the human
body. For example, calcium excites
nerves and makes muscles contract,
while magnesium calms nerves and
makes muscles relax. Calcium is used in
blood clotting, while magnesium helps
to prevent dangerous clots.
Too much calcium in relation to
magnesium leads to an exaggerated
and lingering stress response in
nerves, muscles, and hormones.
BY VERA TWEED
Such an imbalance can also raise levels
of chronic inflammation and is linked
to heart disease, diabetes, some cancers,
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease,
depression, cognitive problems, and
premature death. And this type of
imbalance is rampant.
During the past few decades, studies
have suggested that the optimum ratio
of calcium to magnesium is under
2:1—at least 250 mg of magnesium
with 500 mg of calcium, as an example.
But the typical American consumes a
ratio of 3:1—too little magnesium in
relation to calcium.
Since the late 1970s, the amount
of calcium in American diets has
increased more than twice as much
as magnesium because calcium—but
not magnesium—is added to many
processed foods. A rise in chronic
diseases parallels this trend.
The Calcium, Vitamin D,
Vitamin D is recognized as being
essential for the absorption of calcium,
as well as overall health. And vitamin
D supplements have gained popularity
in recent years, especially as we spend
more time indoors, so our bodies
produce less of the “sunshine vitamin.”
But without adequate magnesium
intake, vitamin D cannot become fully
active in the human body, and even high
doses may not correct a deficiency.
Garden of Life
In addition, high-dose vitamin D
supplements—often taken today—can
severely deplete magnesium, creating or
worsening an imbalance with calcium.
A balanced combination of these
nutrients provides optimum benefits.
While calcium alone does not reduce
fractures in older people, studies
have found that a combination of
vitamin D and magnesium has reduced
the incidence of fractures, Alzheimer’s
disease, and death.
How to Get Enough
Calcium—But Not Too Much
Experts recommend 1,000 mg of calcium daily for adults, and 1,200 mg daily
for women over 50 and men over 70. These refer to total intake from food
and supplements, not supplements alone.
To identify the right amount of supplemental calcium for you, calculate
the amount of calcium in your diet. If you fall short, take supplements to fill
the gap. For example, if you need 1,000 mg and your diet provides 700 mg,
supplement with 300 mg.
To get the full benefits, also take these nutrients that work with calcium:
MAGNESIUM: Most Americans are deficient. To maintain a balance with calcium,
the daily requirement would be at least half of your optimum calcium
intake: 500 mg of magnesium for women up to age 50 and men up to age
70, and 600 mg after that.
VITAMIN D: Daily recommended amounts are 600 IU (15 mcg) for adults up
to age 70 and 800 IU (20 mcg) thereafter, assuming you get minimal sun
exposure. Use supplements to make up any shortfall in your diet or get a
vitamin D blood test and take enough to achieve optimum blood levels.
VITAMIN K 2
: There is no set recommendation for daily intake of vitamin K 2
and studies have used a range of doses. Research supports 180 mcg daily
of the MK-7 form and 1,500 mcg daily for the MK-4 form.
How to Calculate Amounts of Calcium, Magnesium,
and Vitamin D in Your Diet
To track the amount of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D in your typical
meals, snacks, and beverages, use a website or app such as:
myfitnesspal.com: website and app
Calcium and Vitamin K 2
Studies show that high levels of calcium
can promote heart disease through
calcification and stiffening of arteries.
Vitamin K 2
can prevent and possibly
reverse these conditions, enabling calcium
to be better utilized for bone health and
other functions, without the risks.
The richest food source of vitamin
is natto, a Japanese fermented soy
food, but other foods are not likely to
provide adequate amounts. Studies have
found that two forms of the vitamin
are effective: MK-4 and MK-7. Supplements
may contain one or both forms,
and the vitamin is sometimes combined
with other nutrients in formulas for
Visit betternutrition.com for
more articles about calcium,
Can You Take Too Much Calcium?
Calcium Myths and Facts
Although free food-tracking versions of these are available, you may need
to use a paid version to track specific nutrient intake. However, once you get
a sense of where you stand, you won’t need to continually track individual
nutrients unless you make significant changes in your diet.
Eating for Bone Health
SEPTEMBER 2020 • 17
ASK THE NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR *
answers to your health questions
Antiviral Herbs & Vitamins
Key supplements you need for optimum immune health.
BY EMILY KANE, ND, LAC
QWhat if there is a second wave of COVID-19
this fall? What can I do to reduce my risk
of getting ill with COVID, or any other viral
The best approach to health, always, is
to avoid getting sick. In case that sounds
sassy, what I mean is that health is a
force that requires tending. Don’t take it
for granted! If you read my column you
know I stress eating good food, practicing
good sleep and hygiene habits, drinking
water, getting exercise—the basics. Your
body/mind/spirit require tender loving
care and a good deal of maintenance.
Invest in your self-care, and make good
choices, as often as possible.
We do know that COVID-19 usually
causes mild symptoms unless you have
underlying health weaknesses. The more
“co-morbidities,” the more vulnerable
you are. Many of these health-slaying
conditions are preventable (clogged
arteries, chronic bronchial infections,
diabetes). Making more informed
choices now can help restore, and
preserve, your precious health.
For one thing, make sure you’re
getting adequate sleep, which can
increase your resistance to all infections.
Less than seven hours of sleep a night
over time will inhibit your production
of natural killer (NK) cells—potent
white blood cells that fight disease.
Sleep also allows melatonin to be
released into the body, which supports
immune function and helps control
inflammation in viral infections via
its antioxidant properties.
And wear a mask when you go out in
public. Why should we still be wearing
18 • SEPTEMBER 2020
ASK THE NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR
masks when in crowded spaces? Because
of asymptomatic spreading of COVID-19
and many other viral illnesses. Seriously
ill people are likely contagious for at least
10 days after symptoms appear. Even
people with mild cases can be contagious
for several days.
DIY Herbal Hacks
Studies of COVID-19 have given us some
useful information about preventing and
containing viral outbreaks. Suppose,
for instance, we could kill the virus in
the nose and throat before it became
established? Maybe we can. Consider
making an antiviral nose and throat spray
Viruses are tiny,
using well-established herbs that
have antiviral activity:
as you know, and
do their dirty work did you know ... elderberry, and
inside cells. As
opposed to bacteria,
which are much
larger and infect the
space outside our cells,
viruses penetrate into
our cells, co-opting
and multiplying like
Our bodies have a built-in
natural antiviral mechanism.
It’s called fever. In
general, a mild fever for
a few days is the perfect
solution for burning out
one or a few of these
tinctures with a saline
or xylitol spray is a
convenient way to
help keep viruses from
in your body. Or you
could enjoy steam
crazy. This stealth destruction can
make us feel achy all over, as though
we were hit by a proverbial bus.
Luckily, our bodies have a built-in
natural antiviral mechanism. It’s
called fever. In general a mild fever
for a few days is the perfect solution
for burning out a virus. I’ve often heard
health professionals suggest Tylenol
for fevers. I advise against that. Try
inhalation with antimicrobial essential
oils such as thyme, oregano, or eucalyptus.
Garlic is renowned for its antiviral
properties. Because it’s pretty bitter
raw, you can bake peeled garlic with a
bunch of other robust roasting veggies,
or pop cloves in the microwave for a
few minutes, then peel and enjoy.
Cooked garlic can be dipped in a bit
of honey for children.
to avoid suppressing a fever other than
in a baby or frail elder, or if the fever
lasts for more than 48 hours or goes
Instead, push the fever. This is
your body trying to kill the virus. Heat
stimulates the metabolism, increasing
enzyme productivity and enhancing
bone marrow release of new white
blood cells. A fever means that your
immune system is working to slay
To put it plainly, viruses dislike heat.
In addition to frequently washing your
hands and keeping your fingers away
from the “danger triangle” of eyes,
nose, and mouth, one of the best ways
to ward off illness if you’re concerned
about viral exposure is to sweat. Get in
a sauna, bundle up and go for a brisk
walk, or take a hot bath then cuddle up
in bed with a heavy blanket.
What More Can You Do?
Given the lack of proven therapies
for many viral illnesses, including
COVID-19, lifestyle and nutritional
considerations are especially vital.
Getting outdoors, for example, is very
helpful for a healthy immune response,
in part because sun exposure promotes
vitamin D 3
synthesis, another innate
immune enhancer. It is well documented
that patients exposed to direct sunlight
and plenty of fresh air during the 1918
influenza pandemic had much lower
rates of infection and less severity
Fruits and vegetables are
naturally high in fiber and
bioflavonoids. Fiber and fermented
foods enhance the gut microbiome
and improve its overall ability
to fight viruses. Flavonoids (natural
pigments found in brightly colored
produce) help reduce inflammation and
inhibit the viral enzyme 3CL protease,
which slows viral replication.
Vitamin C is also a potent virusfighter
that works by helping increase NK
cell production, decreasing inflammatory
fallout from viral infections, and
reducing penetration of inflammatory
proteins into lung cells by nearly
threefold. In fact, recent Chinese
research details shortened hospital
stays and zero mortality among
hospitalized COVID-19 patients who
received intravenous vitamin C.
No adverse reactions were reported.
Other natural antivirals include:
Propolis is a substance produced
by honeybees to seal gaps in their
hives. Along with its high flavonoid
content, propolis helps viral clearance
by increasing apoptosis (death of
cells that are sick).
Astragalus reduces inflammation,
is a proven antiviral, and inhibits
production of inflammatory cytokines.
Berberine, the active constituent
in goldenseal, has antiviral and
Elderberry has been shown to
reduce the severity and duration of
colds and flu by blocking both viral
uptake and the ability of viruses to
infect host cells. (It has not been
studied in relation to COVID-19.)
Vitamin A, up to 25,000 IUs daily, is
a potent immune booster. Woman
who are pregnant or could become
pregnant should use with caution.
Zinc has been shown in preliminary
studies to potentially reduce COVID
severity. Use 5–50 mg daily.
Find a licensed
naturopathic doctor for
a virtual (telemedicine)
ChildLife Essentials® offers a variety of supplements
developed by a pediatrician and formulated specifically
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months. All ChildLife® products are made from
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To support your children’s daily health, try our daily
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Multi Vitamin (liquid or non-gummy gummies TM )
Liquid Vitamin C
The combination of these vitamins will support your
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*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
22 • SEPTEMBER 2020 NATURAL BEAUTY *
pure ingredients for skin & body
A Skin-Healing Wonder
Clean and clarify your complexion, and calm under-eye
puffiness with witch hazel—a time-honored medicinal
plant full of skincare uses.
Want the ultimate in clean skin? Just a
simple swipe or spray of toner removes
any last traces of dirt and impurities
stuck in your pores after you wash while
also killing bacteria that can live within
the pores. Toning balances the skin’s
pH level, which makes it less prone to
irritation, reduces acne and blackheads,
prevents ingrown hairs, and evens skin
tone. Toning also shrinks pores,
refreshes, hydrates, and prepares
skin for a serum or moisturizer.
The time-honored medicinal
plant witch hazel (Hamamelis
virginiana) continues to be the
standard ingredient in many toners.
Native to North America, witch hazel
was used by indigenous tribes to fight
swelling, sores, and infections. The
bark and leaves of the witch hazel plant
contain antioxidant polyphenols and
tannins that are used to make this
skin-healing astringent. Plus, witch
hazel is high in proanthocyanidins
that have antiviral effects.
Witch hazel offers benefits over
other beauty ingredients because
it’s completely natural and free of
environmental pollutants, irritating
ingredients, fake fragrances,
BY SHERRIE STRAUSFOGEL
and other contaminants. “It’s the power
in all of our toner products,” says Bryan
Jackowitz, president of Humphreys Witch
Hazel Skincare. “The natural botanical
power of certified organic witch hazel
effectively removes excess oils and
impurities in a natural way, without
using artificial ingredients like salicylic
acid, high levels of denatured alcohols,
alpha or beta hydroxy acids, or benzoyl
peroxide. In addition to cleansing and
toning, witch hazel helps to soothe
skin irritations due to environmental
exposure or use of harsh skincare
products. Another beauty use and makeup
artist secret is to use witch hazel toner
to reduce under-eye puffiness and to
set makeup after application.”
Toners can also be used for a quick
refresh throughout the day. Refrigerate
your toner, close your eyes and spray,
or put a few drops of cooling toner into
the palms of your hands and then press
them into your face. With all these skin
benefits, isn’t it worth the extra step in
your skincare regimen?
Give sensitive skin what it craves
with Humphreys Soothe Witch Hazel with
Rose Alcohol-Free Toner. This Wild Crop
Certified Witch Hazel toner adds
soothing rose water and moisturizing
sodium hyaluronate, vitamin E, and
aloe to treat sensitive skin. Your skin
may be drier in the winter and oilier
in the summer, so Humphreys offers
seven toners tailored to every skin
condition—all distilled to extract
witch hazel’s pure therapeutic essence.
Earth Science Refreshing Facial
Mist gives your skin a burst of soothing
plant-based moisture and antioxidants
for a healthy-looking glow. Witch
hazel helps freshen, cool, and recharge
skin. Hyaluronic acid and aloe vera
naturally replenish moisture, while sea
kelp, calendula, and chamomile calm,
hydrate, and comfort skin. It’s also
enriched with panthenol and niacin.
Refine large pores and
discoloration with InstaNatural 7%
Glycolic AHA Toner. Witch hazel is
combined with the exfoliating benefits
of glycolic, lactic, and fruit acids
to boost the skin’s natural renewal
process and prep it for moisturizer or
treatment. Hydrating hyaluronic acid
and soothing botanicals help brighten
and smooth skin without causing
irritation or dryness.
Tighten and tone your skin with
Derma E Firming DMAE Toner. Witch hazel,
firming DMAE, and potent antioxidants
alpha lipoic acid and C-ester strengthen
skin, rebalance its pH after cleansing,
and prep it to better absorb a serum or
moisturizer. Additional natural astringents
horsetail and horse chestnut, plus
calming lemon grass and chamomile,
refresh your skin.
Refresh and recharge your skin
with Hyalogic Orange Blossom Facial Toner.
Witch hazel, steam-distilled neroli
orange blossoms, hyaluronic acid, and
aloe intensely hydrate and soothe skin.
Spray this toner to prep your skin to
better absorb a serum or moisturizer.
The zesty scents of neroli and white
grapefruit make an ideal makeup or
midday refresher. This toner is also
available in Rose Water.
SEPTEMBER 2020 • 23
MOR I NGA
Moringa is known as the miracle plant.*
Bio Nutrition uses the finest 10:1 extract derived from leaves.
This nutrient dense food is rich in Vitamins A, B, C
as well as the minerals iron & potassium.
It is a complete protein source containing essential amino
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Also available in
Also available in Lemon
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Also try these amazing
Olive Leaf & Oregano
Supports healthy immune function*
Graviola also known as soursop has been revered by the native
people of Central and South America for centuries for its health
promoting properties.* Modern scientists continue to explore
the potential health benefits of this treasure plant.*
Available in Capsules, Liquid and Tea.
Black Seed Oil
For centuries Black Seed Oil has been revered
by the people of the middle east and northern
Africa. Black Seed Oil is also known for its
unique flavor and health promoting properties.*
Available in Capsules, 8 & 16oz. Liquid and Tea.
in 4 oz. liquid
Bio Nutrition, Inc.
Oceanside, NY 11572 U.S.A.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
TRY THESE FOUR
ABLE TO HANDLE
BY MELISSA DIANE SMITH
More so than any other year in recent history,
2020 has brought unprecedented changes to
our lives: A worldwide pandemic, which led to
social distancing, anxiety, and stay-at-home
orders along with an economic shutdown, unsettled work
conditions, job layoffs and furloughs, financial difficulties,
and uncertainty about the future.
If you’ve been feeling stressed this year, that’s understandable,
and you aren’t alone. In late April, during the height of the
coronavirus-related economic crisis, roughly 70 percent
of Americans experienced moderate-to-severe mental
distress—triple the rate seen in 2018.
No one could have predicted the twists and turns we have
experienced. During these unsteady times, it’s more important
than ever to learn how to make yourself more resilient to extra
stress. By following the strategies below, you can feel stronger,
more focused, and better fortified to cope with life’s unexpected
changes and pressures.
26 • SEPTEMBER 2020
SEPTEMBER 2020 • 27
1Avoid Drugs, Alcohol,
Cigarettes, and Chemicals
The first step in developing stresshardiness
is to avoid unnecessary
substances that increase the body’s
stress load. This includes drugs, alcohol,
cigarettes, and even chemical additives
in processed foods. More than half a
century ago, the father of modern stress
research, Hans Selye, MD, discovered
that exposure to toxic chemicals elicited
the body’s stress response and caused
enlarged, overworked adrenal glands
and suppression of the immune system.
2Eat A Nutritious, Blood-
You may be tempted to reach for sugar
when you’re anxious—sugar actually
does reduce psychological stress in the
short term, but it causes long-term
physical stress to your brain and body.
Refined carbohydrates, such as sugar,
sugar-sweetened beverages, and whiteflour
products, rob the body of its nutrient
reserves and weaken the adrenal glands,
which produce our body’s main stress
response hormones. This makes people
feel more tired and less able to cope in
the long run. High sugar intake also is
linked to depression, which lowers our
ability to cope with stress.
A key to promoting stress-hardiness
is to eat foods that are rich in nutrients
and that help stabilize blood-sugar
levels, including adequate amounts of
unprocessed protein and fat, as well as
low-starch vegetables such as broccoli,
greens, asparagus, and mushrooms.
A nutritious blood-sugar-balancing
diet helps adrenal glands function at
their best and promotes increased
mental focus, better moods, and more
Eating a diet that is rich in fresh
fruits and vegetables is particularly
important. Research has established
that people who eat more fruits and
vegetables have a reduced incidence
of mental disorders, including lower
rates of perceived stress, negative
mood, and depression. People who eat
more fruits and vegetables also have
Are EMFs Causing Your Body
In our day-to-day lives, our bodies are challenged by many environmental
stressors, including increasing levels of electromagnetic fields (EMFs)—some
of which are unavoidable. Natural EMF sources include the Earth’s magnetic
field and sunlight.
But in recent decades, we have been exposed to an astounding amount
of synthetic EMFs from manmade sources, such as mobile phones, WiFi
and Bluetooth technologies, cell phone towers, and, increasingly, the
controversial 5G network of communication bandwidths. Other EMF sources
include computer screens, microwave ovens, and other technological devices
that we use.
Exposure to EMFs results in oxidative stress—formation of free radicals—in
many tissues of the body and may also cause significant changes in blood antioxidant
markers. Research also suggests that EMFs affect the nervous system. The
most commonly reported symptoms related to EMF exposure include headache,
fatigue, sleep disturbance, insomnia, depression, attention dysfunction, irritability,
anxiety, and memory changes.
Information medicine—a relatively new branch of Western medicine that
describes bodily functions in terms of frequencies and oscillations—aims
to restore dysfunctional cell imbalances often caused by EMF exposure in a
number of ways. One is by applying biologically healthy frequencies. In this
method, a cutting-edge device, often in a chip form that attaches to your
cell phone, contains an encapsulated blend of minerals programmed with
state-of-the-art biofeedback devices.
“Just like a hard drive, this device stores thousands of beneficial frequencies
that go into resonance with the electromagnetic field of the body and inform
the body to make changes to counteract the synthetic electromagnetic fields
we have introduced into our environment,” says David Andres, the Chief
Executive Officer for Vita-chip in the United States.
“When these harmful electromagnetic fields are counteracted by using the
chip, your body can reduce the stress it’s been experiencing from EMFs by
lowering levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, as well as balancing levels of
serotonin, the mood hormone, and regulating melatonin, the sleep hormone,”
says Andres. The body can then reactivate its natural healing capabilities,
and people end up experiencing less stress, reduced pain, more energy, and
improved sleep, according to Andres.
To learn more about the Swiss-made informational bio-resonance chip,
known as Vita-chip (now available in the U.S.), visit vitachipus.com.
Photo: (this page and previous spread) adobestock.com
28 • SEPTEMBER 2020
Nearly half of all
by some estimates
up to 80 percent—
don’t get enough
a higher likelihood of optimal mental
states. Green leafy vegetables, such as
broccoli, spinach, and kale, are particularly
rich in nutrients that are good for
stress management, such as magnesium
and B vitamins, including folate.
3Use Nutrient Supplements
and Other Natural Remedies
For extra support, it’s a good idea to
regularly use supplements and have
other stress-relieving natural remedies
on hand when you need them. While it’s
not a definitive list, key stress-busting
Studies have linked stress with
deficiencies in micronutrients, so a
daily broad-spectrum multi with a
wide range of nutrients is a great place
to start boosting your mood and your
body’s ability to handle stress. One
study found that men who took a daily
multi containing vitamins, minerals,
and antioxidants showed a significant
reduction in anxiety and stress, along
with an improvement in alertness
and general daily functioning, when
compared to men taking a placebo.
stress and help reduce or eliminate its
adverse effects. Yet research shows
that Americans struggle to get the
recommended amounts of 310–420 mg
per day. Nearly half of all Americans—
and by some estimates up to 80 percent—
don’t get enough from their diets.
Most multivitamins contain less than
100 mg of magnesium, so most people
can benefit from taking a separate
magnesium supplement. Start slowly,
with doses of 150–300 mg per day.
But if you exercise heavily, are under a
lot of stress, or have health conditions
associated with magnesium deficiency
(ranging from high blood pressure to
metabolic syndrome to depression),
you may need considerably more.
Magnesium citrate is the most
commonly used form in supplements.
You can take capsules, tablets, or powders
(that you can mix into beverages). If you
end up taking too much, the main side
effect is loose stools. You can usually
solve that problem by taking less of
the supplement or by switching to a
different form of magnesium (e.g.,
Bach Flower Rescue Remedy
Rescue Remedy, which contains five
Bach flower essences, provides convenient,
gentle, non-habit-forming relief of
occasional stress: It is the most widely
distributed natural stress and sleep
brand worldwide. Developed over 80
years ago and trusted today by millions,
Rescue Remedy is a great resource to
keep in your purse or briefcase—or as
part of your first aid kit—for support
during unexpected or upsetting events.
To help relieve feelings of stress,
put 4 drops into your drink of choice or
directly on your tongue. The remedy is
also available as a spray and as pastilles
CBD (cannabidiol), a naturally occurring
compound in cannabis plants, is an
anxiety-buster (but it doesn’t get you
high). Recent studies show that CBD
elevates levels of serotonin—often
called the “feel-good” hormone—and
diminishes anxiety. In one study in
Brazil, participants who took CBD
reported lower anxiety levels, and
brain scans confirmed the participants’
testimonials. Another study in Brazil
monitored people who suffered from
Social Anxiety Disorder during a public
speaking test. Researchers found that
participants who consumed CBD
experienced “significantly reduced
anxiety,” while the placebo group
suffered from higher anxiety.
More than half of the CBD users
surveyed in a Harris Pol—some 55
percent—said they use CBD to relax.
Respondents said they consider it more
of a wellness aid than a recreational
drug. Approximately 10 percent of men
said they use CBD on a regular basis
compared to 4 percent of women.
CBD can be taken sublingually—by
letting a tincture, spray, oil, or lozenge
absorb under your tongue—or you can
try capsules. Some CBD formulas are
specifically designed for stress relief
and include either essential oils or other
herbs linked to stress reduction, such
as chamomile, lavender, holy basil, and
Most holistic practitioners consider
this mineral the top supplement for
relieving stress. In fact, it’s so good at
managing anxiety and stress that it’s
sometimes called a natural “chill pill.”
Magnesium seems to act on many
levels to improve the body’s response to
CV Sciences PlusCBD
Anxiety Free Stress
SEPTEMBER 2020 • 29
ashwagandha. Two examples: Garden of
Life Dr. Formulated CBD Stress Relief
Liquid Drops and PlusCBD Sprays.
4Develop The 3 C’s of
The topics covered so far—avoiding
stressful substances, eating a bloodsugar-balancing
diet, and using nutrient
supplements and other natural
remedies—are all ways to enhance
the physical condition of the body. Total
health depends on other factors that
are mental, emotional, and spiritual in
nature. Although stress from any source
affects the body, it’s not enough to be
physically strong. Research shows that
to be truly resistant to stress, it’s also
important to be psychologically hardy.
We owe much of our understanding
of psychological hardiness to psychologist
Suzanne Kobasa, PhD, who developed
the concept almost four decades ago.
Although high stress was generally
regarded as leading to a high risk of
illness, Kobasa conducted numerous
studies in the late 1970s and early 1980s
that showed this wasn’t always true.
Some people did succumb to the negative
effects of stress with a much higher
incidence of illness, but others experienced
equal amounts of stress and remained
quite healthy. Kobasa found that those
who avoided illness had a different way
of dealing with stressful events than
the subjects in her studies who became
sick. She identified the following three
characteristics—what she called the
“three Cs” of psychological hardiness—
that kept people well even when they
were under great stress. They are:
Commitment—People with hardy
personalities have a deep commitment
to their work and personal relationships,
which they say gives them “meaning,
direction, and excitement.” Such
involvement supports them in solving their
problems without letting stress disrupt
their goals—and they have dedication to
a task and the belief that is achievable.
Control—They feel they can control
problems either through their actions
or through their attitude toward those
events. They recognize what is beyond
their control, and they don’t waste effort
and angst trying to control those things.
Challenge—They see stress or change
as an inevitable part of life and more of
a challenge or opportunity for growth
than a threat. They aren’t frightened of
change, but are willing to work through
difficult circumstances and even look
forward to the chance to think creatively
to solve problems.
In study after study, Kobasa found
that individuals who possessed the
three personality characteristics of
commitment, control, and challenge
remained in good health even when
exposed to high levels of stress. In one
study that tracked the health of 259
executives over five years, Kobasa found
that managers who possessed high
levels of the “three Cs” had half the
incidence of illness of those who didn’t.
In the end, keep reminding yourself
that stress hardiness isn’t the avoidance
of stress. It’s a positive response
to stress and the ability to minimize
its negative effects. Just as germs don’t
always make us sick if we have strong
immune systems, stress is far less likely
to make us ill if we learn the secrets of
how to make ourselves stress-hardy.
30 • SEPTEMBER 2020
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Sellersville, PA 18960 • P: 215-453-2507 800-688-2276 • F: 215-257-9781 • scandinavianformulas.com
— BACK TO —
TIPS, TRICKS, AND ESSENTIAL
SUPPLEMENTS TO SUPPORT
BY LISA TURNER
32 • SEPTEMBER 2020
As Covid-19 restrictions
impact school openings
in the fall, back-t0-
school may look really
different for your family this
year. On the one hand, taking a
break from rushed breakfasts,
chauffeuring kids to extracurricular
activities, the monotony
of packing lunches, and the
endless parade of germs kids
bring home doesn’t sound all
that terrible. But online education
presents its own unique challenges.
Here’s a round-up of essential
tips, tricks, and must-have
supplements to keep kids happy
and healthy in this brave new
world of learning.
Promote focus and attention.
It’s harder for some kids to focus
without the structure of a classroom
setting. First, make it clear that this is
not a vacation, but simply a different
way of going to school. Emphasize
structure with a daily schedule built
around online school hours, and create
a dedicated space—ideally, one that’s
used just for school and homework in
a location that minimizes distractions.
If space is limited, get creative about
underused areas such as hallways or
landings. And let kids customize their
own spaces. If they’re sharing a space
with siblings, create mini-cubicles with
cardboard partitions around tables or
desks. Stock up on supplies such as
pens and pencils, erasers, staplers, and
writing paper, and make it comfortable,
with desks and chairs that support
posture. For extra support, consider
omega-3 fats, choline, phosphatidylserine,
and other supplements that promote
focus and attention.
Focus Jr.; MRM
SEPTEMBER 2020 • 33
Keep eyes healthy. Excessive
screen time can impact eyes, leading
to vision-related problems known as
computer vision syndrome or digital eye
strain. The most common symptoms
include eye strain, blurred vision,
dry eyes, headaches, and/or neck or
shoulder pain. While most of these
symptoms are temporary, some people
may experience continued blurred
distance vision and other issues even
after shutting off the screen.
To keep kids’ eyes healthy, reduce
overhead lighting to minimize screen
glare and increase the font size to make
content easier to read. Be sure eyes are
an arm’s length away from the screen,
and take breaks. For every 20 minutes
of screen time, look away for 20
seconds and focus on an object 20 feet
away. Minimize screen time however
you can: print documents instead of
reading them online, and if possible,
get textbooks and printed materials
from your child’s school. And keep
eyes healthy with drops and visionsupportive
eye drops, especially, can relieve
symptoms of dryness and irritation.
Extra screen time can disrupt sleep
patterns. Computers, e-readers,
tablets, and cell phones emit blue light,
a short-wavelength light that impacts
levels of sleep-inducing melatonin. LED
lights and fluorescent bulbs can have
the same effect. Exposure to blue light
in the evening increases the amount of
time it takes to fall asleep and decreases
restorative REM sleep. It’s an even
bigger problem for teens, whose
circadian rhythms are already naturally
shifting. Erratic schedules, lack of
routine, and stress can further impact
the body’s natural sleep cycle.
To support sound sleep, make sure
kids turn screens off at least an hour
before bed and shift to a slower, more
relaxed pace. Stick to regular school
week and weekend sleep schedules,
with the same wake-up time and
bedtimes they’d follow if they were
going to school. If kids still struggle
with sleep, try safe-for-kids supplements
such as chamomile, lemon balm,
passionflower, and magnesium.
Nights for Kids; Genexa Children’s
Sleepology chewable tablets.
Photo: (this page and previous spread) adobestock.com
34 • SEPTEMBER 2020
Photo: (top right) adobestock.com
Boost mood. An unfamiliar
routine and isolation from friends can
leave kids feeling lonely, moody, and
depressed—especially teens, for whom
peer support is essential. In one survey
by the American Civil Liberties Union
of Southern California, more than half
of respondents said they were in need
of mental health support since school
closures began in mid-March. Students
also rated their mental health on a
scale of 1 to 10, and 23 percent rated
their mental health a 3 or lower—more
than triple the number of respondents
who rated their mental health that low
before the pandemic began.
To support your kid’s mood and mental
health, keep the lines of communication
open. Have frank, age-appropriate
conversations around Covid-19 and how
your children may be feeling. Maintain
your daily routine as much as possible:
get dressed and have breakfast with the
family at your usual time, have dinner
together, and emphasize after-dinner
activities such as playing games or going
for a walk together. Minimize TV and
video games to give your kids a break
from screens, and encourage teens to
keep in touch with friends via phone
calls instead of social media. Also try
omega-3, vitamin D3, and probiotic
supplements to boost mood.
Best Vitamin D3
Life Omega 3 Mood.
Reduce stress. Worries about
Covid-19, economic concerns from
parents losing jobs, and ongoing
uncertainty can impact kids, especially
high school juniors and seniors who may
be wondering what their college years
will look like. And frustrations with
online learning—unfamiliar platforms,
issues with technology, household
distractions, and fears about falling behind
academically—only add to anxiety.
To mitigate stress, talk openly with
kids about their fears and come up with
action plans to address what you can.
Make online learning less stressful by
upgrading your internet service, giving
each kid a dedicated computer or laptop
if possible, keeping pets quiet during
school hours, and making sure all family
members are respectful of learning
time. Encourage kids to exercise and
practice deep breathing. Even a simple
two-minute belly breathing practice
can soothe emotions and calm anxiety.
Stress-soothing supplements such as
L-theanine, chamomile, passionflower,
and B vitamins can offer extra support.
Good Day Chocolate
Calm for Kids;
MegaFoods Kids B
Focus on physical health.
During a normal school day, kids get
plenty of movement from after-school
sports, physical education, and even
transitioning between classes and
activities. But online learning means
kids are more sedentary, impacting
mood, sleep, and concentration. Plus,
being at home all day means more
opportunity for mindless snacking.
Encourage kids to make movement
a priority because being physically active
enhances brain health and cognition,
increases concentration and attention,
and improves mood. Set alarms for
breaks between online classes, and
encourage kids to step away from their
study space and get moving, ideally,
outside. Try a walk in the park, an
afternoon bike ride, rollerblading, or a
jog around the block. Even dancing or
doing jumping jacks in the back yard can
improve mood and focus. And keep your
kitchen stocked with healthy munchies
such as hummus, yogurt, almond butter,
cheese, guacamole, fresh fruit, and plenty
of good-for-you packaged snacks.
Back-to-school essentials: Bearitos
Baked Veggie Puffs;
Biena Baked Chickpea
RX Kids bars;
KIND Kids Chewy
SEPTEMBER 2020 • 35
36 • SEPTEMBER 2020
A HEART ATTACK
IS A FRIGHTENING,
BUT THE RIGHT
DIET CAN IMPROVE
AND ENHANCE ITS
BY VERA TWEED
Nearly one in four people who have a
heart attack go on to have a second one,
but the right foods can significantly
improve the odds of a long and healthy
life. More than 20 years ago, the Lyon Diet Heart
Study broke new ground by testing the effects of
two diets in a group of 605 men and women who
had suffered a heart attack. During a period of
nearly four years, it found that compared to the
usual recommended low-fat diet, a Mediterranean
diet reduced second heart attacks, strokes,
hospitalizations, and deaths by 73 percent.
This study was unique in that it looked at people
after a heart attack. Many other studies have
found that the Mediterranean diet is effective
in preventing heart disease.
With nearly a thousand patients in his
practice, Steven Masley, MD, has found that
a modified version of the Mediterranean diet—
incorporating additional research on food
and heart function—has restored circulation,
blocked further growth of plaque, and even
reversed heart disease.
SEPTEMBER 2020 • 37
The Ideal Diet
“The ideal diet is a combo of Mediterranean
and low-glycemic load—cut out the bread
and the rice and the pasta and the sugar to
get a full benefit from the Mediterranean
diet,” says Masley. “Glycemic” refers to
how much different foods raise blood
sugar—starchy and sugary foods that
produce a bigger rise are high-glycemic.
One study tracked more than 20,000
people in Greece who ate a Mediterranean
diet for 10 years. It found that those who
ate the least starchy and sugary foods were
40 percent less likely to develop heart disease
and 50 percent less likely to die from it.
“Cholesterol is really not the number
one cause for heart attack, stroke, and
cardiac death,” says Masley. “Blood
sugar levels are the strongest predictors.”
What Is the Mediterranean
Though highly touted by proponents
of healthful eating, the Mediterranean
diet is widely misunderstood as being
based on platefuls of pasta. Having
spent much time in Mediterranean
regions and even working as a chef in
France, Masley is quick to point out
that pasta and other grains play a very
small role in the traditional diets of
Where we might eat a big plateful
of pasta, a true Mediterranean serving
would be one-fourth to one-sixth the
amount, eaten on a small plate before
a main dish of vegetables and protein.
Pizza would be one thin-crust slice with
a little cheese and sauce, eaten once or
twice a month as an appetizer.
In addition, Mediterranean natives
burn more carb-rich foods because they
traditionally walk much more than we do.
If you don’t get at least 7 hours of physical
activity per week—formal exercise and/
What to Eat
The Mediterranean diet consists of fresh food, locally grown and in-season as much as possible, prepared from scratch.
Here are some of Masley’s basic recommendations:
If you don’t usually eat breakfast,
you don’t have to. But if you find
yourself snacking mid-morning,
try a Steven’s Breakfast Shake
(recipe available at drmasley.com)
and wait until lunch to eat.
Make lunch your biggest meal
of the day.
Eat fish and seafood three to five
times a week—less often will not
produce the full benefits.
Eat at least 2 cups of leafy greens
daily plus a variety of other brightly
colored vegetables. Different
pigments stem from
different nutrients, so
a rainbow provides the
Eat beans daily. Canned
beans are fine, but steer
clear of canned baked
beans, which can
contain 3 teaspoons
(12 grams) of sugar in
a half-cup serving.
especially after dinner.
If you really need a
snack during the day,
have a handful of nuts.
If you drink coffee, have no more
than 2–3 cups in the early part of
Drink mostly water. If you like wine,
have a glass with a meal.
Use extra virgin olive oil for salad
dressings and to cook at low heat.
For medium- or high-heat cooking,
use almond or avocado oil.
If you like yogurt, choose plain
yogurt and add berries or the zest
of an orange or lemon. Flavored
yogurt contains as much sugar
An omelet with
steel cut oats
with some fruit.
A salad with
extra virgin olive
oil and vinegar,
vegetable soup, or
grilled or steamed
a protein such as
A different protein
than lunch and
double the amount
of vegetables you
recipes such as the
One piece of fruit
and perhaps a
piece (about 1
ounce) of dark
70 percent cacao.
Photos: (this page and previous spread) adobestock.com
38 • SEPTEMBER 2020
or work-related movement—Masley
recommends limiting starchy carbs.
The key ingredients that deliver
benefits in the Mediterranean diet, he
says, are plenty of vegetables, including
leafy greens and a rainbow of brightly
colored veggies; beans for protein and
fiber; fish and seafood for healthy fat
and protein; some poultry for protein;
olive oil; nuts; and a variety of herbs.
Mediterranean folk traditionally take
breaks from whatever they do all day to
enjoy meals with others, savoring flavors
and conversation. Even a simple, everyday
meal is cause to pause whatever else is
going on in life. Plus, they don’t snack.
They don’t eat while working or doing
other things. They often go for walks
before or after dinner. And they enjoy
their food rather than eating mindlessly.
This view of food, along with fresh
ingredients, lays the foundation for the
benefits of the Mediterranean diet.
Where’s the Beef?
While Masley doesn’t insist on giving
up red meat completely, he recommends
eating it only a few times per month,
even if it’s grassfed or organic. The
reason is a metabolite called TMAO
When we eat red meat, bacteria
in our guts produce TMAO, which is
now being recognized as a harmful
substance. Researchers who analyzed
clinical trials with more than 10,000
people found that among people who
have heart disease, elevated levels of
TMAO from consistently eating red
meat increased risk for heart attacks
by 62 percent. Occasionally eating meat
doesn’t pose the same risks, but processed
meats, such as sliced cold cuts, are not
recommended at all.
Following this type of Mediterranean
diet reduces plaque and enhances
circulation to the heart. “If you can
change circulation,” says Masley, “you
can really rejuvenate people and give
them their lives back.”
Ratatouille with Cannellini Beans
This fragrant and delicious recipe comes from the South of France—and lucky for all of us,
it’s packed with nutrients. Ratatouille can be served hot or cold, and usually tastes better when
served the next day. With the beans included, it makes a whole meal, or you can skip the beans
and serve this as a side dish. For more recipes from Dr. Masley, visit drmasley.com/recipes.
1 medium Italian eggplant, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
½ tsp. sea salt
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. fines herbes (or Italian herb seasoning)
3 small zucchini, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2½ cups)
2 small yellow squash, cut into ½-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
2 Tbs. dry red wine
3 fresh medium tomatoes, chopped (about 2½ cups)
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs. finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp. minced fresh rosemary
1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh basil
1 (15-oz.) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
pinch of paprika or cayenne
1. Heat large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and 2 Tbs. water. Cook 2–3 minutes,
stirring occasionally. When water has evaporated, reduce heat to medium, and add 2 Tbs. olive oil.
Sauté another 2–3 minutes, until eggplant is tender.
2. Meanwhile, heat large saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining olive oil, onion, salt,
black pepper, and fines herbes. Sauté 2–3 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent.
Add zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and wine, and stir to combine. Cover, and cook,
stirring occasionally, 3–4 minutes, until vegetables soften.
3. Reduce heat to low, and add tomatoes, garlic, and fresh herbs. Add beans, cover, and simmer
10 minutes, until squash softens and flavors blend. Taste, and adjust seasoning as desired.
Per serving: 330 cal; 11g prot; 14g total fat (2g sat fat); 41g carb; 0mg chol; 480mg sod; 15g fiber; 15g sugar
SEPTEMBER 2020 • 39
40 • SEPTEMBER 2020 ASK THE NUTRITIONIST *
answers to your food questions
6 Must-Know Benefits of
Incorporating more in-season foods into your diet
promises a cornucopia of benefits.
BY MELISSA DIANE SMITH
QIs there any reason I should
change what I eat based on
the season of the year?
Yes. Our convenience-driven modern
food system includes imported foods
flown into the United States from all
around the world, and we can obtain
most of what we want anytime we
want it—strawberries in winter,
asparagus in fall, and apples almost
all year round. It’s easy to think that
seasons don’t matter.
But keep in mind that the industrialization
of our food supply, which led
to this variety of non-seasonal foods at
our fingertips, only occurred a short
time ago—within the last 50–100
years. Before then, when people were
involved in the harvesting, collecting,
and preparation of their own food, they
ate seasonally. There are numerous
reasons to return our eating habits to
follow the cycles of nature as much as
possible. Here are six of the best:
Most of us know how much
more delectable fresh-off-the-farm
fruits and vegetables are compared
to their mass-produced, stale
counterparts. The latter are bred
to favor uniform ripening and shelf
life over flavor, and are often treated
with ripening agents such as gases,
chemicals, and heat processes.
Produce that is picked in season when
it’s fully ripened tastes better and
fresher and is typically juicer than
artificially ripened foods that are
grown out of season.
Higher in nutrients
Foods that are grown and
consumed during proper seasons are
more nutritionally dense than their
out-of-season counterparts. Consider
that out-of-season produce is forced
to unnatural ripeness, skips nutrientbuilding
seasonality, and sometimes
can spend as much as five days losing
nutrients in transit to supermarkets.
In a study monitoring the vitamin C
content of broccoli, researchers found
that broccoli grown during its peak
season in the fall had almost double
the amount of vitamin C compared to
broccoli grown in the spring.
You may not realize it, but buying
seasonal produce is easier on your
wallet. When a fruit or vegetable is in
season, it’s abundant and, not surprisingly,
available at a lower price. Simple supply
and demand. If you’re buying produce
that’s out of season, it’s not as available,
and the price you pay has a built-in
surcharge. In fact, buying in-season
produce is so much cheaper that it’s
actually one of the top ways to save
money when buying healthy food. And
if you take advantage of weekly specials,
you can enjoy even more savings.
More environmentally friendly
It’s far more beneficial for the
environment to buy produce that is
both seasonal and local. Buying local
means buying foods that have undergone
less travel, processing, and packaging.
Most of us don’t know that on average,
fruits and vegetables travel 1,300–2,000
miles to get from farms to stores in our
area. This has a negative impact on our
environment: the ships, planes, and
trucks used to transport food use a lot
of fuel, which pollutes our water, air,
Ready to Eat for Autumn?
Sometime during the month of September, the winds of change usually
shift from the warm breezes of late summer to autumn’s chill. When the
weather changes, it’s a good idea to move away from light summer foods
toward heartier fall fare, and it’s the perfect time to harmonize our eating
habits with what’s seasonally available.
Though where we live makes a difference as to what’s available each
season, generally speaking, the fruits and vegetables that are at the
peak in September and October in most parts of the United States are:
* Apples * Cranberries
* Beets * Pears
* Bell peppers * Pumpkin
* Broccoli * Root vegetables,
* Carrots including
Nuts are another iconic food of autumn. That’s appropriate because fall
is when nuts are their freshest. The harvest season for almonds, hazelnuts,
pecans, and pistachios usually occurs from September through November,
and chestnuts and walnuts are harvested slightly later.
There actually are peak seasons for seafood, poultry, and meat, too.
Although regional differences may determine the options that are available,
seafood that tends to be best in the autumn includes scallops, Pacific halibut,
petrale sole, and red grouper.
Turkey also is at its peak in the fall, as opposed to chicken, whose peak season
is in spring to early summer. (We’ve all heard the term “spring chicken.”)
Although pork and beef are available year-round, both are more at their
peak and typically less expensive in autumn and early winter than earlier in
To really take advantage of autumn’s bounty, create fall-inspired dishes
made with combinations of in-season foods. Examples include: Apple,
Sage, and Turkey or Pork Meatloaf; Pan-Sautéed Petrale Sole in Butter with
Broccoli and Carrots; Pumpkin Pecan Muffins; and Salad with Sliced Pear,
Dried Cranberries, and Hazelnuts.
such as butternut
Harmonious with the
wisdom of nature
Many holistic practitioners believe that
nature has an innate wisdom when it
comes to seasonal foods. The foods of
winter, for instance, tend to be heavier
and denser, which helps fortify us
against colder, harsher weather. After a
long winter—during which many of us
put on extra weight—nature provides
spring vegetables, such as artichokes
and asparagus, which help support
detoxification. During the hot days of
summer, hydrating vegetables and
fruits such as cucumber, watermelon,
and peaches, are readily available. And
many fall foods are rich in beta-carotene,
which is converted to vitamin A and
helps protect against colds and flu.
Seeking out and trying new fruits
and vegetables that are in season is a
great way to vary your diet and try
different types of produce. It prevents
you from consuming the same produce
over and over again and opens up
whole new worlds of foods! A key to
a health-promoting diet is eating a
wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables
that are rich in different nutrients.
Eating seasonally expands this way
of eating and keeps it more interesting
Finally, don’t think eating seasonally
has to be a 100 percent commitment. If
you like some fruits and vegetables that
are available year-round, go ahead and
have them. Start small adding seasonal
items to your diet, and continue to add
more as you can. And know that with
each seasonal item you choose, you are
improving your nutrient intake, saving
money, and making a better choice for
SEPTEMBER 2020 • 41
EATING 4 HEALTH *
You’ve heard a lot about amino acids
and how important they are for building
muscle. But these building blocks of
protein are responsible for many other
critical systems and functions in the
body, including neurotransmitter and
hormone production, immune health,
nervous system function, tissue repair,
digestion, and reproduction.
When you eat foods that are high
in protein, the body breaks them down
into amino acids. Your body needs
20 different amino acids, which are
categorized as essential, conditionally
essential, or non-essential:
Essential amino acids are considered
“essential” because your body can’t
make them—you have to get them
from your diet. There are nine of them:
histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine,
methionine, phenylalanine, threonine,
tryptophan, and valine.
Non-essential amino acids are
synthesized by the body, even if they’re
not consumed in the diet. The eleven
non-essential amino acids are alanine,
arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid,
cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine,
glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine.
Conditionally essential amino acids,
also called “conditional amino acids,”
include some non-essential amino acids
whose synthesis may be limited under
certain conditions, including serious
illness, injury, surgery, or extreme
trauma or stress. For instance, tyrosine
is considered an essential amino acid
for people with phenylketonuria (PKU),
a condition in which the body can’t
synthesize tyrosine. Other conditional
amino acids include arginine, cysteine,
glutamine, glycine, proline, and serine.
42 • SEPTEMBER 2020
foods & meals that heal
What they are and where to find them.
BY LISA TURNER
You’ll find amino acids
in a variety of foods, but
there’s a catch: meat,
fish, dairy, eggs,
and other animal
foods contain all
amino acids and are
proteins. Some plant
foods—including soy and
quinoa—contain all nine essential
amino acids, but there’s some debate
over whether they contain adequate
quantities to be considered complete
proteins. Beans, grains, and nuts are
also rich in certain amino acids, but
are low or lacking in others—called the
limiting amino acid. For example, beans
are low in tryptophan and methionine,
and grains, nuts, and seeds lack lysine.
If you eat a variety of plant-based
proteins, it’s easy enough to compensate
for limiting amino acids and get all nine
essentials—and you don’t have to eat
them all at the same meal. Here’s a guide
to the best food sources of amino acids,
and ways to add them to your diet.
Tofu contains all nine essential
amino acids, as well as calcium,
iron, and other nutrients. Edamame
and tempeh are other good sources of
protein and amino acids. Look for tofu
made with calcium sulfate for the highest
Recipe Tips: Sauté tofu cubes with
garlic, red pepper strips, and scallions,
then toss with cooked rice noodles and
sesame seeds; crumble tofu and simmer
in tomato sauce with onions, garlic,
and paprika, and serve over rice; toss
edamame with quinoa, shredded red
cabbage, carrots, red onions, and cilantro,
and dress with a sesame oil vinaigrette.
2Eggs are high in all nine essential
amino acids, as well as other
nutrients such as choline, lutein,
and zeaxanthin. Look for pastured or
true free-range eggs from chickens
allowed to roam freely outdoors and
graze on grass, seeds, and insects—
some studies suggest they’re higher in
omega-3s and significantly higher in
Recipe Tips: Serve soft-poached eggs
over sautéed escarole and radicchio,
and top with grated Asiago cheese; halve
boiled eggs and mash the yolks with
avocado, shallots, and green Tabasco
sauce for spicy deviled eggs; whisk eggs
with almond flour, cheddar cheese, and
minced chives, and cook in a waffle iron.
3Grass-fed beef is a complete
protein that has a superior
nutritional profile as compared
to grain-fed beef, with less total fat and
saturated fat, and higher levels of omega-3
fats, vitamin E, and other antioxidants.
Recipe Tips: Sauté thin strips of beef
with broccoli, mushrooms, ginger, garlic,
tamari, and sesame seeds; cook ground
beef with crushed tomatoes, olives, capers,
garlic, anchovies, and red pepper flakes
for a spicy puttanesca sauce; simmer
lean beef with barbecue sauce in a slow
cooker, then shred and serve on slider
buns with coleslaw and pickles.
4Buckwheat, in spite of the
name, is gluten-free. Technically
not a cereal grain, it comes from
a plant related to sorrel and rhubarb.
It’s high in most essential amino acids
and is also rich in polyphenols, fiber,
magnesium, and other nutrients.
Recipe Tips: Toss buckwheat with
shredded Brussels sprouts, hemp seeds,
cherry tomatoes, and chickpeas, and
dress with an olive oil vinaigrette; top
buckwheat with yogurt, frozen blackberries,
and chia seeds for an easy
breakfast bowl; toss buckwheat with
roasted golden beets, arugula, red
onions, and olive oil.
Corn and Quinoa Chowder
We used organic red quinoa, which
is available in most natural foods
markets, but the flavor’s just as good
with white quinoa.
¾ cup red or white quinoa,
rinsed and drained
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 ½ Tbs. olive oil
2 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 large red potato, diced (about 1 cup)
4 small shallots, chopped (about ¼ cup)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups plain soymilk
1 large red bell pepper, diced
3 Tbs. chopped cilantro, plus a few
sprigs for garnish
1. Toast quinoa and cumin seeds in pot
over medium-high heat, 3 to 4 minutes,
or until golden and fragrant, stirring
constantly. Transfer to bowl.
2. Heat oil in pot; add corn, potato and
shallots. Sauté 5 minutes, or until shallots
are translucent. Add broth and soymilk,
and bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa mixture.
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and
simmer 10 minutes. Stir in bell pepper,
cover and simmer 5 minutes, or until
quinoa and vegetables are tender.
3. Remove from heat; stir in chopped
cilantro. Season to taste with salt and
pepper. Ladle into soup bowls, and
garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime
wedges, if desired.
Per serving: 253 cal; 8g prot; 7g total fat (0g sat
fat); 44g carb; 0mg chol; 378mg sod; 5g fiber;
5Pistachios are not actually
nuts; they’re the seeds of fruit
from the pistachio tree that have a
well-rounded content of essential amino
acids. They’re also rich in potassium and
monounsaturated fats, as well as lutein
and zeaxanthin. Combine them with beans
or grains to form a complete protein.
Recipe Tips: Add toasted pistachios,
minced dried apricots, cardamom, and
cumin to brown rice for a Middle Eastern
side; grind pistachios into a meal and
use as a coating for grilled chicken or
fish; combine pistachio butter with
apple cider vinegar and honey for a
creamy, protein-rich salad dressing.
6Cottage cheese, like other
forms of dairy, contains all nine
essential amino acids, as well as
calcium, selenium, vitamin B 12
other B vitamins. Look for organic
varieties, or try probiotic-rich cultured
Recipe Tips: Mix cottage cheese with
chia seeds, frozen berries, and oats for
a breakfast bowl; mash cottage cheese
with avocado and spread on toast;
add it to sautéed garlic, onions, frozen
spinach, and curry powder for a quick
7Quinoa is rich in protein and
contains all nine essential amino
acids. It’s used as a grain, but
is actually a seed from a plant that’s
related to spinach and chard, so it’s
naturally gluten-free. Quinoa is also a
great source of fiber, potassium, iron,
and other key nutrients.
Recipe Tips: Grind quinoa into
flour and use as a pancake base with
blueberries, vanilla, and honey; mix
quinoa with lentils, ground pumpkin
seeds, mushrooms, and onion, form
into burgers and grill; toss quinoa
with cherry tomatoes, shallots, basil,
feta cheese, and olive oil.
8Hemp seeds are rich in
protein and amino acids, as
well as magnesium, zinc, iron,
B vitamins, and omega-3s. Combine
them with beans for a complete protein.
Recipe Tips: Toss hemp seeds with
black beans, corn, red peppers, cilantro,
and honey-lime vinaigrette; top oatmeal
with raspberries, hemp seeds, and
honey; sauté chard, red lentils, and
garlic, and top with hemp seeds.
SEPTEMBER 2020 • 43
HEALTHY DISH *
Back in the 1960s when I was an aspiring
jazz musician, sliders were one of my
favorite foods. Only they weren’t called
“sliders” back then—they were called
“White Castle.” These scrumptious
little mystery meat burgers with the
grease-soaked buns and the little pickle
in the middle were the most
delicious things ever, and I always
looked forward to picking up a box
on the way home from a gig at 3 a.m.
That was then. And to paraphrase a
cigarette commercial from those same
days, sliders “have come a long way,
baby!” These modern-day Asian Sliders,
for instance, are an upgrade from your
typical “labor day burgers” in several
ways. For one thing, they’re made from
turkey, not beef. For another, they’re not
greasy at all. They’re also not grilled at
high temperatures, which is definitely
a good thing because high-temperature
grilling and charring can produce
carcinogenic compounds. Finally, they’re
seasoned with incredibly healthy spices
such as ginger and sesame seeds—and
to top it off, they’re baked!
As great as protein and healthy fat
are, there’s one dietary ingredient
they’re lacking: fiber. But not this
burger. The imaginative addition of
½ cup of rolled oats adds 4 grams
of fiber. Not exactly the equivalent
of a cup of black beans, but still more
fiber than the average burger. And for
even more fiber (and flavor!), I highly
recommend the avocado option.
44 • SEPTEMBER 2020
recipe makeovers full of modern flavor
A Better (Mini) Burger
Step up your burger game with super-tasty Asian Sliders—they are
big on flavor, packed with good nutrition, and easy to make.
BY JONNY BOWDEN, PHD, CNS, AND JEANNETTE BESSINGER, CHHC
Notes from the Clean Food Coach:
These sliders are great with lettuce and avocado on whole wheat slider buns, or sliced and rolled into whole grain wraps.
They’re also tasty chopped into a fresh green salad if you want to avoid the carb hit from bread.
Makes 8 Sliders
Putting away food for fall and winter?
Any uncooked turkey burgers can
be frozen for up to three months.
To prepare frozen patties, thaw
overnight in the refrigerator and
follow the baking instructions.
2 Tbs. hoisin sauce
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 lb. lean ground turkey
½ cup whole rolled oats
¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
¼ cup black sesame seeds (or
1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray large
cookie sheet lightly with olive oil,
and set aside.
2. Place egg, hoisin sauce, Dijon,
ginger, garlic, and salt in large
bowl, and whisk to combine. Gently
fold in turkey, oats, scallions, and
sesame seeds, and mix well with
clean hands, being careful not to
3. Use ice cream scoop to form
8 small, even patties. Arrange on
prepared baking sheet, and bake
about 15 minutes, until inserted
meat thermometer reads 170°F.
Per serving: 160 cal; 13g prot; 8g total fat
(2g sat fat); 7g carb; 65mg chol; 450mg
sod; 1g fiber; 1g sugar
Black Sesame Seeds
The sesame seed has been around a long time, at least since the days of The
Thousand and One Arabian Nights. In fact, sesame is the oldest known plant
grown for its seeds and oil, and is especially valued in Eastern, Mediterranean,
and African cultures. Sesame seeds are about 50–60 percent oil, and much
of that oil contains sesamin and sesamolin, two important members of the
lignan family of polyphenols (plant chemicals that are really good for you).
When the seeds are refined (as in the making of sesame oil), two other
phenolic antioxidants—sesamol and sesaminol—are formed.
But you don’t need to know all the technical names of the lignan family to
understand that these plant chemicals have major health benefits. Sesame seed
lignans—including the aforementioned sesamin and sesaminol—enhance
vitamin E’s absorption and availability, improve lipid profiles, and help normalize
blood pressure. Animal studies show that sesame lignans enhance fat burning
by increasing the activity of several liver enzymes that break down fatty acids.
CHOLESTEROL AND SESAME SEEDS
If you’re familiar with my book The Great Cholesterol Myth, you know that I’m not a
fan of using cholesterol as the ultimate marker for heart disease risk. So I’m loath to
tout the “cholesterol-lowering” properties of any food or supplement because I’m not
at all sure that lowering cholesterol is the same as lowering the risk for heart disease.
That aside, it’s worth noting that sesame lignans do help reduce cholesterol.
In a study published in the Journal of Lipid Research, sesamin lowered both serum
(blood) and liver cholesterol levels. The researchers suggested that sesamin deserves
further study as a “possible hypocholesterolemic agent of natural origin.” And in
a study in the Journal of Nutrition, 50 grams of sesame seed powder taken daily
for five weeks improved total cholesterol, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, cholesterol ratio,
and antioxidant status in postmenopausal women. The researchers noted some
improvements in sex hormone status as well, and suggested a benefit of sesame
for postmenopausal women.
Sesame seeds are very high in calcium, but much of it is bound to oxalic acid,
making it less bioavailable than other forms of calcium. In parts of Japan, whole
sesame seeds are prepared as a condiment known as gomasio, made by toasting
whole sesame seeds with unrefined sea salt at high temperatures. This process
may improve the assimilation of calcium by getting rid of the oxalates.
Calcium aside, sesame seeds are a rich source of minerals, fiber, and protein.
Two tablespoons of seeds contain 35 percent of the Daily Value for copper, 2 grams
of fiber, and 3 grams of protein—more protein than any other nut or seed—plus
other nutrients including iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese.
You can really enhance the nutty flavor of sesame seeds by toasting them in a dry
skillet over medium heat until they’re golden brown. They come in shades of black,
brown, and yellow as well as the more common beige variety. The black seeds have
the strongest flavor.
Tahini is made from hulled sesame seeds and is, therefore, a more refined product,
though still delicious. Other traditional sesame-based dishes include hummus, a
Middle Eastern appetizer made of ground chickpeas, garlic, and tahini; and baba
ghanoush, which has a base of roasted eggplant seasoned with tahini, lemon juice,
garlic, and salt.
SEPTEMBER 2020 • 45
RECIPE 4 HEALTH *
In The Low-Calorie Cookbook: Healthy,
Satisfying Meals with 500 Calories or
Less, Megan Olson poignantly shares
how she went from “missing out on so
many opportunities in life” because of
her weight to finding joy and purpose in
healthy cooking. She’s also the creator
of Skinny Fitalicious (skinnyfitalicious.
com), a blog dedicated to serving up
tasty low-cal recipes and helping others
overcome weight issues.
What’s even more important than
what you put in your mouth, says Olson,
is being able to shift your perspective.
“Mindset is the foundation of lasting
weight loss,” she says. “When you have
the right mindset, implementing good
nutrition is easier.”
This recipe for pad Thai—made
using sweet potato “zoodles”—is one of
Olson’s favorites from the new cookbook.
Healthy Chicken Pad
High in protein and fiber but
low in calories, this healthy spin
on chicken pad Thai is better
for you than takeout. It combines spiralized
sweet potato and an array of vegetables with
a creamy lime-peanut butter sauce. You’ll
love this for an easy and filling meal!
½ cup creamy unsalted, sugar-free peanut,
sunflower, almond or cashew butter
½ cup water
1 Tbs. honey
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
2 Tbs. coconut aminos or soy sauce
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground ginger
CHICKEN PAD THAI
1 lb. chicken breast tenders
46 • SEPTEMBER 2020
eating clean made easy
The Skinny Secret
After years of struggling with her weight, cookbook author
Megan Olson effortlessly lost 80 lbs. by focusing on portion
sizes and high-quality ingredients.
BY NICOLE BRECHKA
1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
2 large egg whites
1 cup diced red bell pepper
2 cups julienned carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped red cabbage
2 cups spiralized sweet potato
2 Tbs. coarsely chopped raw cashews
¼ Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
¼ Tbs. finely chopped green onions
1. To make sauce: Mix together nut butter,
water, honey, lime juice, vinegar, coconut
aminos, garlic powder, and ginger in
2. To make pad Thai: Add half of sauce
to large skillet over medium heat. Add
chicken breast tenders, and cook 5 minutes,
until internal temperature reaches
165°F. Transfer chicken and sauce to
plate, and set aside.
3. Add oil and egg whites to skillet. Cook
egg whites 2–3 minutes, until scrambled,
transfer to separate plate, and set aside.
Add bell pepper, carrots, cabbage, and
sweet potato to skillet. Cook vegetables
5 minutes, then add chicken, remaining
sauce, and egg whites. Toss to combine,
and cook pad Thai 5 minutes, or until
the vegetables are al dente.
4. Serve pad Thai with cashews, cilantro,
green onions, and remaining sauce.
Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Per serving: 520 cal; 38g prot; 25g total fat
(4.5g sat fat); 39g carb; 85mg chol; 310mg sod;
7g fiber; 18g sugar
The Low Calorie
with 500 Calories
or Less by Megan
Olson (Page Street
Photo: Megan Olson
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SEPTEMBER 2020 • 47
COOK WITH SUPPLEMENTS *
easy ways to boost your nutrition
A Honey Like No Other
Manuka honey is not your ordinary sweetener—it adds an extra dose
of key nutrients to recipes and boasts antibacterial properties.
Manuka, a “super honey” from New
Zealand, has made waves in recent
years for its ability to enhance health
and beauty. In addition to containing
a variety of vitamins, minerals, and
antioxidants, Manuka has potent
bacteria-fighting qualities not found
in other honey varietals. In fact,
researchers have identified more
than 80 different strains of bacteria
that can be inhibited by Manuka,
including some that are resistant to
As a bonus, it’s also great for
cooking, and this delicious recipe is
a great way to boost your resistance
to nasty bugs and enjoy a sweet treat
at the same time!
Gluten-Free Maple Banana
Warm, comforting, and full of flavor but no
guilt, this filling breakfast will have you looking
forward to morning (or any time of day!).
1 cup mashed banana
1 pasture-raised egg
(or substitute flax egg)
¹/3 cup cream nut butter
3 Tbs. maple syrup
3 Tbs. Wedderspoon Beechwood Honey
¾ cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups rolled oats
½ tsp. baking powder
¾ cup raw cashews,
soaked in boiling
water for 10 minutes
5 Tbs. non-dairy milk
½ tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbs. Wedderspoon
1 Tbs. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Raw Beechwood and
Raw Manuka Honeys
1. To make oatmeal: Preheat oven to
350°F and grease 8x8 baking dish.
In large bowl, mix banana, egg,
nut butter, maple syrup, honey,
milk, and vanilla extract. Add oats
and baking power, and mix until
well combined. Add to baking
dish, and bake 20–25 minutes.
2. To make glaze: While oatmeal bakes,
strain cashews and place in blender or
food processor. Add remaining glaze
ingredients, and blend until creamy.
3. Remove oatmeal bake from oven, top with
glaze, and enjoy!
Per serving: 370 cal; 10g prot; 14g total fat (2g sat fat);
54g carb; 25mg chol; 90mg sod; 6g fiber; 21g sugar
Recipe by Rachel Mansfield, author of the new cookbook
Just the Good Stuff and podcast host of Just the Good
Stuff. Find her at rachlmansfield.com and on Instagram
Photo: Rachel Mansfield
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