Author: Connie Kelly
I received these recipes from one of the Naturopaths up at the Naturopathic Institute. She made them for a retreat that I attended. I loved them so much I asked her for the recipes. These are perfect for when you need to bring a dish to pass. They are delicious, healthy and a unique alternative that everyone will love to eat and talk about.
Peanut Butter Energy Bites
1 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
1/2 chopped walnuts (pecans work too) - preferably soaked and dehydrated first
1/2 cup ground flax
1/3 cup raw honey
2 Tbsp. chia seeds
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Stir everything together. Chill for 30 mins. You can use a cookie dough scoop to scoop out balls then rounded them in your hands. Keep in the fridge for up to a week.
Raw Oat Bars
1 cup oats
1/3 cup oat flour (She used coconut flour for the ones at retreat. She had also made them with garbanzo or rice flour in the past - any GF flour is fine!)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup flax meal
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds - preferably presoaked
1/2 cup raisins - preferably presoaked
1/2 cup nut butter (She made soaked and dehydrated almond/cashew/pecan butter for the retreat ones, but has made it with store bought peanut or almond butter too in the past)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup raw honey
Melt nut butter and oil in a small pan or pyrex measuring cup on the stove top. Add the honey. Combine all the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl then add nut butter/oil/honey mixture. Stir well then pour into a glass dish with a lid and store in the fridge.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!
Author: Connie Kelly
Getting Bodywork done from a Naturopath is different than your basic massage therapy. I had a woman
come in for a bodywork session, and, as in any basic massage I had her start out face down with her
head in a face cradle. I tucked her sheet and blanket in to make her feel secure, and slid back the sheet
to expose her back.
I had been working with this client for over a year. As a Naturopath, it is customary for the client to be
fully clothed at each visit. I muscle test what direction we need to take, and what the client’s priority
organs are, and whether the herbal recommendations will help the underlying cause of their symptoms.
I am not always alerted to something on the skin, unless a client shows me. I’ve been shown rashes,
bumps, lumps, bruises, and wounds, but not necessarily what might appear to some as simple moles.
When I slid back the sheet to expose her back, what I saw (and I had to turn the light on to confirm) was
what looked like liver spots, and probably over 100 of them. I recalled her first visit, and many
subsequent visits in which I found her liver to be priority. Seeing all these liver spots confirmed just how
much of a priority it was to support her liver. We had traced the liver meridian, done magnet therapy,
given herbs to detox, rebuild and repair…and, we had even talked about the emotions of the liver, and
recommended she begin to work through those emotions that were causing stress on her body.
I am not an extensively experienced massage therapist. I have not logged thousands of hours. But what I
do have is a working knowledge of the body, and years of experience in this healing modality. I see
things that other people may not see. This session with her made it utterly clear to me why it is so
important to at least have one session of bodywork for a client in the course of their program with me.
For the simple goal of: Let’s “see what I see”. You just don’t know what might come up.
Bodywork with me may include: basic massage techniques, CranioSacral, meridian or magnet therapy,
and/or Reflexology. It really depends on what you are looking for in the Bodywork Session, and also,
what we are working on Naturopathically from a clinical standpoint.
This week I decided to begin one of my New Year’s Resolutions: to incorporate Tai Chi into my morning routine. I am so pleased with the results after just two days of 20 minute each, that I decided to have a date with google to see what she had to say about the health benefits. Before I brief you on what I found, I have to tell you how good I feel right now. And I still feel amazing several hours after the session.
How I felt after my 20-minute Tai Chi Session
I am relaxed, my mind is clear, and I am able to focus. I feel renewed, and I am still, several hours later, tackling my day with both enthusiasm and calmness.
As a business owner and health care practitioner, my days are challenging, both mentally and physically. I want to take care of myself so that I can continue to help my clients improve their health - physically, mentally and emotionally. This is phenomenal. I feel great!
Alright, here’s what google had to say...
Origins of Tai Chi
Tai Chi (pronounced: TIE-CHEE) is an ancient Chinese tradition which has its beginnings as a martial art, and was originally used for self-defense in combat. It has evolved into a practice of slow moving, dance-like meditation that has both mental and physical benefits.
What is Tai Chi?
Tai Chi is a series of slow, graceful movements that involve deep breathing in which you are pulling in fresh energy (or Chi) and expelling old, stale energy (or Chi). From a physics standpoint I think we may be tracing meridians or actually changing our EM (electromagnetic) field by correcting the directional flow of electrons and polarity. There is an actual material conduit that the electricity flows through. This isn’t “woo woo” spiritual stuff. This is an actual physical process.
Health Benefits of Tai Chi
Medical doctors have known for a long time that stress and stress-related diseases are the number one killers in our country.
Tai Chi helps to:
It teaches you to breathe deeply. Often when we experience the stress of every-day life, our breath becomes shallow. If you can’t see your lower abdomen moving in and out with each breath, then you are not breathing deeply enough. We need to use more than just our upper lungs to breathe. Deep breathing oxygenates every cell in the body and improves the function of every system.
Tai Chi can improve your balance while walking because of the fluid motions between one strike (pose) and the next, and it can improve stability by strengthening your legs, hips, and core. Tai Chi can be very soothing and can reduce stress while improving concentration and focus.
Also, there are certain exercise regimens that are specific to different blood types. Type A blood types may do better with Tai Chi and Yoga. This is the opposite of a Type O, which may do better with more vigorous forms of exercise.
Tai Chi is also GREAT as a low impact, easy exercise for those with physical health concerns. If you have injuries, back pain, joint pain – then Tai Chi is for YOU!
When performed in the evening before bed, Tai Chi can help calm down the nervous system, and improve quality of sleep.
Studies suggest the health benefits of Tai Chi
Tai Chi relaxes the nerves which in turn relaxes the muscles. Do you keep your tension in your shoulders like I do? Do you get tension headaches? Try Tai Chi. Over time, it has been shown to reduce tension, and the severity and frequency of tension headaches. If you have a stressful job, this can help you handle that stress more efficiently.
You may be rock star at handling the stress, but your body is paying a price and continued stress without a way to release it will manifest in your body as chronic disease down the road, because that stress has nowhere to go but “in.”
Do I have to take a class or can I do Tai Chi at home?
I did it right in the comfort of my living room! I pulled it up on my Smart TV, and there were several programs/videos that came with my subscription to Amazon. I didn’t have to purchase a thing! Well, nothing extra, that is.
Whatever form of movement you are doing this week, enjoy it!
If you don’t like it, pick something you do enjoy.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Denise Acton, N.D. joins us for our next workshop series to talk about acupuncture. Learn what it is like to have an acupuncture session and the benefits it can bring to your health.
Acupuncture is considered a natural way to enhance healing, and that is why we are happy to have Dr. Acton join the Custom Wellness practice to offer this beneficial service.
Acupuncture enhances the recuperative power of the body to improve physical and emotional health. As a drug-free solution for common ailments and so much more, many people seek and find relief through acupuncture for these conditions:
Come meet Dr. Denise Acton, N.D. at our Acupuncture Workshop and consider whether it could help you!
When: Tuesday, January 30th @ 7:00 pm OR Wednesday, January 31st @ Noon
[All workshops are one hour]
Where: 168 James Street, Suite A, Holland, MI 49424
RSVP: (616) 377-7277 (call)
Author: Connie Kelly
“Real Food.” That phrase alone begs the question: Are there things we are consuming that are not food?
The simple answer? Yes.
So that means we are consuming Fake Foods? Non-foods? We are putting things into our mouths, down our throats, and into our guts, that isn’t even food. And we are expecting our bodies to digest them and know what to do with them and how to handle them. We are unaware that these items are Fake Foods.
How is it, that food manufacturers are given liberty to produce and market non-food items and call them food? How is this safe for the American population?
What is food? What is a non-food? Our bodies were designed to take in naturally occurring plants and animals and water from the earth. The more we alter our food, the more steps we put in place from seed to table, the less the food looks and acts like real food.
Go to your cupboard right now and pull out a box of “food.” Any box or bag will do. Now, find the ingredient list. Force yourself to read these ingredients out loud. Do you recognize all of the ingredients? Can you pronounce all of the ingredients? If you can’t pronounce it, chances are good that it is not a food, but a chemical.
Here are a couple things you need to know about labeling on food packages…
If you see the word “spices”, this word gives the manufacturer license to put anything they want into the product, including chemicals.
If you see the word “all-natural,” it may have ONE naturally occurring ingredient, and it doesn’t have to be a food item to be naturally occurring. Cellulose from tree bark is technically natural occurring. You’ll find this type of cellulose is your shredded cheeses.
If you see the word “enriched”, as in “enriched wheat,” the word enriched is a cover for any number of chemicals. Yes, they may be adding a handful of synthetic vitamins, so that you think it’s healthy. (Not that synthetic vitamins are healthy.) Enriched wheat may contain up to 200 chemicals that they do not have to put on the label. These chemicals are what make your bread soft and light to the touch, and makes it feel a certain way in your mouth. Unless your bread says “un-brominated,” you can be sure that in America, it is bleached through a bromination process. Did you know that many countries in Europe have banned bromination as a means of bleaching bread because they know how harmful it is?
Our health decline in this country owes its beginnings to the processing of our food, the adding of chemicals, the altering of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to the point that our bodies are not recognizing it, and floundering as a result.
Let’s talk GMO’s. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms. The genetic material of one organism is inserted into another to produce a desired effect. We are also finding that our own genes are being altered in the process. We are actually turning on genes in our own bodies that would not normally be turned on. Also, the chemical Bt-Toxin is inserted into corn or soy, so that the insect eating the plant experiences its gut to burst open and it therefore dies. The Bt-Toxin is causing similar holes in the human gastrointestinal tract. The result of genetically modified foods is causing inflammation in the gut and widespread throughout the body resulting in leaky gut, allergies, autoimmunity, diabetes, thyroid problems, and infertility. I am theorizing that most chronic diseases in this country are stemming from gut inflammation and an imbalance of the microbiome in the gut.
Much of our immune system is also found in the gut, and these genetically modified foods along with over-consumption of sugar (cookies, cakes, ice cream, breads, pastas), are destroying the balance of the microbiome in our gut. This imbalance affects how we absorb the nutrients from our food, in turn affecting every organ and system in our body.
How do we find real food, then? What is real food? Anything raised humanely or grown organically is going to be better than anything in a box. (And try not to microwave your food. It alters the proteins.) Also, try to look for NON-GMO Project Verified. You can’t ensure that all organic food is non-GMO, but it’s going to be better than conventionally grown.
Then there’s the question of whether to buy organic or whether to buy local. Local is always best because the food is not picked prematurely. It is allowed to ripen, and will therefore contain more vitamins and minerals. If you can find a farmer that is using their own seeds year after year, and not spraying their crops, and they are adding back to the soil what they are taking away (i.e. using cover crops), this is going to be the best option for you. Go to the farmer’s market. There are often one or two local organic farms. Look for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and if you have the means, buy a share for the season. Look for farms that allow their cows to pasture from spring to fall and feed them hay all winter long. These are happy healthy cows, eating grass like they were meant to.
When you are thinking about putting together a meal for yourself and your family, think about incorporating fat, vegetables, fruit, and protein. We need to define these terms, so we are all on the same page.
When I refer to fat, I am talking about healthy fat. You need fat for the brain, for the heart, to make hormones, and to absorb certain vitamins and minerals. Healthy fat includes olive oil (not cooked or used in sautéing), coconut oil (in glass container), avocado, pastured butter.
Vegetables and fruit should include the entire rainbow of colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and white. Eat many more vegetables than fruit. And eat fruit away from other foods, either entirely on an empty stomach, or 20-30 minutes before a meal. Fruit is best first thing in the morning to help the liver detox. Your rainbow of colors could look like this:
Red = red bell pepper, beets, apple, tomato (tomato is a fruit by the way), strawberries, raspberries
Orange = squash, sweet potatoes, oranges
Yellow = summer squash, banana, pineapple, lemon
Green = all green leaf-ies like chard and spring lettuces, broccoli, green beans, zucchini
Blue = blueberries
Purple = eggplant, blackberries
White = cauliflower, jicama
Protein could be animal based or plant based depending on what your body does well with. Every body is different, and therefore has different needs. There is no one-size-fits-all for diet. Animal based protein could be chicken, fish, or beef. Plant based could be nuts, seeds, and beans/legumes. If you are going all-out vegetarian, make sure your protein sources are complete. For example, you may need black beans and brown rice together for a complete protein. Do your homework if you are vegetarian or vegan. Make sure your blood type fits the role, and make sure you are supplementing where you may be lacking…for example with B-vitamins and K2. Vegetarian doesn’t mean that you only eat bread, pasta, quinoa, rice, and cereals while forgetting the vegetables. Eat mostly vegetables, make sure your protein is adequate, and remember to include your fats.
Raw food has all the enzymes still intact. Lightly steamed or cooked veggies lose 50% of their vitamins. I try to eat as much raw as possible; preferably at least ½ my diet is raw veg.
If you are using fast food as a crutch when you are crunched for time, then you should watch the documentary called “Supersize Me.” That will open your eyes to what fast food does to the liver.
Every person in the world knows that...
You are what you eat.
So eat real, healthy food. If you build a house and want it to last more than 50 years, you need to use quality materials. It’s the same with the body. If you want it to function vibrantly, you need to put in the right fuel. We take better care of our cars than we do our bodies, and our cars are replaceable.
If you need a helping hand with where to begin, I would love to sit down with you and talk about your diet. Let’s figure it out together!
I’ll leave you with some amazing documentaries on this subject, if you want to learn more:
Want to lose weight, but the Ketogenic Diet seems too extreme for you? The Ketogenic Diet puts your body into ketosis and allows you to burn fat instead of sugar. But you have to reduce your grams of carbohydrates per day down below 20. That can be difficult if you eat a log of vegetables and some fruit. I could eat 50-70 grams of carbohydrates per day from vegetables alone. Since I steer clear of grains, if I reduced my vegetables, I would be eating mainly protein and fat, and this can be hard on the liver and kidneys if done for a long period of time.
There is a solution to this dilemma, if you are hell bent on getting your body into ketosis. It's call keto-O//S. They are ketones and medium chain triglycerides (much like coconut oil). Within 30-40 minutes of drinking this keto shake, your body is in ketosis and burning fat! The keto-O//S has many other health benefits as well: hormone balancing, gut microbiome balancing, detoxifying, blood sugar regulation. This is great for someone who is diabetic or pre-diabetic.
Make note that you should follow the recommendations of the company and start off slow with 1/4 packet, and work your way up to 2 packets a day. Once you're at 2 packets per day, you can think about substituting one of the packets for the MAX packet which is a very specific ketone, scientifically proven to be targeted for body system improvement and weight loss.
Please call me if you are thinking of starting this protocol, and I'll walk you through it. I am following an intermittant fasting type schedule with my diet, and I'm slowly working up to the dose of 2 packets per day. I fast from 8pm until noon the next day. I put the keto KREME in my tea or coffee in the morning. About mid-morning, I do my first shake. I have a small lunch at 12:00/1:00 of protein, fat, and veg. Another shake mid-afternoon, and a balanced dinner of 3/4 plate veg, and 1/4 fat and protein.
This is balancing my food cravings. I'm not as hungry in general and I don't seem to want the junk food that I was craving before. This is phenomenal! I am so pleased with my results. I've done this program before and I lost 15 pounds in about 6 weeks, and that was doing only 1 packet per day. This time around I'm going full throttle, and hope to slim down by another 25 pounds.
Oh, and one more thing. My mood improved quite a bit just in the first few days of doing it. That's worth it alone.
I'm also making sure that I'm eating real food, not the fake processed food-like-substances you find packaged at the grocery store. I'm purchasing vegetables and protein and bringing them home to make a meal. I eat pretty much non-GMO across the board, or organic when I can. And I watch what I put on my skin, my hair care products, and what I clean my house with. The less the toxic load on the body, the easier it is to detox and lose weight.
And I'm moving my body. Exercise is also important to a healthy regimen. I love to dance and do Tai-Chi. What's your favorite form of movement?
If you haven't already made your new year's resolutions, I challenge you to incorporate some keto-O//S into your plan for the year. You won't regret it!
The following links allow you to order it directly from the company:
These links also have videos and tutorials to answer any questions you may have. I also keep these products at my office, so if it's easier for you to simply stop in, you are more than welcome.
Author: Connie Kelly
Many people think that reflexology is just a foot massage. Is it relaxing? Yes. Does it relieve tension? Yes. And you’re rubbing my feet? How is that “not” a foot massage? Well, I am not just “rubbing your feet”. Let me show you what I mean.
There are 7200 nerve endings in the bottom of each foot. 7200 nerve endings! These nerve endings are connected with ALL parts of the body. By working the feet, you are stimulating and affecting EVERY part of the body via the nerves. Pretty remarkable, huh?
“Reflexology is a science that deals with energy pathways that correspond to all the glands, organs and parts of the body. It is a unique method of using the thumb and fingers to reflex these areas in both the feet and hands.”1 (Reflexology, 3)
I apply the appropriate amount of pressure to certain areas or points on the foot in such a way that I am stimulating the corresponding part of the body.
Reflexology is a non-invasive therapy that can be a nice adjunct to a solid Naturopathy program. It can also help in the following ways:
We can also help with:
And the list is endless.
Here are a few testimonials:
And lastly, here’s another thought to chew on:
It is unfortunate that in our society, it is taboo to touch each other. In some countries it is acceptable to grasp another person by the shoulders and kiss the left and right cheek and embrace in a hearty hug. In America, we barely shake another person’s hand. And we spend most of our time on our smart devices where we aren’t even conversing verbally with one another. Babies who are not touched fail to thrive, and can die if they don’t feel loved. Touch is vital to living a healthy, vibrant, long life. Reflexology can be a way to receive Touch in a way that is socially acceptable in our society. Give yourself a gift of reflexology this year, and begin your journey to better health.
1. Howard, Amy Jo, ND. Reflexology. Naturopathic Institute of Therapies and Education. Mt Pleasant, MI. 2014.
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