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Is Camel Milk the New Superfood? :072

Camel Milk is the New Superfood and (in my eyes) an Old-time Natural Remedy Being Revived by Walid, the Founder of Desert Farms

Walid, the founder of Desert Farms generously and quickly sent me a sample pack (which you can get for FREE too!) after our interview and I was super excited to try it – after learning all the amazing benefits. But it’s been nearly two decades since I’ve simply downed a glass of milk and for almost the same amount of time I’d made dairy the evil culprit to my former digestive problems. So while my mind was eager to try it, my long-held thoughts of “dairy will mess you up!” took some time to overcome.

Not only did I (finally) give it a try – I found out everybody was correct. It taste nearly indistinguishably similar to cow milk (as far as I can remember) – and being a huge foodie and herbalist who uses taste to decipher medicinal qualities – you’d have to be super picky to turn your nose to this stuff. It’s really great!

I didn’t plan on it, but I actually put the camel milk to the most stringent test for my body – I consumed it right before a hard workout. Why is this special? Well, when your body is stressed to physical capacity, anything that is not working well stands out. I can really tell how I’ve been eating for the last couple of days when I do a hard workout. Eggs slow me down – but I felt great and didn’t feel help back at all due to adding camel milk to my pre-workout shake. To me, this could support the evidence that camel milk is closest to human breast milk (not that I’ve had any of that lately either) but I’m happy to say that not only is the science good for camel milk – so is my personal experience!


I was blown away by what I learned preparing for this podcast and talking with Walid – and I think you will be to!


Here are some highlights of what Walid and I talked about in this podcast:

  • Walid shares his unique way of finding camel farmers
  • Where do the camels live? Who take care of them humanely and sustainably?
  • “Desert Farms… is a company that provides superfoods from the desert.” – Walid Abdul-Wahab, Founder of Desert Farms
  • The Paleo Diet
  • Immune-boosting colostrum and lactoferrin
  • Camel milk is the closest to human breast milk
  • Why camel milk does not cause the allergic reaction that bovine dairy does (A1 and A2 protein)
  • A case where camel milk actually improved Crohn’s Disease!
  • “Camel milk as a supplemental treatment seems less invasive and costly than specialist care, medications, alternative treatments, and behavioral interventions. Based on our findings, camel milk is safer for children, effective in the treatment of autism, improves general well-being, promotes body natural defenses, is a good nutritional source, and can helps the daily nutritional needs of humans.” (NIH)
  • How constituents in camel milk can improve diabetic conditions
  • Camel milk beauty products have been long-used in the desert regions to protect and nourish the skin
  • “A lot of people think the hump consists of water, when it’s actually fat – so that verifies that fat is essentially your source of energy because the camel does use the fat from its hump to survive the harshest desert climate and to go on without any food or water for a month. If you see a camel that has a flat hump that means it’s used all its energy.” – Walid Abdul-Wahab, Founder of Desert Farms
  • The history of camels: Surviving the ice-age, their role in the U.S. Civil War, their prevalence in Australia and did you know that they love snow!?
  • The character of camels: “A dog’s best friend” and well-trained camels.
  • See and pet a camel at Paleo FX
  • Bactrian (two hump) camels and Dromedary camel (one hump – Desert Farms uses these for milking)
  • What do camels eat in the desert and on the farms? (organic, non-GMO, gluten free…)
  • Camel milk is a prized beverage in the Middle East.
  • Why it is a “functional food”
  • “You don’t really need that much to see the benefits of it – a small amount goes a long way.” – Walid Abdul-Wahab, Founder of Desert Farms


Use code WFW at checkout to get your FREE sample pack! a $49.99 value!

Check it out here!


About Walid

Walid Abdul Wahab - DesertFarms.comWalid was visiting his family in his hometown of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, looking for raw milk. He was approached by a friend with a plastic bag of camel milk, he then quickly realized that camel milk was being used medicinally in the Middle East and the US for complex health problems.

When Walid moved to California, he appreciated how people valued a healthy lifestyle. He realized this was the perfect place to start a camel milk company. After selling camel milk at mosques and ethnic food festivals, Walid’s business plan won the Marcia Israel Award from USC, so he decided to leave his corporate real estate position and began his camel adventure.

Having made the big commitment, he went courting the world, trying to spark a Camel Milk Revolution, and found the greatest and most friendly people. While looking for US camel herders, in the Midwest he came across a group known for being polite and down-to-earth, a group who didn’t exist in the Middle East: the wonderful Amish community, who exemplify hard work and cooperation. Watching them work together was and remains awesome to Walid. Walid felt that they deserved an easier way to bring their products to market, and he loves the quality of their camel milk!


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Balance – Slow Aging – Improve Performance :071

Training balance is a Must for Athletes and Non-athletes Alike

Whether you are concerned about getting a better score in golf or a faster time down the slope – or you simply want to be more mobile, able and mentally sharp as you age – balance training is the key!

In this interview Jim Klopman, the author of Balance is Power and the creator of the Slackbow Balance Training System shared how his balance training not only helped his and others’ athletic performance, but also the ADD he had been experiencing exacerbated by sports related concussions.


Here’s some of what we covered:

  • How the Portable Neuromodulator Stimulator, developed and used at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, helps people rehabilitate sensory and motor disorders – by re-circuiting feedback to the brain via the tongue!
  • How movement actually helped Parkinson’s patients begin to speak and walk again.
  • “We build better muscles, not bigger muscles.” – Jim Klopman
  • Cognitive Kali (martial arts) Paul McCarthy TED Talk
  • “Improving your balance is not a muscle skill – so we’re not teaching you to do something new like hitting a gold ball… it’s not like lifting weights – it’s a software system [sic].” – Jim Klopman
  • “When you learn how to balance, one thing that happens is your kinetic chain gets better. So golfers look smoother when they hit the golf ball, you run smoother… everything flows better… the best athletes are the most graceful… they have the best Balance.” – Jim Klopman
  • How playing music artificially shuts off the conscious mind which Jim has found very counter-productive for training.
  • This is not just for athletes! Improving your balance can help prevent injury and slow aging! Half of all emergency room visits of patients over the age of 45 are due to falls!
  • Is it better to walk on the ball or heel of the foot? What about walking in heels?
  • Why your bifocals may be a hazard.
  • Which shoes are best and worst to wear?

And so much more… Watch, Listen, Enjoy!


About Jim Klopman

Jim Klopman- Balance is Power - Slack Bow

Jim is a lifelong innovator who has always been one of those people who thinks differently. He believes balance training has sharpened his ability to make new neural connections and see the possibilities and pathways that others miss.

Originally Jim was looking for a way to maintain his own athletic performance well into his 90s. But the Slackbow Balance Training System he developed turned out to be a key to whole body and mind fitness that was even more revolutionary than he could have imagined.

He is eager to spread his knowledge, techniques and tools far and wide to help seekers like him tune their brains to perform better in work and sports, sleep better, look younger and live longer.

Learn more – get Jim’s Balance is Power book, SlackBow and SlackBlock here!

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Overcome Binge Eating with Dr. Glenn Livingston :070

Binge eating can be overcome with Dr. Livingston’s advice based on clinical and personal experience.

Having been overweight myself I can attest that the strategies in Dr. Glenn’s book are clear and align with how I now think as a healthy person. Dr. Livingston’s advice seems remarkably too simple, but isn’t that what we want – a simple answer!?

Here are some highlights of our discussion:

  • Dr. Livingston’s background as a clinical psychologist
  • Dr. Glenn’s personal experience with exercise bulimia
  • His self-funded studies with 40,000 to understand food cravings  – Why people crave chocolate or salty, crunchy snacks for example.
  • How binge eating is a result of dieting which throws off natural cycles
  • Why it doesn’t work to love yourself out of binge eating or “love yourself thin”
  • Why binging is the “survival drive gone wrong”
  • Milner and Olds experiment
  • What are you really craving when you crave chocolate?
  • It doesn’t take will power to never binge again.
  • Big Food, Big Advertising, Big Addiction
  • Why it’s important to use the words Always and Never – no matter how uncomfortable!
  • Is there a withdrawal period? How long will it take to no longer binge?
  • Geneen Roth, Breaking Free From Emotional Eating
  • Dr. Glenn’s experience of feeling more alive by breaking free from the “deprivation trap”
  • Dr. Glenn’s hack to overcome the guilt or fear after a binge
  • Comfort vs. Contentment
  • Get Dr. Glenn’s book, Never Binge Again, helpful templates and recordings here!


Watch, listen, learn… Enjoy!


About Dr. Glenn Livingston

Glenn Livingston - Binge Eating - Weight Free WellnessGlenn Livingston, Ph.D. is a veteran psychologist and was the long time CEO of a multi-million dollar consulting firm which has serviced several Fortune 500 clients in the food industry. You may have seen his (or his company’s)  previous work, theories, and research in major periodicals like The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Sun Times, The Indiana Star Ledger, The NY Daily News, American Demographics, or any of the other major media outlets you see on this page.  You may also have heard him on ABC, WGN, and/or CBS radio, or UPN TV. 

Disillusioned by what traditional psychology had to offer overweight and/or food obsessed individuals, Dr. Livingston spent several decades researching the nature of bingeing and overeating via work with his own patients AND a self-funded research program with more than 40,000 participants.  Most important, however, was his own personal journey out of obesity and food prison to a normal, healthy weight and a much more lighthearted relationship with food.

Get his book here for free!


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What’s Your Life Purpose? with Holistic Therapist Lucy Anne Chard :069

What’s Your Soul’s Plan?

Discovering and fulfilling your life purpose, ironically, does not come naturally to everyone. Even if your life seems perfect from the outside or you followed all the steps and the rules… you still may be asking these questions. Having been in your shoes, I encourage you to listen, learn and enjoy!


“Get clarity on your heart’s core desires and align your life and career goals with your innate talents.” – Lucy Anne Chard – Holistic Therapist

Here are some highlights of what we discussed:

  • How her skin cancer diagnosis woke her up to acknowledge how disconnected she was in her own life and how she was dissociated from herself and had put aside her own created expression – her own needs and hearts core desires.
  • The tools she used to bring herself back into alignment: hatha yoga, meditation, enjoying being in nature, digital detox, etc.
  • The Insight Timer App
  • “I had built up a life around me that was designed to please others but not myself.” – Lucy Anne Chard – Holistic Therapist
  • How she balances social media and online work
  • “I’ve found in the work that I do that one of the deepest questions, and one of the most important questions, is, ‘What do you want?’ …I’ve experienced when you ask people that… we’re very good at articulating what we don’t want, but we’re not that good at articulating what we do want.” – Lucy Anne Chard – Holistic Therapist
  • Signs of being disconnected: the dreaded “should’s”, a feeling of anxiety in the chest, feeling overwhelmed; seeking guidance, truth, approval, confirmation and energy from external sources; not looking inward for answers or trusting that the answers are inside; knowing information intellectually buy not fully understanding it; “collecting” courses; looking externally for validation, etc.
  • “Imagine how wonderful it would be if we could move forward making decisions based on flourishing and what that means for us, what that means for you – to flourish. And to be able to learn to be able to say ‘no’ to the things that don’t support that.” – Lucy Anne Chard – Holistic Therapist
  • Discovering and recovering life purpose and mission
  • How a Soul Plan Reading helps a person come into alignment
  • Examples from my Soul Plan Reading
  • Anxiety beyond biochemistry
  • Becoming addicted to being anxious


Watch, listen, learn… Enjoy!


About Lucy

Lucy Anne Chard - Weight Free Wellness PodcastLucy Anne Chard is a writer, holistic therapist and teacher, encouraging people to re-connect with their mind-body-spirit wholeness, recover the confidence to be true to themselves in all aspects of life and create a life that is in alignment with their soul’s purpose.

Having completed her Bachelor of Arts in Drama & Performance, she embarked on a career as an actress for a theatre company in South Africa, where she grew up. She spent the first two years post University performing Shakespeare and original South African works to the public, as well as taking productions into rural areas of the country to perform in town halls and civic centers for school children and adults who had never experienced theatre before.

She moved to London in 2005 with her partner, following the impulse to travel and explore the world. It was here where she embarked on a new career in Television Broadcasting.

Drawing on her unique experience in Drama & Performance, Strategy and Planning for some of the top blue-chip channel brands in the UK, Europe and South Africa, her training as an Energy Healing Practitioner and her clinical training in NLP, Hypnotherapy & Life Coaching, she loves working with heart-conscious, spiritual seekers through her Radiant You Programme & Soul Plan Life Alignment sessions, who are ready to shed the confines of playing small, be their own guru and live life in alignment with their soul’s purpose.

Lucy is a certified Advanced Clinical NLP Practitioner, Hypnotherapist and Life Coach, having studied through the prestigious Phil Parker Training Institute in London. She is an Advanced Soul Plan Practitioner, a Reiki Master-Teacher and an Advanced ThetaHealing Practitioner.

Learn more about Lucy and what she offers here!

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Lupus – Survive, Thrive and Live Naturally! :068

Given a diagnosis of Lupus and only 10 years to live (without medication) – Sandie moved back with her parents and pulled out all stops to not only heal herself, but to fulfill her dreams!

Sandie’s amazing Lupus healing story would take more than a simple blog post to summarize, but here are the highlights: beginning at age 7, Sandie experienced debilitating migraines headaches. Eventually, resorting to the prescription medication Effexor for help, she found some relief, but nothing that truly restored her to a normal life.

Her fiery spirit  was not totally tamed by debilitating headaches, cystic acne, depression, mood swings, and insomnia (to name few). Sandie still managed to graduate from university with honors in biomedicine and lead a relatively normal life; until the fateful tuna salad incident that seemed to throw things into a tailspin.

After food poisoning, a Lupus diagnosis and moving back in with her parents, Sandie – with seemingly every last ounce of gumption left in her –  enrolled in a Functional Diagnosis Nutrition Course which, with her determination and spirit, probably saved her life – at least that’s what I heard from her story.

If you are suffering from mystery symptoms or have a diagnosis of Lupus (or any other autoimmune disease) you should definitely listen to this woman’s inspiring story! I had a great time getting to know Sandie, I bet you will too!

Here are some topics we covered:

  • Symptoms: Migraine headaches, insomnia, depression, manic, Interstitial Cystitis, Cystic Acne, Butterfly rash, Mood swings, Joint pain, Chronic throat infections
  • Body-typing
  • Heredity
  • “It changed my path. It changed my whole life… The biggest lesson of my life came from that diagnosis…” – Sandie Gascon, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Lupus Thriver
  • Zone of Genius from “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks
  • Raw vegan diet
  • Functional Diagnostic Nutrition
  • Un-labeling from disease
  • The difference between Functional Diagnostic Nutrition and Functional Medicine
  • DUTCH testing, Hormone testing, Sex Hormones, Organic Acids Testing (OATs)
  • IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and SIBOS (Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth)
  • Cystic Acne and Interstitial cystitis
  • How she healed more in 6 months than in 5 years of prior attempts
  • Why testing is better than trial and error
  • Why it’s easier/better to work with the Liver first
  • Mind-body healing
  • “You want to address the imbalances, but you also have to get to the root cause.” – Sandie Gascon, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Lupus Thriver
  • The true cost and value of health.
  • Her opinion and experience with social healthcare.
  • “Be positive. There is hope. Don’t give up.”  – Sandie Gascon, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner and Lupus Thriver

Watch, listen, learn… Enjoy!

About Sandie Gascon

Sandie Gascon - Motivated2Heal - Weight Free WellnessAs a Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner I am living my dream helping people achieve their health goals. I have spent 6 years researching every aspect of natural healing and have made it my life long quest to continue that learning. I am able to pull knowledge from many sources including my 4 year Honor’s Degree in Biomedicine, my 3 year diploma in Massage Therapy, and many different natural healing courses.

Dogs are my passion. I train and hike with my dogs everyday. I compete in dog agility every weekend I am able. I love yoga, golfing, kayaking and hiking. I am a high energy, passionate woman and I love true, natural beauty. I cherish every moment I am able to do the things I love because it was not long ago that I was in constant pain, fatigued and unable to do anything.

In the photo is Sandie and one of her 5 dogs dogs, Missile, who is retired from agility. Her goal is to be on the Canadian world agility by 2019. She also has a horse named Secret.  Learn more about Sandie here.


Physical Therapy – Age Gracefully – with Erin Blackford :067

I used to think that Physical Therapy is something that people do after an accident or injury.

Although I am very much a preventative maintenance person, I didn’t consider it as a part of my wellness care until I learned about Motion Care. Manual adjustments from Erin have helped me to feel more in alignment for what’s proper for my own body – allowing muscles to relax and for my body to move more freely in my delay activities as well as in dance, martial arts and yoga.


In this casual conversation we talk about a number of wellness-care topics in relation to physical therapy and what you can do to feel better – to prevent the proverbial wheels from falling off!

  • What it’s like to come from a family of physical therapists
  • What’s the difference between manual physical therapy and chiropractic?
  • Why it’s important to treat the body BEFORE experiencing pain
  • What are the signs of degradation to look for to seek treatment before seemingly falling apart
  • Why working on the 3-planes of motions is important (longitudinal, rotational, diagonal)
  • Sleeping through the night due to physical therapy
  • Why it’s so important to find the exercise that is right for you or the patient!
  • What Erin wishes everyone would do for their bodies
  • What increases chances for falls
  • The adjustment that relieved upper back tension that helped better than yoga!
  • Why “back extensions” are as important as “tummy time” for babies
  • The importance of preventative care for the lay person (non-athlete)
  • How to use our healthcare system more efficiently – saving hassle and money
  • The value of self-awareness and self-care
  • How physical therapy can help Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Suggestions for Back pain
  • “Keep moving – keep your body going.” – Erin Blackford – Physical Therapist



About Erin

Erin Blackford - Physical Therapist - Motion Care - Weight Free WellnessErin Blackford is a licensed physical therapist, certified by the Minnesota Board of Physical Therapy with a strong interest in manual therapy. She is a graduate of The College of St. Scholastica with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Health Sciences and a minor in Psychology. Erin then pursued her Masters in Physical Therapy at The College of St. Scholastica.

Learn more at MotionCare.com

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How to Become a Wellness Coach and Nutrition and Herbal Professional with Lori Rose PhD :063

Becoming a Wellness Coach, Nutrition Professional and Herbalist are now easier and more affordable than ever!

Lori Rose, PhD teaches a coarse at Hill College that offers training for credentials in all three of these professions and in this interview we get to learn about her and how her own struggle with weight loss and health got her onto this path.

  • Are you interested in natural health and healing?
  • Do you want to learn more and help others?
  • Would an online program and affordable tuition (including financial aid) be ideal?


Here are the highlights of our talk:

  • How positive thinking changed her life
  • Learning that counting calories and measuring food (including carrying measuring cups in her purse) is not the way or a healthy way to lose weight.
  • Her experience and thoughts with being vegetarian and vegan
  • “I was not living life… may weight may have been going down, but I was not living live. I was all by myself, isolated, completely focused on food.” – Lori Rose, PhD
  • Some resources that helped Lori to make a big mental shift: Marianne Williamson, Eckart Tolle, Neale Donald Walsch
  • How her intention to get a full refund in 30 days for book that promised to change the reader’s life actually challenged her to follow the instructions full and she got amazing results! (and did not request a refund)
  • Gardening and companion planting.
  • Lori’s unique program offering through Hill College to earn credentials as: Holistic Nutritionist, Wellness Coach, Herbalist or/and Associate of Science degree
  • What is the difference between being a Holistic Nutritionist, Wellness Coach and General or Clinical Herbalist?
  • What is the difference between a General and Clinical Herbalist?
  • What can a person do with this education? What kind of setting would this person work in?
  • “Plants have their own unique qualities, their own energetics and so do people – and so it’s not just that someone with this diagnosis can take this herb. You have to figure out what are all the components of this person and what are all the components of these herbs and which one is the best one for that client. And you really can’t that deep into it without pursuing herbalism itself.” – Lori Rose, PhD
  • Contraindications – herb/drug and herb/person interactions
  • How long does it take to complete this program? – It’s designed to cover 4 semesters. It’s two fall and spring sessions. This aligns with an associate degree program.
  • What’s the difference being a Naturopath and a Wellness Coach, Holistic Nutritionist or Herbalist?
  • “My dream is that my students will get these credentials and then they will go on to become D.O’s (doctor of osteopathy), M.D.’s, N.D.’s, psychologist, psychiatrist, nurses, massage therapists and anything in the health field – and then we will all have this holistic background… we will just add holistic healing to the world.” – Lori Rose, PhD
  • Will exercise education be included in this program?
  • “I think a very important part of this field is to avoid the competitive nature that is in a lot of other fields… with scarcity mentality… You’re not competitors, you’re partners.” – Lori Rose, PhD


Contributing Podcaster, Lori Rose, PhD’s teaches

“Everything You Need to Know About Sun Health” 

Demo, e-booklet + 3 Recipes!

How much sun is ok?

What about kids?


Free for a limited time – Join us!

Learn more here.



Hi everyone! I am Lori Valentine Rose, PhD, board certified nutrition professional (CNP), board certified holistic nutrition consultant (BCHN), registered herbalist (AHG), wellness coach, teacher, wife, and mom.  I am a passionate studier of nutrition, herbalism, spirituality, and pretty much anything that makes our minds, bodies, souls, and planet a better place to inhabit.  I have taught biology and nutrition at a local community college for around ten years, have been back-yard organic gardening for around five years, and have been pursuing clinical herbalism for several years.   I recently developed, created, and now instruct the Hill College Holistic Wellness Program, the most thorough, affordable wellness program in the country.  Thanks to my variety of education in how the body works, scientific literacy, environmental impact, and nutrition, I skillfully combine this knowledge to use science-based nutrition and herbalism to address the root cause of your health issues.  I am honored you are here, and hope you will join me on my quest for holistic wellness! Visit Lori’s website here.

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Natural Remedies for Grief with Nurse Herbalist Lora Krall :062

Grief often does just need time for healing, but there are natural and herbal remedies that can ease the process.


With over 35 years of nursing experience in the critical care and emergency room – Lora Krall is very familiar with tragedy and grief. As if being present with grieving families over the years was not enough experience; the recent loss of her son and many other family members (30 in total) in a two and half year period, make her even more of an expert.


Lora shares from her nursing background, personal grief and herbal training. She has some tremendously valuable insight.




Here are some highlights of our discussion on grief:

  • Lora began learning about herbs as nutritional support and prevention
  • The lack of support for health professionals to talk about grief
  • Being a community herbalist
  • “There are so many places where herbs and conventional/allopathic medicine can work well together. I see no reason why we can’t use the best of both.” – Nurse Herbalist Lora Krall
  • What our culture sees as acceptable ways and time frames for dealing with grief.
  • Where grief pops up: loss of pets, family members, a job, a home, an idea, a dream…
  • What happens when people do not deal with their grief?
  • Go spend time in nature. That is so incredibly healing.” – Nurse Herbalist Lora Krall
  • Death builds life.” – Nurse Herbalist Lora Krall
  • Hawthorn blend: Mimosa bark, Hawthorn, lavender – causes a gentle opening like a flower for a heart closed by grief.
  • The subtle, gentle effects of herbs.
  • Herbal stories
  • Grief in a community
  • “Violet helps you in the journey from the head to the heart.” – Nurse Herbalist Lora Krall
  • “Borage gives you courage and helps you stand up and face the world.”  – Nurse Herbalist Lora Krall
  • How do you deal with death as in an ending of a relationship where you may encounter the situation or people again? Ceremony: write letters and burn them as a method of release, nurture the loss especially when it’s between two females (motherwort)
  • Violet is also known as “Heart Ease” – the metaphors in our language.
  • When you (or a friend is) are sick to death: Linden Flower, Lavender, Chamomile in a foot bath – and some Rosemary for remembrance and peppermint to move things along.
  • Letting go of grief for ideas and dreams that have never come to be.
  • What to do and not to do with someone who is grieving. (Don’t not talk about IT.) Use light touch, not smothering hugs. If you bring food, keep it light: nutritious soups, light teas, juices and things that are easy to make. Not heavy, creamy hot dishes. Just saying, “I’m thinking of you.” is enough.
  • Are there cultures that deal with grief “better”?
  • What can we do to deal with grief better? Lora shares about the “Spirit Bowl”. Honoring the loss of a family member for a year to allow them to integrate into their new environment. This can be done by creating an altar for the one who has passed.
  • How Lora and her husband support one another in the loss of their son.
  • Men and grief.

Lora’s handout “Herbs for Grieving Process”

Lora’s website.


About Lora Krall

Nurse Herbalist Lora KrallI am as much a part of what I see as it is a part of me. We are all one.  I despise labels and boxes instead preferring the gray zones of life that allow us to change and grow, adapt and integrate.  I am a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter. I have had careers as a nurse, gardener, coordinator, barista, caretaker and teacher. I am passionate about equality for all, education, and the environment in all its many forms.  I love to read, write, research, learn, explore, garden, hike, camp, travel, cook, create and just be.  While the many roles we play in our lives shape and form, it is the stories we create that tell who we are .  I hope you will join me as I share some of my story.



Flower Essences – Natural Remedies for Physical and Emotional Aspects of the Menstrual Cycle – with Loey Colebeck :061

Flower essences can gently and effectively help emotional and physical ailments

This podcast has a particularly feminine vibe to it as Holistic Therapist and Accredited Flower Essence Therapist, Loey Colebeck shares about the healing powers of flower essences and as it applies to the menstrual cycle and women in particular.

This is a branch of herbal medicine that, in my opinion, deserves a greater following.

Loey,  also shares how she originally became interested in herbal remedies and why she specializes in Flower Essence Therapy as a part of her Holistic Therapy practice. With a great deal of education and experience in her time in Barcelona, Spain – where this therapy is taken much more seriously than in the US – her perspective is rather unique. She has also translated a flower essence book from Spanish to English and uses several other natural therapies that complement one another.


Loey Colebeck - Weight Free Wellness Podcast


Here are some of the topics we covered in this talk:

  • Psychotherapy tools paired with her flower essence therapy: Gestalt, Family Constellation
  • “As the founder of this [flower essence] therapy said, ‘Flower essences help bring your personality closer to your soul.’ In other words – in psychotherapeutic terms, to go into the shadow, the catalyze consciousness.”
  • “Truly the mind and body are not separate and flower essences help to create that connection.”
  • What may not have made it into the podcast: in Cuba flower essence therapy is taken very seriously and is a medical specialization; flower essence therapy can affect more than emotions (which is how they are most commonly scene to be used in the US).
  • What are flower essences? On one end of the spectrum we have essential oils which use a lot of plant material and produce a small, concentrated amount of product. In the middle we have the plant material itself used in teas, capsules and tinctures which are close to a 1:1 ratio of dosage; and finally flower essence on the other end of the spectrum. Essentially flowers, at their prime state, are placed into water and absorbs the essence, the message or Gestalt of the flower and when we take this remedy we take on this energy to provide a blueprint for healing. Another explanation – imagine giving a bouquet of flowers to a friend. If you give this friend daisies, it caries a certain fun friendship sentiment as a gesture. If you give this friend roses, there is an element of conveying love – which can also be further specified by the color. Similarly, the vast array of flower essences are used to carry on the message or blueprint of the flower to the body, to patch what needs mending.
  • What about the placebo affect?
  • A flower essence trade secret using Agrimony
  • Using flower essences for PMS!
  • How can a woman in today’s day and age actually take a break during her menstrual cycle? In a nutshell – make it a priority! There’s a flower essence to help with that!
  • Do you have “stagnant liver chi”? Anger and the liver and how it relates to the cycle: screen time, sitting, not speaking up…
  • Is this going to get worse as I get older?
  • Shedding…
  • A single remedy can take care of multiple related symptoms: ruminating thoughts and digestive issues…
  • Help finding (or getting closer to) your true essence.

About Loey Colebeck

Loey Colebeck Flower Essence Therapist - Weight Free Wellness PodcastLoyola (Loey) Colebeck’s integrative clinical work is based in holistic approaches for psychological wellness that is reflected in physical health, and physical health that promotes psychological wellness.

Her work is primarily focused on personal constitution, family systems, and trauma healing. She combines Flower Essence Therapy, psychotherapy tools and Constellation work, Chinese medicine and Taoist tools, and core feminine embodiment practices such as the Jade Egg.

Loey also brings advanced, accredited, Integrative Flower Essence Therapy from Spain to her home State of Minnesota, providing clients and students with high quality care and training.

Learn more at MindisBodyTherapies.com

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5 Reasons for Weight Gain That You Need to Know About :060


Weight Gain is not just caused by consuming too many calories… your body may be trying to tell you something.


Adrenal Fatigue

Adrenal fatigue can cause a whole slew of problems and issues. You may be experiencing adrenal fatigue if:

– Weight seems stubborn and just won’t go away no matter how much working out you do
– You always feel tired
– You NEED that cup (or two or…) to keep you going

If this describes you, I would see a Functional Medicine practitioner or Naturopath to investigate and receive holistic advice. Also, strive to get quality sleep, cut back on caffeine, and get moderate exercise.


Gluten Intolerance 

There are  so many signs of gluten intolerance – weight issues is a common one. You may have gluten intolerance if:

– You feel tired and cranky
Your belly always feels bloated
– The fat won’t go away no matter how much working out you do!

If this describes you, I would see a Functional Medicine practitioner or Naturopath to investigate and receive holistic advice.


5 Reasons for Weight Gain You Need to Know About


Aside from the physical reasons for weight gain, there are meta-physical and even symbolic reasons for these issues. Our unconscious self works in very mysterious ways at times. When we have poor boundaries and are unable to stand up for ourself – our body can create these boundaries for us. Some people (who are noticeably not assertive) may create a literal protective bubble around themselves. This may be you if:
– You’re a nurturing person
– You just want everyone to be happy
– You’re a peacemaker and/or
– People take advantage of your niceness but you’re too nice to stay away from them

If this sounds like you, I would see a counselor or talk with a strong person (not necessarily a “friend” because they might be one that is causing an issue) and learn to set boundaries so your “extra layer” doesn’t have to be!


You’re eating the wrong things:

You can feel like your doing all the right things; exercising, eating according to… but there are a few small details that can make ALL the difference! Those are:
– Too much sugar in pre or post workout drinks and bars
– Eating too late
– Just generally eating the wrong things for your body-type

Which leads me to the last reason…


You just might be an Earth-type

Understanding your Body-type can help you have a harmonious relationship with your body. Knowing which foods and exercises help your body feel more balanced can make all the difference! There are four Body-types; Earth, Fire, Air and Water. Earth-types are naturally “big-boned” and have a fuller figure. You may be an Earth-type if:
– You’ve always been heavy
– All of the above options sound like you



Take my Body-type Quiz!

Learn more about your Body-type and the habits that help this type feel more balanced. You’ll also receive a free copy of my book in your preferred eBook format plus 50% off the audiobook. It’s fun and very insightful! Get it here! 


For more details and insights watch or listen to the podcast! Enjoy!

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What is Acupuncture, Really? with Michael Max of the Everyday Acupuncture Podcast :059

The Acupuncturist who doesn’t like needles… helps Dispel some Acupuncture Myths

My guest, acupuncturist and podcast host, Michael Max joins me to clarify what acupuncture is, and what it isn’t. Michael decided to study acupuncture, despite having a successful career in the technology industry, because of the dramatic effect it had on his chronic respiratory issues. What makes his story even more unique is that he doesn’t like needles… Watch, Listen, Enjoy!


Here’s what we talked about:

  • How chronic respiratory issues prompted this successful, former high tech. person to study and become an Acupuncturist (who doesn’t like needles)
  • How does Acupuncture work?
  • Are the needles like the needles we know from getting a vaccination?
  • Is Acupuncture woo-woo or science?
  • Do you have to believe in Acupuncture or understand it for it to work?
  • Does it work for everyone? Will it work right away?
  • How to find a reputable practitioner.
  • Which herbal remedies are the best?
  • Other than in California that has its own exam, look for the NCCAOM qualification which is a national exam and requires 3 years of training.
  • Does it hurt?
  • The common myths about Acupuncture
  • Do certain people or conditions respond quicker or better? (eg. digestion, anxiety, fertility)
  • About the Everyday Acupuncture Podcast
  • We know that sugar is bad… but what about fruit?
  • Book – Good Calories, Bad Calories
  • Examples of what Michael puts in his morning shakes: kale, apple, nut butter, herbs, turmeric, spirulina, collard greens, water (no ice – and why – especially if you have issues with your menstrual cycle or digestion)


Acupuncture - Weight Free Wellness


About Michael Max

michael-max-BWHello, I’m Michael Max.

I’ve been a student of acupuncture and Chinese medicine for going on 20 years now. It began as a curiosity as to how a few needles could not only resolve a stubborn health condition I’d had since childhood, but also improve my digestion, quality of sleep and mood. This lead me first to acupuncture school, and then Asia where I worked my way through the gate of Chinese language so I could study with doctors there. Today my work is informed by my clinical practice, the materials I read in Chinese from doctors of centuries past, and the teachers of our modern times who synthesize observations of the past with the challenges of the present.

I am the host of The Everyday Acupuncture podcast. It is a way to capture that clinically honed wisdom and share it with the world through the increasingly popular media stream of podcasting.

These podcasts run between 45-60 minutes. You can tune in at any time to the shows you are interested in learning more about. And unlike radio, you can listen at your convenience to the shows that are of interest to you.

Everyday Acupuncture is here to educate, entertain, give practical advice, inspire and encourage actionable change that assists you in improving your wellbeing. And all without requiring you to understand a lick of Chinese!

Check out the Everyday Acupuncture Podcast!

and Michael’s Clinic Website 


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How to Get Unstuck Naturally – My Color Consultation with Janelle Sjodin :057

I wish I had known about color therapy as a tool to get “Unstuck” years ago!

When I went in for my first color therapy appointment with Janelle, I was very excited. I had already seen the vibrant bottles of water and oil-based liquid that make up the core of the Aura-Soma line of products; but I had yet to discover what it was all about.

I sat down in the hair styling chair that I’d been accustomed to – being Janelle’s hair client as well… you could say that color is Janelle’s “thing”.

She guided me through a grounding exercise which I really needed that day. I was having a wonderful day, but did not have both fee firmly planted on the ground. After that we dove in. She asked me 4 specific questions and after each one I chose a shiny glass bottle with the colorful oil and water mixture that represented the answer to that question. I couldn’t trust my rational mind to stay out of this intuitive process, so I closed my eyes and waved my hands over the bottles to sense which one was the one to choose. Being a intuitive kinesthetic “feeler” this method worked very well for me!

After I chose each bottle…

Janelle went through the “reading” process, explaining – similar to how an astrologer would read your chart – what each bottle meant.

The interpretations were so spot on! Also, the bottle that I needed to heal a certain aspect of my life at that time was, as Janelle prefaced, just what I needed – but didn’t make sense at the time.

It was an amazing process that brought extra clarity and confirmation to what was already going well for me in my life as well as soul-level healing that reflected into my emotional and mental life as well.

How else can color therapy help?

While at this point I intend to use this as a way to keep nudging myself forward in spiritual, emotional, mental and even physical health – I saw the connection immediately that this would have been immensely helpful at times when I felt very stuck and unclear in life.

As Janelle explains in this podcast, Color Therapy can be used for so many reasons but we both agreed that it’s especially good for those times when you feel stuck, don’t know where else to go or what to do – it helps the solutions come to you! Get Unstuck!


Janelle Sjodin - Allura Hair & Wellness - Aura-Soma

Highlights of our talk:

  • Where Aura Soma comes from, who created it
  • What is Color Therapy?
  • A therapy for empaths
  • How this therapy specifically helps
  • Aura-Soma Self Selective Color Care System
  • What is an Aura-Soma Color Consultation like?
  • We go over the amazing process and results of my Consultation!
  • “Aura-Soma gives you that experience to start trusting that you did have all those answers, you do know where you are at in your life and what’s preventing you from getting where you need to be… It’s very empowering.” – Janelle Sjodin
  • Get unstuck, practice intuition, tune-in
  • When you don’t know how to work through emotions
  • What each bottle pick means
  • How to use Aura-Soma
  • How often should one go in for a color consultation?
  • “It’s good to be in touch with your emotions and understand them and know where they live in your body… when you have that correlations you can really start to be your own master.” – Janelle Sjodin


About Janelle

Janelle Sjodin - Allura Hair & Wellness - Aura-SomaIn a world of chaos there is a desire to find a place of serenity to reconnect with who you are.

Somewhere that when you enter the room, all of your to do lists and multi-tasking can be left behind.

My studio will provide you this space with a nature-like tranquil setting to unwind and reconnect with yourself while receiving your hair and wellness services.

I will use my years of knowledge and intuition to create a customized look for you while you experience a relaxing environment involving my passions for essential oils, healing crystals & stones, Biomat Far Infrared sessions, Aura-Soma Color Therapy, Meditation, and high integrity product lines. All which will help ground you from the busyness of the world.

I would be honored to be a part of your self care regimen for your hair, mind, body and spirit.

You will leave my studio not only with a personalized look you love, you will also feel amazing and balanced from inside out.

In Light …

Janelle Sjodin

Learn more about Janelle at Allura Hair & Wellness

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Functional Psychiatry with Dr. Reba Peoples :055

Functional Psychiatry is a growing field of holistically treating psychiatric conditions – going as far as to help patients ween off of and treat conditions without medication.


A Functional Psychiatrist will look at the whole picture of a person to help remedy what appear to be mental imbalances. They are trained to see the body as all connected and will look at how your gut health, let, exercise and lifestyle affect your mental and emotional well-being.

If you’re wondering how to treat anxiety, depression and a laundry list of other ailments that you might already be seeing a psychiatrist for; this is well worth listening to! Also, it’s a great way to learn to prevent these issues as well!


Functional Psychiatrist Dr. Reba Peoples shares her insights and some very helpful tools that she shares with her patients.


Highlights of our discussion:

  • Why she named her practice “Imara” – is a girl’s name in Swahili meaning “one with strength or fortitude”. In Arabic it is a boy’s name which means “one who build or constructs”.
  • Functional Medicine aims to find the root cause of ailments
  • Why Dr. Peoples became a psychiatrist and now is adding Functional Medicine to her practice.
  • Dr. Peoples noticed that patients on medication seemed to be “just existing”. Now she says she sees patients thriving and being treated in her Functional Psychiatry practice.
  • How gut health affects our mental and emotional health.
  • There is only about 33% success rate with anti-depressant medications.
  • Why depression is a symptom (a fire alarm) – not a disease (not the fire).
  • What is SMART wellness?
  • How sleep can likely prevent dementia. (beta-amyloid)
  • Studies have shown – People who get 20 minutes of aerobic exercise 4 times per week get as much benefit from the exercise as they do from an anti-depressant for mild to moderate depression.
  • “We have a very potent internal pharmacy that we can activate just through exercise.” – Dr. Reba Peoples
  • Avoid the ANTs (automatic, negative, thoughts)
  • How Dr. Peoples teaches someone to become aware of their (negative) thoughts
  • The importance and difference between “who you are”/ (inner self) and “what you do” (role)
  • How what we put into our bodies affects our health: food, products and even media
  • Is your relationship affecting your health?
  • “When people say ‘trust your gut’ there is a lot to back that up scientifically.” – Dr. Reba Peoples
  • How to keep a positive mindset during trying and emotional times.
  • What to do when Facebook is causing you to feel upset or anxious.
  • When being resilient is no longer a good strategy.
  • “When we do have depression… anxiety… negative emotions – these are functional adaptations to dysfunctional environments.” – Dr. Reba Peoples
  • How a person can start implementing these practices in a low-cost way.



Dr Reba Peoples - Imara Health - Functional Psychiatry

About Dr. Reba Peoples

Dr. Reba Peoples is a board certified psychiatrist and founder of Imara Health and Wellness. Dr. Peoples created Imara because she is passionate about helping each of her patients move beyond their symptoms and truly start to live joyful, healthy lives. She does this by utilizing a functional approach that helps people understand the impact of lifestyle, genetics and environment on health and the progression of disease. Having this understanding allows her to provide a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan that identifies the root cause of illness and really allows her patients to work toward healing rather than symptom management.

Although Dr. Peoples does prescribe medications when clinically necessary, she often finds that a lot of her patients either no longer need medications or are able to significantly reduce the amount of psychiatric medications that they are taking once they have been able to successfully incorporate certain lifestyle adjustments.

Dr. Peoples firmly believes that in order to truly achieve wellness, we must be willing to gently nurture our bodies, passionately expand our minds and lovingly cultivate our spirits. She is truly excited to partner with you on your wellness journey.

Learn more about Dr. Peoples and what she offers at Imara Health and Wellness



Natural Hangover Prevention and Remedies :054

Hangover as the Topic of a Wellness Site?


Natural Hangover Prevention and Remedies - For St. Patrick's Day or Any Party Day!

Of course!

We all know that drinking too much (and some would say, taking in alcohol at all) is not a healthy practice.

For many people, there will be that occasion that we do enjoy an alcoholic drink – and sometimes a bit too much!

A hangover is a significant sign that your body is toxic (in-tox-icated). Detoxifying is a specialty in the natural healthy realm…

So, here are some solutions that  you can use to support your body before imbibing, during the festivities and for recovery!


These tips are general health practices that can be used every day and can generally improve health. A more optimally functioning body can generally handle a heavier toxin load. Yes, alcohol is a toxin which is why when you have too much you are in-tox-i-cated!

  • Drink plenty of clean water. Seek spring water ideally that does not come from plastic bottles. Filter your water through a Berkey system (make sure to use the fluoride filters if you have city water) and don’t drink tap water! Drink at least one half of your body weight in ounces of water per day (ex. 150 pound person needs 75 ounces of water per day – about half a gallon!). If you are working out or you know you’ll be having too much alcohol, drink more!
  • Take cleansing a nutritive supplements like ChlorOxygen® (made from nettles), chlorella and/or spirulina. The latter two in particular are more like food supplements, providing lots of vital nutrients and plant protein. They help the body to naturally cleanse and detoxify. Each act a bit differently, so test them according to the package directions for your own body. Chlorella has been shown to reduce fasting blood glucose levels – which could indicate its ability to aid in re-regulating blood glucose after high sugar consumption with alcohol.  ChlorOxygen® – If you need natural green food coloring,  ChlorOxygen® should do the trick! This product is made from nettles which are naturally cleansing to the body and nourishing – particular for boosting red blood cells. In this form it acts like medicinal food. Like I said, these act more like medicinal foods, but always check with your pharmacist for any potential reactions with medications.
  • Eat! – Most people think you should eat carbs like bread to “soak up” the alcohol (and at a certain level something is better than nothing) but eating protein, fat and complex carbs (read: leafy veggies!) will fill your belly and pre-stabilize your blood sugars so you won’t feel so many of the consequences later. In the old days in the US (and still in some rural areas) and still in Old World pubs you will see proteinaceous foods like peanuts, pickled pigs feet and pickled eggs available to snack on. Sounds like some good fat and protein to balance out all that sugar-laden alcohol to me! Chicken wings anyone!?


  • Pace Yourself! Go in with a game plan. Know who your antagonist friends are who will challenge you to drink. Perhaps create a counter challenge for yourself to not give in to their coercing.
  • Avoid the green! Foods with artificial food dyes come with advisory labels in the European Union, if they are not entirely banned. The warnings link these colorful additives to hyperactivity in children – indicating their ability to alter brain chemistry. Use  ChlorOxygen® for a natural colorant.
  • Alternate with water – There is a particular pace to party drinking and it’s so easy to get caught up in the wave. Make every other drink a glass of water. You’re more likely to stay in that “happy, fun” drunken state more of the night and hopefully avoid black-out or pass-out mode… and worse… the resulting hangover!


  • Follow any of the above tips!
  • Green drinks and shakes – No, not the ones you enjoyed the night before… take a wheat grass shot (if you can keep it down) or make a blended drink.
  • Sparkling water and lemon – Let’s face it, simply taking in water may be challenging to keep down at this phase of the game. Try some sparking water with lemon or lime or even crushed sprigs of mint which all are refreshing and naturally support the liver.
  • Epsom salt bath – water! I don’t know about you but when I’ve enjoyed too many drinks the night before I feel parched, but simultaneously cannot stand water!- and I normally drink water like it’s going out of style! Soak it up! Draw a bath and add some epsom salts (to replenish your minerals/electrolytes) – especially if you’ve had a meeting with the porcelain god… A cooler bath might feel nice.
  • Turmeric – Once you can keep something down load up on anti inflammatory supplements like turmeric. You can find this (and many of the other suggestions here) at your local health food store. Check the supplement section for natural headache relievers with turmeric.
  • Spoil your body with healthy foods for the next several days! Eat lots of greens and healthy fats and proteins to get your blood sugars back on track.


Which Body-type Drinking Habit do you have?

Earth-types are true social drinkers. They love being around friends and family and may never drink otherwise, unless they are overcome with sadness. Prone to falling into deep depression Earth-types need to stay on the happy, active side of life.

Fire-types can be Guinness Book of World Records competitive drinkers… get it 😉 Really, this type of person feels it’s their duty to live life to the fullest and party like… well… I’ll let you fill in that blank. This type is also the one who will initiate drinking contests and keep an active pace throughout the nice. These are also the types that when drinking gets out of hand are staunchly dry. They know that one drop can lead them down the rabbit hole.

Air-types enjoy the mental break that alcohol and bring them. Air-types are naturally very slight, through, and therefor cannot handle large amounts of alcohol

Water-types are similar to Earth-types in they enjoy socializing with the people they care about. This clearly can tip them towards being the social-drinker type. Like the Earth-type the Water-type should keep a watchful eye on oneself to monitor that they are not drinking to mask feelings. The Earth and Water-types are emotional by nature and can turn to alcohol or drugs to manage intense emotions.


Wishing you well and be safe! <3 Tara

Clearly you can see that I’m not one to lecture on the cons of drinking. I enjoy a glass or two or sometimes… from time to time also. I do recognize the harm I am causing myself and make a point of treating my body extra good leading up to and following a festive occasion. I believe that heavy drinking binges and regular meditate drinking will be linked to conditions like dementia and Alzheimers some day – similar to how cigarettes have been linked to cancers. (This is not based on any formal study, this is an intuitive and observational hunch.) Let’s enjoy life but also do our best to support our bodies!



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Mindfulness Can be Easy (even for a busy working mom!) with Dr. Chantal Hofstee :052

Mindfulness can be achieved even by the busiest of people…

A very busy person herself: a mom, wife, clinical psychologist, author… need I say more? Dr. Chantal shares what mindfulness has brought to her life and how she has been able to apply this practice without having to chime bells every hour or set aside swaths of time – that frankly, few of us have!


Here are some highlights of our discussion:

  • How she was introduced to mindfulness
  • Her initial skepticism of mindfulness
  • Red Brain : Orange Brain : Green Brain States
  • “‘Red Brain’ brings out the worst in us, ‘Green Brain’ brings out the best in us.” – Dr. Chantal Hofstee
  • ‘Orange Brain’ is the to-do list brain.
  • How you can live from the ‘Green Brain’ State
  • What “stay green” means in her office.
  • In the Green Brain State you can be more productive and feel good at the same time.
  • The Productivity Myth
  • An explanation of procrastination
  • Having more consistent output and energy
  • Stress gives us tunnel vision
  • “Green Brain – the absence of stress – makes us flexible, creative, see new ideas and angles and ways to work smarter.” – Dr. Chantal Hofstee
  • Neuroplasticity – you can rewire your brain!
  • With mindfulness you can rewire your brain to handle stress
  • After 6-8 weeks of practicing mindfulness the amygdala (fear center) of the brain literally shrinks!
  • How Dr. Chantal practices what she preaches, her ‘Green Brain Activators’. She gets up early for a short morning run… gratitude practice… setting a daily goal… savoring her morning coffee.
  • How she created a happier, more connected morning routine with her 4 and 1 year old children.
  • Her perspective on the concept of “judgement”
  • You can be angry or sad in ‘Green Brain’ – it’s just different.
  • “Emotion is a signal that something needs to be addressed.”  – Dr. Chantal Hofstee
  • “Emotions are my internal GPS.”  – Dr. Chantal Hofstee
  • What is helpful?…
  • Check out her book “Mindfulness on the Run” and online programs



About Dr. Chantal Hofstee

Based in Auckland, born in the Netherlands, Dr Chantal Hofstee lives and breathes mindfulness. A Clinical Psychologist, Mindfulness trainer and author. She is a strong believer in taking control of your happiness rather than seeking it outside of yourself. Accessible, warm and compassionate and in the first minutes with her you can tell she teaches from both her brain and her heart. Check out her insightful extended bio here as well as her books and resources!

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Dina Amsterdam Founder of InnerYoga on “Embodied Presence,” Montessori and Leadership :051

Dina Amsterdam, founder of InnerYoga and so much more!

“InnerYoga – How you meet life’s challenges and opportunities, on and off the mat.

Awareness. Kindness. Breath. Ease. Courage.”

Despite being involved in several projects, Dina teaches regular yoga classes in the San Francisco Bay Area, conducts InnerYoga teacher trainings, and is working on a couple of books. She admits enthusiastically that what is taking up a great deal of her time is her role which began at the MIT Media Lab.

Dina is the National Director of Leadership Development Coaching and Wholeness (creating a culture of wholeness) for the The Wildflower Foundation Schools.


“In order to be deeply healthy and empowered it’s important to be connected to the physical body, the emotional body, the mental body, the spiritual body and the energy body.”

– Dina Amsterdam, InnerYoga


Here are some of the intriguing topics we discussed:

  • Do you have to meditate in a crossed legged position on the floor to benefit? Dina shares about “Embodied Presence”
  • How the market crash in 2008 prompted her to expand her yoga teaching for her students who had increasing need
  • Perspective
  • InnerYoga is about Self-observation without Judgement, Cultivating Kindness
  • Dina emphasizes that one thing that makes her yoga teacher training unique is that about half of the training is how to take yoga into your life. Living your yoga!
  • Inspiration
  • Dina coaches leadership capacity with Montessori teacher and C-level clients (Well-being in the Workplace). She shares some key coaching insights she gives her clients.
  • “It’s really about helping a person identify what their biggest challenges are and then helping them see how they can utilize that challenge as an opportunity.” – Dina Amsterdam, InnerYoga
  • Courage
  • What is “acceptance”?
  • Fierce Compassion
  • Eating Disorder – Binge Eating
  • Her role as National Director of Leadership Development Coaching and Wholeness (creating a culture of wholeness) with MIT Media Lab and the Cambridge-based Wildflower Montessori School pilot Lab School
  • How she coaches Montessori teachers to set up their “inner environment”.
  • Wildflower Montessori: shop-front concept, the role of nature, artist in residence, community, etc.
  • “We believe that the environment deeply impacts the children.” – Dina Amsterdam, InnerYoga
  • “The parents are just as important to us as the children.” – Dina Amsterdam, InnerYoga
  • Inner Landscape Cards – Tools that she has created to help children (and adults) navigate their “inner landscape”: faces, landscapes and color washes to help children express how they are feeling.
  • Dina shares her InnerYoga wisdom of how to navigate emotions in challenging times.
  • Vulnerability
  • Anger
  • To Facebook or not to Facebook?


About Dina Amsterdam

Dina Amsterdam has been leading mindfulness-based offerings for over 20 years. She is currently a visiting scholar at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, MA, and works privately with a variety of organizations as an executive coach and head of leadership training and development through her company Leadership Within.

Dina’s Leadership Within mission is to transform workplace and educational environments into cultures of evolutionary self-awareness, embodied presence, and inspired collaborative creative purpose. For the last several years, she has been honored to do this work in support of the Wildflower Montessori network of schools, an open-source approach to Montessori learning developed at the MIT Media Lab. Additional current and previous clients have hailed from Google, Founders Fund, Expedia, the New Yorker, and Innovation Endeavors—to name a few.

A yogi and meditator of over 20 years, Dina is the founder of InnerYoga, a therapeutic approach to yoga that invites deep inner listening and awakens the 4 foundations of awareness, kindness, breath, and ease within those who practice it.

The philosophy and methodology of InnerYoga is deeply rooted in a variety of ancient wisdom practices as well as psychoneuroimmunology—the scientific understanding of the body-mind as the interaction between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems.

To date, through both Leadership Within and InnerYoga, Dina has supported well over 100,000 people, in person, on their path to embodied mindful well-being and evolutionary living.

Check out Dina’s website.


Herbalist Matthew Wood :050

In this interview herbalist Matthew Wood shares his journey to becoming a master herbalist

Matthew is so passionate about plants, teaching and otherwise sharing his knowledge that we rarely get to here about him; how he was lead to and became an herbalist! He was gracious to spend some time for this interview and to share what is a challenging topic for him to cover, himself!

Of Course, Matthew does talk about herbs… he just can’t help it!


“I was imbued with that foreign spirit…” – Matthew Wood

“Plants are reference points for consciousness.” – Matthew Wood

Matthew shares:

  • Learning from the Indians
  • Studying in Scotland
  • About the Seminole Indians
  • Yarrow – Achillea millefolium
  • English is a language of commerce
  • Being raised Quaker “Follow your inner light, what works for you.”
  • Being too shy to tell counselors he wanted to be a botanist
  • Studying at the University of Minnesota – graduating with a history degree after 14 years
  • “You really understand [the essence of] that plant, so you get an A.”
  • What he gained from formal training
  • Organic chemistry and alchemy
  • Receiving the “Mantel of Authority and Responsibility”
  • The experience of receiving the “Medical Degree from Mother Nature”
  • Chinese Medicine philosophy (a taste)
  • Yellow Jessamine – Gelsemium sempervirens
  • Do plants from our native region more helpful to us?
  • Herbal trade history
  • Black cohosh – Actaea racemosa
  • Do you need to have a “degree from the plant realm” to be an herbalist?
  • Plantain – Plantago major
  • A confidence boosting message for new herbalists!
  • How to speak and understand like an herbalist
  • The spirit and soul world… more to come!


“You can be a master from day one, you just need to know what one herb does reliably.” 

– Matthew Wood



About Matthew Wood

“A Real Live Herbalist” 

Matthew Wood has been a practicing herbalist since 1982. In a period when many authors and lecturers are merely “arm chair herbalists” who offer theories and opinions based on book learning, and others have turned to the exotic traditions of India or China, he has been an active practitioner of traditional Western herbalism. He has helped tens of thousands of clients over the years, with many difficult health problems. While Matthew believes in the virtue of many other healing modalities, he has always been inspired to learn, preserve, and practice the tradition of herbal medicine descending to us from our European, Anglo-American, and Native American heritage. He is a member of the American Herbalists Guild (registered herbalist) and has earned his Masters of Science degree from the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine (accredited by the University of Wales). Visit Matthew’s Website here



Fatigue – It’s More than not Getting Enough Sleep with Dr. Rory :048

Dr. Rory, a Functional Medicine practitioner and chiropractor, shares how to get to the bottom of fatigue!

Fatigue can be different for each person. For one person it may mean not being able to sleep well. Others cannot exercise without feeling drained or experience low libido. For another, fatigue means they are not able to fulfill their daily tasks; the energy just may not be there.

Functional medicine aims to get to the root of the problem – not just addressing the symptoms.


Fatigue is also related to the following:

  • Varying symptoms: digestion, brain fog, physical fatigue
  • The role of Adrenaline
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Why and when we need Cortisol
  • Simple testing
  • Metabolic Reserve (explained using the Bank Account analogy) You build this with “downtime” to have reserve for stressful times
  • How do you know you’re restoring that account? What does downtime feel like?
  • Devices like FitBit and HeartMath (Inner Balance) and the Muse
  • The role of the Adrenal glands
  • The stages of Adrenal Fatigue
  • What adds to fatigue: low-grade stress, certain foods, caffeine, certain exercise, in some cases coffee
  • Dr. Rory answers a listeners question about feeling fatigued after exercise…
  • The relation between fatigue and being overweight and/or carrying excess fat in the mid-body
  • The role of the gut
  • What is (the role of) Perceived Stress
  • Description of the 4 Stages of Adrenal Fatigue
  • Adaptogens like rhodiola and supplements of DHEA and pregnenolone
  • Over-exercise


About Rory Faherty, D.C.

Dr. Rory is a chiropractor, and functional medicine physician with two decades of experience connecting with patients, and helping them find their journey to health.    Rory grew up on a small island off the west coast of Ireland in a large family.  Life on the Aran Islands is simple and about connection with people.  He brings the values and lifestyle he learned in Ireland to his practice and approaches to treating patients.
Dr. Rory earned a Doctor of Chiropractic at Northwestern Health Sciences University and will complete The Institute for Functional Medicine’s (IFM) Certification program in 2016 to join the less than 20 IFM Certified Practitioners in the state of Minnesota.  Dr. Rory takes the complex world of medicine and creates simplistic plans for healing.
To contact Dr. Rory call  his office: 952-474-2395
Specialties include:
* GI Health with a focus on
     * diagnostics
     * gluten sensitivity 
     * treating infection
     * improving microbiome 
     * customized food plans
* Detoxification
* Chronic Inflammation
* Nervous system & sleep disregulation 
* Applied Kinesiology
* Spinal Adjustment and body work


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Healing PCOS Naturally, Spiritual Healing and More with Tanaaz Chubb of Forever Conscious :047

Tanaaz shares how the Process of Healing Herself Naturally from PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) started her on the Wellness and Spiritual path

On her website Forever Conscious, author Tanaaz writes on several intriguing subjects: Healing, Spiritual, Mindfulness, Astrology and Intuitive Readings. It’s a great place to begin or continue your interest in these topics. Her writing not only makes the subjects easy to grasp, but leaves you satiated yet curious for more.


In addition to discussing how she naturally healed from PCOS we discussed:

  • Living in Los Angeles
  • Tanaaz’s background in the entertainment industry
  • Spiritual and Metaphysical aspects of healing
  • Paths she used to treat her PCOS: iridology, naturopathy, acupuncture, herbs and change of diet
  • Positivity and Hope she received from “natural” health practitioners
  • Gaining weight from birth-control pills meant to subside PCOS symptoms
  • The role of emotional healing and emotional health
  • What are Flower Essences?
  • Natural Remedies for anxiety and stuffed(ing) feelings
  • The role of confidence: acting, Pilates and core energy/exercises
  • Self-help books: Hay House Publisher and authors
  • Body – Mind – Spirit – Emotions are all connected
  • Following what feels good
  • Meditation – how to get started, different forms, etc.
  • Shower/bathing meditation and cleansing ritual
  • Astrology – our health and our bodies
  • An Energetic Perspective on Fat
  • The emotional component of weight gain

Watch, Listen… Enjoy!


“Love – There are many things that you can do to activate your own self healing ability, but the number one task of disease is to learn how to love yourself.”

– Tanaaz Chubb, Forever Conscious


“If the moon can affect the entire ocean, what kind of effect does it have on the water in our body?” – Tanaaz Chubb, Forever Conscious


About Tanaaz

Tanaaz is the co-creator and owner of Forever Conscious.

Growing up in Melbourne, Australia Tanaaz moved to Los Angeles, USA after winning a green card in a lottery.

She arrived in LA eager to pursue work in the entertainment industry, however it seemed that the Universe had other plans for her.

Tanaaz always had a passion for writing, so she started writing content and blogs for clients and professional companies.

While this helped her to pay the bills, Tanaaz felt a stronger and deeper calling to turn her attention to the world of all things metaphysical.

Tanaaz had been doing intuitive readings for family, friends and friends of friends for ages, but she had never really considered doing it professionally before.

Feeling bored with her job as a content writer, Tanaaz had the inspiration one day to create Forever Conscious, which would use her writing and blogging talents as well as her passion for all things spiritual and metaphysical.

To date, she has done countless readings that have helped to guide and inspire others. She has also written two books- “Becoming Forever Conscious” and “Messages for the Soul” and released an e-course, “How to Connect With Your Spirit Guides.”

Her next book, “The Power of Positive Energy” is expected to be released in August 2017.

She has also been featured in Elle Magazine Italia and is a contributing writer for The Huffington Post.

Tanaaz currently lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend and puppy dog, Cake.

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Parents Recover Daughter from Autism Naturally :046

Autism can be Overcome Naturally

Michael and Holly Larsen are parents to twin daughters. Their daughter Tula, Holly says, was born with three strikes against her – which they suspect were factors in their daughter’s autism:

  • She was born via c-section which did not allow her to receive the beneficial flora from the birth canal
  • Tula received antibiotics the first two days of her life (killing much of the beneficial flora she had)
  • She also was not able to consume breastmilk (she only had formula)


Michael and Holly realized that something was “off” with Tula compared to her sister; when her sister Thea would get a cold, Tula would get the flu or pneumonia for example. They had Tula’s stool and urine samples sent in and discovered that she had essentially no beneficial gut flora and the yeast was “off the charts”.

This means that Tula’s body was not able to absorb nutrients which was confirmed in tests – despite taking high amounts of supplements.

Tula craved breads, pastas and yoghurt, which Michael and Holly admit as young parents they thought were healthy foods for their family.

With myriad symptoms on the Autism Spectrum Tula was diagnosed at the age of 3. Determined to find solutions for their daughter, Holly began researching online and through a lot of trial and error finally discovered that a change of diet was necessary.


“I thought… I never want to look back and say that we didn’t try everything that we could.” – Holly Larsen, Mom who helped her daughter recover from Autism


First they took away the gluten and dairy, but the real changes happened when they eliminated high-glycemic foods (high sugar) from Tula’s diet – which fed the yeast in Tula’s gut.


“…yeast acts like a parasite. You are the host and the parasite is controlling the host. It does it in the form of cravings, changing your mood …your tastes change too.” – Michael Larsen, Dad who helped his daughter recover from Autism


Within a couple of weeks of using the coconut kefir they noticed a dramatic improvement in Tula, i.e. in speech, eye contact. Within that year her autism diagnosis was dropped.


“As her gut healed her tastes for food changed for the better. Now one of her favorite foods is broccoli. That was one of the toughest things on the list initially.” – Michael Larsen, Dad who helped his daughter recover from Autism



Not only did Tula Recover from Autism

Thea, Tula’s twin sister no longer has eczema or chronic yeast infections.

Michael lost 40 pounds. He used to be anxious, stressed and depressed which he thought was due to work. He no longer has brain fog and can do more and think faster with a smile on his face.

Holly no longer takes Prilosec, which she took for over 10 years for acid reflux.


“We really do attribute the crux of her recovery (from autism) to diet.” – Michael Larsen, Dad who helped his daughter recover from Autism


Tips for Helping your Child Overcome Autism

“Kids eat with their eyes first.” – Michael

  • Make food/eating fun. Michael would make pirate ships from food.
  • Find likeminded people; support. You’re not alone.
  • Join groups on Facebook.


“The only advice I have is that we really stuck to it. We never gave in.” – Holly Larsen, Mom who helped her daughter recover from Autism


Helpful Links

D.A.N. – Defeat Autism Now

Body Ecology Diet

GAPS Diets

ABA – Applied Behavior Analysis

BEDROCK Community



About Michael and Holly Larsen

(Left to right) Michael, Thea, Tula, Holly

Michael Larsen and his wife, Holly, are parents to twin daughters. One of their daughters, Tula, was diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder at age three. By focusing on their daughter’s gut health, they were able to recover Tula from autism. Today Tula enjoys a happy, healthy, normal life and Michael and Holly put their efforts into sharing their story so other parents may consider similar approaches to helping their children. In 2009, Michael and Holly founded a company that produces coconut kefir and strive to make healthy fermented foods readily available to people who are serious about their gut health. Holly is currently authoring a book that details their story. Learn more at Tulasstorry.wordpress.com


How to Beat Cancer Naturally with Jack Kungel :045

Jack Kungel Beat Cancer Naturally 2 Times and is Eager to Share How He Did It!

It’s easy to think that chemotherapy and radiation are the only ways to beat cancer. Well, Jack is here to tell you emphatically that there is another way. In his opinion, there is a better way to beat cancer and beat it for good!


“It was diet and cannabis. [that healed my body from cancer]”

– Jack Kungel, Cancer Survivor

Jack Beat Cancer (oh, and diabetes and other dis-eases) with Cannabis

Jack has beaten cancer twice and has been cancer-free for over 5 years!

In the early 90’s he had a devastating accident and was immediately put on a long list of medications – many for pain management.

Not only was he left with a debilitated body from the accident, he suffered life-altering side effects from the medications; particularly vomiting (for 20 years 15-20 times a day) which wore down his teeth, caused breakage of ribs and pain on top of pain. He realized that he was in chemical toxicity from all of the medications.

With his first diagnosis of bladder cancer which also affected the prostate, the doctor left him with the option of surgery. Jack took some time to think things over, time that was becoming increasingly more valuable.


“I took 28 days from the 3 or 4 months they said I had after being diagnosed with cancer, and began to educate myself.” – Jack Kungel, Cancer Survivor

Jack mentions that he had a serendipitous meeting in which a man introduced him to the healing powers of cannabis. He began taking in this medicinal plant in every way possible immediately: smoking, vaporizing and ingesting.

The therapeutic effects of cannabis allowed him to easily wean from his medications; from 22 medications a day to zero in a matter of a couple of months.

When he was cleared of cancer he dramatically reduced the cannabis protocol he was following. But, the cancer came back.


“Your body is the computer and the cannabis is the anti-virus. You take it and goes to where the body needs to heal… We are hardwired for this plant.” – Jack Kungel, Cancer Survivor


What it Took to Beat Cancer Again

This time Jack took a “no holds barred” approach. He not only aggressively began his cannabis regimen again, he drastically changed his diet to eliminate all meat, dairy and sugar. He now eats a mostly vegan diet consuming eggs only about once every 4-5 months and using bone broth regularly. He says he eats a lot of veggies and nuts and only whole fruits.

Jack explains from what he learned along his healing journey that cancer cells feed off of sugar and an amino acid called methionine. Methionine is predominantly in animals products, which is why Jack avoids these foods.

In the interview Jack explains the healing components of cannabis and dispels the belief that CBD (the non psychoactive component of the plant) is just one aspect of the healing component of the plant. He confirms that THC not only is the part of the plant that knowingly produces the “high” but is the most healing.

Well, it’s a fun and lively conversation… and there’s so much more!


“We want full plant medicine… You need the THC-delta-9 to heal… CBD just addressed the symptoms.” – Jack Kungel, Cancer Survivor


“I couldn’t walk before. Now I walk four or five miles a day.” – Jack Kungel, Cancer Survivor


Other topics we talked about:

  • Endocannabinoid System
  • CBD1 and CBD2 receptors
  • Decarb cannabis (baked, dried cannabis at 240 degrees) which converts THC 8 to TCH delta 9 which is curative
  • How cannabis extended the life of Jack’s dog with hip dysplasia
  • Why cannabis became illegal
  • Evolution of cannabis becoming legal in Canada
  • What we can do in the US to legalize cannabis
  • Friends with Osteoarthritis and Multiple Sclerosis sufferer can thrive due to cannabis.
  • Run From the Cure (video that Jack mentions)
  • How high estrogen cancers needs to be treated differently
  • Bone marrow (bone broth) boosts the T-cells
  • How a friend helped him figure out that his intense skin reactions was acidic reaction (burns)
  • The perspective of gaining LIFE!
  • How quantum hypnosis helped
  • How a friend with glioblastoma (an aggressive cancer that begins in the brain) has survived 2 years (when given only 2 weeks to live!)
  • How Jack deals with negativity
  • Why not to say “My (disease)”
  • The role of Methionine and Serrapeptase


There are so many nuggets!

Watch or Listen for more… Enjoy!



“All I did was give my body the proper tools to heal. I removed all the toxins and stepped back and allowed the body to do its thing.” – Jack Kungel, Cancer Survivor


More About Jack Kungel

Jack’s story… in his words

Jack’s alkalizing smoothy recipe

Videos and helpful resources


Jack Kungel – and Santa’s helper

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Cerebral Palsy – An Inspiring Story with Jessica Day :044

Jessica was born with Cerebral Palsy

She clarifies that Cerebral Palsy is not a disease, nor is a person born with this as a genetic disorder; it’s a physical condition.

Since childhood she experienced debilitating pain on a daily basis and went through many invasive surgeries with lack-luster results.

In this interview Jessica shares how innovative Stem Cell Therapies and natural remedies and therapies have helped her to improve her condition dramatically.

I love meeting people like Jessica, who have taken their situation and made the best of it. She proves that individuals and even families can thrive despite a Cerebral Palsy diagnosis.

Jessica has an exemplary attitude. She takes matters into her own hands and finds solutions. Most of all, she is putting herself out there to help others who also suffer from pain and other debilitating conditions.

You’ll just have to listen to really understand what I mean.



“I have always identified and will always identify as an able-bodied person. I don’t like labels. I will not label myself.” – Jessica Day

We cover:

  • What is Cerebral Palsy
  • The difference between a disease and a physical condition
  • Her family history and how her parents helped culture an attitude of ability
  • Conventional treatments and the tradeoff of procedures
  • Treatments that helped Jessica the most (from the natural and medical realms)
  • How to keep an ability-focused and health-focused attitude
  • The law of attraction
  • Light Therapy – What is it? How it helped her.
  • Perspective on Pain
  • and much more!


“I’m no longer in constant pain as a result of my disability.” – Jessica Day

“When you remove pain there is so much more room to focus on other things.” – Jessica Day


Helpful links:

Light Therapy Info:

http://www.thelightlinks.info/ (not mobile optimized)

About Jessica

Jessica Day is a young entrepreneur, certified light energy practitioner, and disability advocate. Born with a physical disability known as  cerebral palsy (CP) she was forced to advocate for herself at an early age. She understands the importance of choice. Her desire to gain more control over her life and health is what brought her to choose more natural and unconventional ways of dealing with her physical condition personally. This paired with her passion for helping others has reshaped her life in many ways. She started Aspire Ability Resources inc., an advocacy company that focuses on bringing people with physical disabilities into a more positive, trend-forward light. Now, she hopes to complement her nonprofit work with a career in holistic wellness. Encouraging everyone to look at what their body can do for itself, rather than focusing on its limitations, whatever they may be.


Jessica can be reached:



Aspire Ability Resources Inc.
and reached at the same number listed above.


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“It’s not OK to Punch Somebody” says World-Renowned Martial Artist, Guro Rick Faye :043

“Martial Arts as a Way of Life”

…was how I thought this podcast would be titled, I informed Guru Rick Faye.


We humbly ask – Help Guro Rick’s wife Marla Faye in her healing journey with cancer…

Please visit their Go Fund Me Page


As we talked I heard all kinds of lesson and great, catchy titles for this podcast:

“What a World-renowned Martial Arts Teacher says about Violence”

“Bruce Lee’s Teachings Applied in the 21st Century”

“Yes, That Will Hurt Later”

“What Does an Early (before there was “MMA”) MMA Teachers Think of the UFC?”

“The Love Speech by Dan Inosanto that made Guru Rick Faye Want to be a Martial Arts Instructor”

The list goes on…


By Guro Rick’s Unofficial Request

It’s funny how you (I mean me) can fool yourself; thinking you are guiding Life, the Universe, or the Guro…

Soon enough I heard what the title should really be. Oh, how Guros teach without really trying… or are they?

Guro Rick said if there’s anything he’d like to be known for, it’s to be the Martial Arts Instructor who says, “It’s not OK to punch somebody.” So, his wish… Spread the word!


Watch or Listen to the Podcast for all the gems with Guro Rick Faye!


In this talk we cover many topics. Enjoy!

  • Training for Longevity and Guro Rick’s suggestion for diet and training


“The more veggies you can work into your diet the better off you’ll be – and that’s just a fact.”

– Guro Rick Faye

  • What is Kali, really? The 12 Categories
  • JKD – Jeet Kune Do
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Why Richard Simmons is one of Guru Rick’s heroes


“Slow & mindful. Progressive, slow improvement. Mindful movement.” – Guro Rick Faye


  • Attributes training – Progressive training
  • Kali triangle: Skill, Fight, Play – The role of Play.
  • Guru Rick’s recommendations for daily practice/training
  • How Guru Rick overcomes painful joints mentally and physically


“Is this training harming my body?” – Guro Rick Faye


  • What Thai pads are called “the brutal mirror”
  • What Guro Rick recommends to those in their 30’s and younger (and everyone) for healthier training
  • Muscle vs. Connective tissue
  • Comparing
  • Open-mindedness in JKD terms


“I’m not interested in violence… I want to stay away from it.” – Guro Rick Faye


  • Perceptions and Prejudices
  • What Guro Rick thinks of the UFC
  • Violence
  • Emotional/Verbal Violence
  • What are the best days to Guro Rick Faye
  • Guro Rick’s experience with Tony Robbins
  • Gratitude to Guro Dan Inosanto
  • And of course there are many great stories! Enjoy!


“If you train just right it’s a callus. If you train wrong it’s a blister.” – John LaCoste

“Just be grateful for what you can do.” – Guro Rick Faye

“When I’m 95 I’m going to be training.” – Guro Rick Faye


Helpful Links:

Minnesota Kali Group Website – Check out the Online University! 

Cognitive Kali – TED Talk by Paul McCarthy 

The Tao of Jeet Kune Do by Bruce Lee – book

Sugar Blues – book


Other Podcasts with Guro Rick Faye


Erik Paulson CSW Podcast


About Guro Rick Faye


Founder of the world renowned martial arts school, the Minnesota Kali Group, Rick Faye isdedicated to the highest levels of training and individual improvement in the martial arts.  In addition to being the MKG owner and head instructor of the Minnesota Kali Group and his instructor development organization, MKG International, Rick is considered one of the top instructors in the JKD family world wide. Rick’s impressive reputation for seminars on the art, self-defense and law enforcement topics keep him in demand locally, nationally & internationally.

Rick Faye’s credentials include 2 Senior Full Instructorships under Dan Inosanto (Jun Fan/Jeet Kune Do & the Filipino Martial Arts), and a 5th level Maphilindo Silat Instructorship under Guro Inosanto. He is a regional director for the Thai Boxing Association, U.S.A. and holds the level of Ajarn (Senior Instructor) in Muay Thai under Grandmaster Chai Sirisute. He also holds instructorships in Wing Chun Gung Fu, Sensei Erik Paulson’s C.S.W. curriculum (Combat Submission Wrestling) and numerous other arts.  Rick’s teaching methods have paved the way for both the fighter, the martial artist and the martial art enthusiast to all thrive and excel in this complex and functional martial art system.

Rick’s devotion to the art is evidenced by his belief in constant training of the basics and an impressive attention to detail. This enthusiasm is integral to his teaching and helps his students learn and maintain their excitement. The results of this work ethic are obvious in both his art and his teaching.

Visit the MNKali.com website.


Learn via the online university or at an affiliate school near you!


You are Not a Body-type :042

You are not a Body-type

In my last post I explained what Body-typing IS, in this post I will describe what it IS NOT.

Body-typing identifies patterns. It’s a way of describing. It’s not a label. 

I help people understand their Body-type tendencies so they can break non-helpful habits, and adopt new ones that help them feel balanced.

You have Body-type tendencies, but you are not a Body-type. Just like you may have a disease occurring in your body, but you are not the disease.

Whether it’s your Body-type or a disease it’s wise to refrain from saying “I am this Body-type.” or “I have this disease.”

Former medical school professor and early cell cloning scientist, Bruce Lipton Ph.D. wrote an enlightening book called, The Biology of Belief, describing how the environment influences cellular growth. Experiments showed that even the thoughts of those conducting the experiment would influence the physical outcome of cells. He draws the conclusion that how we think indeed does influence our physical condition. What you think, you become.

This is why I emphasize to be very careful what you say you ARE or HAVE; even something as seemingly innocuous as Body-typing. This is the most challenging aspect of Body-tying to teach. Part of this has to do with the English language.



In some other languages, there are different versions of the verb “to be“. In English we say “I am happy. You are happy. She is happy.” These are examples of the verb “to be” conjugated for I, you and she. But it’s not the fancy conjugation that I’m trying to point out, it’s this: being happy is a temporary state.

For example, if you say in English “I am a woman. You are a woman. She is a woman.” You are using the same verb “to be” and the same conjugations for I, you and she; but being a woman is a biological state that is a permanent condition, as opposed to the temporary state of being happy (current transgender topics aside).

Another way to look at it is the difference between “you are” (temporary state like being happy or sad) or “you ARE” permanent state (like being a man or woman, or where you ARE originally from/where you were born).

If you know Spanish or Portuguese for example, the “to be/are” is “estar” and “to be/ARE” is “ser”.

Similarly, the verb “to have” is a strong linking word like the word we just made-up “ARE”.



Which Body-type you “are” or “ARE”. Why does it matter?

This is more of a philosophical question.

When a person is first seeking to discover solutions to a problem, it seems to help to identify, to label, to have a name for the ailment.

  • “I have Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis which explains my uncontrollable weight problem.”
  • “My wife is a narcissist who will not seek help with me, which is why I cannot be with her anymore.”

When you’re going through troubling times, it feels good to identify the problem and name it. It’s like you’ve been on a long, troublesome hunt and you finally caught the game or found a prized patch of mushrooms after the tiresome search.


The problem is that when you label it, you are stuck with it

When it comes to the health and wellness journey, many of us (especially if you are reading this) are seeking improvement.

As I’ve mentioned in other blogs and podcasts, our thoughts and intentions are very powerful. They are so powerful that our thoughts and intentions can dictate what happens in our lives. (See The Biology of Belief)

The Body-type elements are not meant to be used like labels for diseases. Indeed, I think one should be careful about even labeling themselves with a disease or ailment, but this is for another podcast.


Body-typing is not meant for labeling, it’s a tool.

Like any other tool, you use a tool when it’s helpful, and you pick up and use another tool for another situation. You use the tool, but you are not the tool. The relationship between you and the tool is temporary, as in, “are” not “ARE“.


Getting around language

In the English language there really is no way around it. I am still faced with writing, saying, and asking, “Find out which Body-type you are!”

And at the same time I want to emphasize that while you may experience signs of your primary Body-type your whole life – it’s not a sentencing… things can change.


Change is important

Change is scary to most of us most of the time; more than you may think! Don’t think so? What’s your absolute favorite product for your hair or skin for example. What if the company decided to reformulate. Don’t freak out, they’ll still make the product, they’re just going to tweak it a bit. Yikes, right!? And that’s something relatively minor. Our attachment to the little things illustrates how attached we are to the big things.

But change is important. Without change our lives become stagnant, boring and bit by bit we die.

Bits of us die each day. That’s ok and even good, but we must also renew!


Why you should be more than BE

I know there is so much desire and teaching these days on how to BE; that is, be authentic, to BE YOU!

Let me share something with you, you already ARE YOU! This is a given!

What’s getting in the way is all the little “be’s” and “to be’s” and “are’s” and “am’s” getting in the way of you BEING YOU!

If you mistake yourself for BEING a Body-type rather than just observing your temporary state, you mask, you cloud your TRUE state of BEING… YOU!

Be mindful of what is around you and what IS YOU.

Body-typing is this journey of taking perspective of yourself outside of yourself.


Be flexible and make space to change.

Very little is permanent in this life.

Just like the tree you go through seasons, storms, ailments and regeneration.

Be mindful of what you consider to be permanent, especially diseased or ailing states. Instead of “I have such and such disease.” Say, “I am experiencing this right now, but it can change at any time.” Or, once I am familiar with an audience I will say, “I show signs of this Body-type (right now, usually, etc.) rather than “I am” or “You are” this Body-type.”


 Plain and Simple

Body-typing is a tool. You are not the tool. The tool helps you to gain perspective of yourself to, identify patterns that help you to feel balanced, and those that work against you. You are the sum of your thoughts -so be very mindful of what you think and say. Body-typing is a concept, a way of thinking, to help you gain a helpful perspective on yourself.

You are not a Body-type, but you can think Body-typing.


Learn more:

Take the Body-type Quiz in the right sidebar

Learn more about the foods, exercises and habits that help each Body-type feel more balanced in my book

You-niversal Self-care

Also, check out more blogs and podcasts with Body-typing insights in the archive in the right sidebar.


What is Body-typing? :041

Body-typing and Body-types have existed for thousands of years

Traditionally, this ancient art was used to identify patterns. Observing common and uncommon patterns practitioners could identify which ailments and even the diseases that a person was more prone to and which of many remedies would be best suited for this particular type of person.

Body-typing can be used for many things, but on this site and in my book, You-niversal Self-care: Improved Health Through Self-Understanding I focus on using Body-typing for health and in relationships.

How Body-typing Helps

I discovered Body-typing for myself over a decade ago. At this time I was still forcing my body to make changes that I thought were necessary for my healing path. Learning about Body-typing helped me to understand that I needed to work with my body, not work on it. We are all unique, but we can identify patterns to help understand our situations.

To me, Body-typing is a tool that helps me get out of myself; it helps me get out of my head and into a more wise way of thinking.

Recall a time when you have had a serious life problem and you went to a very good friend, or someone you trust for advice. This person listens, and then begins to share a new perspective on how to look at your situation. This simple change of perspective, getting outside of yourself, opens up a whole new world of solutions that you never saw. Body-typing is a tool to help us gain perspective. This is how I use and teach Body-typing.

I’m absolutely fascinated by ancient studies of Body-typing, metaphor and archetypes; but I still found these ancient ways of thinking challenging to grasp.

This is why I teach Body-typing simply, using the four Elements: Earth, Fire, Air and Water.

We can all relate to these elements and while we may have slightly varying experiences about how we interpret these Elements, for the most part we can agree on what they mean. In other words, I wanted to simplify things. You will understand why in the next section.


A Brief History of Body-typing

What I call Body-typing, is found in many ancient cultures throughout the world.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine has existed for over two thousand years. Treating people with herbs, acupuncture, massage, lifestyle guidance and more, Chinese practitioner also use the elements to represent these patterns beginning with Yin and Yang. From there, the types branch into: Earth, Fire, Water, Wood and Metal. It’s a highly enlightening and dynamic system, but very challenging to grasp with the western mind. My teaching is a good introduction to this ancient and complex system.

Ayurvedic Medicine

Similarly, Ayurvedic Medicine is a form of medicine practiced in India and now more widely throughout the world. It includes many of the aspects as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) although in its own very unique way. Ayurveda traditionally includes even some surgery. Ayurveda also has a complex system of understand how the elements and other principles (like moisture or timing) interact. Their system of Body-typing is called the Doshas of which there are Vata, Pitta and Kapha which each are a combination of the elements. Again, for the simplicity of language and therefor overall understanding, I use the four Elements.

Greek Humours

The ancient Greeks used Body-typing as the four Elements also called the Humours. Again, this system of thinking seemed to pop up around the same time as the Indian’s and Chinese’s. This system is very different and unique using colors and types of bodily fluids like blood, bile and phlegm to identify patterns, but there are remarkable similarities to the other ancient systems.

Native American Medicine Wheel

The last ancient correlation I will mention are the Native Americans’ Medicine Wheel, the four directions and correlating colors, seasons, times of life, etc. Again, there are amazing similarities using simple concepts to understand the complex things in life.


Bringing it Together

I teach Body-typing as a way to simplify our understanding of our bodies, minds, emotions, relationships and life situations.

In a life that is so full of complexity, Body-typing helps us see beauty and wisdom in simplicity.

Learn more:

Take the Body-type Quiz in the right sidebar

Learn more about the foods, exercises and habits that help each Body-type feel more balanced in my book

You-niversal Self-care

Also, check out more blogs and podcasts with Body-typing insights in the archive in the right sidebar.


Detox – The Simplest, Easiest Way to do It :040

Especially if you’re new to the detox realm, know that it doesn’t have to be difficult

To detox is to simply provide your body with the tools and the environment so it can do its job; to build, repair and to clean!

Imagine you are set with the task of cleaning a house that has not been thoroughly cleaned for decades. Let’s say it’s your Aunt Margaret’s house and she’s moving into assisted living and you’ve been left in charge with making sure that things are cleaned up.



You’re in charge of cleanup

The house has papers stacked as high as Aunt Margaret and is littered with dust bunnies the size of the enormous fuzzy Easter Bunny she took you to see as a youngster!

Aunt Margaret has only discarded wrappers, empty cartons and other obvious garbage; the rest is left for you to discover and ultimately throw away.

She has clearly not cleaned for decades.

When Aunt Margaret did clean, the only solvent she used was a highly perfumed colorful liquid from a mystery bottle with no label. Surfaces are sticky, corners are packed with dust, soil and debris – in other words, this is going to take some work to clean!


A good initial cleaning or detox is easy

If you haven’t cleansed your body in years, decades, or have never done a cleanse – a simple detox will get you off to a great start!

Go back to envisioning Aunt Margaret’s house. To make a big improvement, all her house needs is to have the windows opened, the unnecessary items discarded and a simple wash down with a simple bucket of warm water. This alone will make the house feel fresher.

Then, once the big stuff is done, the major digging-in can happen; one can do a more thorough cleanse or detox. But the big, simple stuff needs to happen first.

Especially if you have never done a detox I suggest

Just clean it up!

You don’t need anything fancy; no programs, no pills.

Help your body do the basics.

Want to know my easiest and simples way to do this? Drink lots of water!

Water is a master solvent and your body needs lots of it. Sodas, juices and other colorful drinks are like the mystery cleanser at Auntie’s house. You may think that they are sufficient, but they don’t really get the job done. It’s an illusion. Your body needs WATER!


Take a month to develop this healthy habit:

Increase your water to drink one half your body weight in ounces of water.

If you’re pregnant or nursing or working out you will need more.


If you weight 150 pounds you will need at least 75 ounces of water daily which is just over 2 quarts. 

1/2 (body weight) =   ___ ounces of water to drink in a day, minimum

For easy reference:

1 US liquid quart = 32 US fluid ounces (or 4, 8 ounce glasses)

1 US liquid gallon = 128 US fluid ounces


That’s it. Only one step. Do this for now and by the end of the month you’ll be amazed by the difference!

What if it’s difficult? Water doesn’t taste good. I hear this all the time!


Here are my tips to get started on drinking plenty of water:


Drink filtered water

Poor quality tap water is not going to taste good. Nor is bottled water that has been sitting in plastic bottles for who knows how long and in what kind of conditions. Filter your own water at home with at least a charcoal filter. Glass-bottled spring water is a good option too. We like Mountain Spring brand. Invest in yourself and make naturally purified water with the Berkey Water Purifier.


Naturally flavor the water

Use therapeutic grade essential oils of lemon, orange, peppermint to naturally flavor the water. Fresh fruits and even cucumbers work well too. The combination of slices of lemon, orange and cucumber are a delicious combination. This can also be a natural boost to your cleansing as they help to naturally detoxify your body. If using essential oils, make sure they are therapeutic grade appropriate for internal use and use glass bottles since essential oils can break down plastic; and you don’t want to consume that!


Fill your bottles

Buy or reuse glass or stainless steel bottles (non-BPA plastic is ok if you’re concerned about breakage and the bottle will not be exposed to heat or prolonged sunlight). I reuse 32 ounces juice bottles. Fill your bottles with the amount of water you intend to drink in the morning. Gauge how much you’ve had by noon and then by 6pm. You can set smaller goals like finishing one bottle by noon and the other by early evening, which also helps prevent midnight trips to the bathroom.


Just do it!

Sometimes, when you know that something is good for you, you just have to make the intention to do it! No tricks or bells or whistles or rewards. Know that the reward will be that you will feel better. Get curious about what it will feel like to feel better; you’ll probably even find a more refreshed face looking back at you in the mirror too!


Getting Through a Sad Christmas :039

I Believe More People are Sad at Christmas than Will Admit

Sad times seem to stem from one thing… death: death of loved ones, relationships, ideas of what could or should have been, death of the past.

Christmas is about the celebration of LIFE. But like any good life lesson (and story), the potential for great joy is counter balanced by the likelihood of great sadness. Oh, how life can be so poetic!

I don’t mean to be negative. I’m actually wanting to relate and reach out; to help those who are struggling and truly suffering at this time. I’ve been there. Sadness overcomes me at these times too.


If the Christmas time is sad for you I welcome you in

I still haven’t decided how much or how to share all of my story on this podcast. Believe me, I know the pain of separation from people who said they loved me, but whose actions did not speak the same words.

I’ve felt the guilt of not being able to make things better, to be the solution I knew I could and wanted to be. I felt guilty, even when others tore apart the progress that we made.

Divorce is now accepted as a normal way to separate legally and otherwise from a troubling spouse. What is not so widely accepted is to separate from troubling people whom you had no choice in being involved with in the first place; family.

I am divorced from my family of origin, and like any divorces, there are multiple sides to the story, and a lot of hurt feelings.

I fought to mend a complex codependent family dynamic relationship while striving to understand my own values, standards and to create healthy boundaries.

It’s difficult to know how much to share. I want to help others in a similar situation and I also want to break the taboo, that being separated from one’s family is unacceptable. Is the only way to do this to share all? I’m still looking for other solutions.

I have forgiven these people and do not want to cause them any hardship by what I share. So I walk the line steadily. I still love them, but at a distance.


Is the feeling of loss making you sad?

It’s natural to mourn what we have lost: a loved one, a relationship, even a thought or idea of how we thought things were or how they should be.

Grief is different for each person and each situation. Check out this wonderful, short book, Tear Soup.

If you’re reading this you’re experiencing legitimate sadness. I encourage you to feel it fully, work through it, but also seek help.


What can help to overcome this sadness?

For deep grief there may be many waves of these feelings, especially when the grief is struck by timely events like Christmas and birthdays. It’s very challenging also, when the people or situation that you grieve are still alive; when there is no definitive death. When family members (or people in the sidelines of the situation) don’t know the whole story and don’t seem to strive to hear you, this can make things even more difficult to endure.

Here’s what I suggest to help overcome bouts of sadness at this time:

Gather a Group

Gather a group of people whom you really love and appreciate and who reciprocate this care. Make your own festivities, not out of spite, but in order to create what you desire!

Let go

Let go of assuming what others are thinking. Similarly, let go of desiring to be understood, especially by extended family or those in the sidelines of your situation; leave this for your therapist or maybe your best friend. Others will always have their own perspective and proclivities of what they will believe. Be free of the thoughts (or assumed thoughts) of other people!

Seek help

Allow yourself to process. Ask someone close to you to remind you if you’re perhaps “grieving by the clock” – that is, if the coming of the holidays or birthdays start to trigger sadness instead of joy or more positive memories. In this case, knowing is definitely half the battle!


Accepting a situation as it is does not mean that we like it, it just means that we no longer allow it to have hold of us. Once we can accept a situation as it is – a death, the ending of a relationship, the loss of a belief or desire – we can begin to feel whole again. Accepting a loss is like offering the object that is being taken from you. Imagine someone trying to steal a very prized possession. Let go of it. When you give up the object, you no longer struggle. You can rebuild and renew.


Love yourself, love others and perhaps even eventually love and forgive the situation or other party that seems to have caused this sadness, maybe. To begin this, get out and help others somehow. Volunteer somewhere. Get out of your house where your thoughts seem to loom, and help and serve others. This is an amazing healing remedy!


When the sadness won’t let go

There are people who hold onto feeling sad because of the attention that it gains them. I don’t think you’re one of these people… if you were, you wouldn’t have read so far, looking for a solution.

There are also people and situations where sadness takes a very strong grip and won’t seem to let go.

If you’re in this state, even though the above suggestions may seem totally incomprehensible. I encourage you to just imagine what it would be like to just do one of them!


It is serving you

This grief, this sadness, this situation is serving you somehow. I know this may sound ridiculous, but it’s true.

Think of how you’ve become stronger, wiser, more observant, clearer in thought, etc. from all of this already. Imagine more solutions, see who you can become through this, and soon you will be living and being that person, rather than this.


Sending you much love from one mending heart to another, Tara


“Love allows understanding to dawn, and understanding is precious. Where you are understood, you are at home. Understanding nourishes belonging. When you really feel understood, you feel free to release yourself into the trust and shelter of the other person’s soul.” 
― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

5 Super Simple Ways to Avoid Overeating During the Holidays :038

Overeating is so Easy to do During the Holiday

If you find yourself overeating during the holidays, I’ve put together these 5 tips to help you out!

It’s a slightly odd list with solutions that seem a bit too simple, but don’t let this fool you – this works!


5 Ways I Avoid Overeating During the Holidays:

1)  Drink plenty of water.

The standard recommendation is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of water. This means that a person who weights 150 pounds should drink 75 ounces of water per day. This is is about two and a half quarts of water. Flavor your water with lemon or lime, or therapeutic grade essential oils if it’s challenging to drink enough water at first. And don’t worry if you find yourself peeing a lot. You’re body is cleaning itself out. If this is a problem due to your work, drink a couple of large glasses of water at once (not near a meal as this will dilute stomach acids) and your trips to the bathroom should be more predictable. Another way to look at is, that these frequent trips to the bathroom get you up and moving around from your desk! Drinking plenty of water before you go to an event fills the stomach and helps you feel more full. Also, sometimes, especially when people are not accustomed to drinking enough water, hunger is mistaken for thirst.


2)  Eat a Healthy Meal Before the Event.

Even if you’re looking forward to enjoying your favorite dish that grandma makes or your brother’s BBQ chicken wings, eat at least a small, healthy meal before the event. You will still get to enjoy all the tasty food at the event, and you still may end up stuffing yourself full, but you know that you at least got a base of healthy food in your tummy beforehand.


3)  Don’t Stand at the “Food Station”.

When we have an event at our house everyone seems to gather around the kitchen island where the food is assembled. There are plenty of comfortable places to sit, but people will happily stand at the counter and nibble on food all night. If you’re trying to avoid overeating I suggest you grab a plate, put the amount of food that you want to eat on it, grab the person you want to talk to and go to a comfortable place away from the food station to talk. Simple? Yes! Effective? Yes!


4)  Throw it Away!

Yes, I know. I hate throwing away or wasting food too, but consider this; are the goodies that seem to be lingering from cookie exchanges, leftovers from gatherings: are these items really food? What I mean is, do they actually provide nutrition to the body? Most often they do not. If this “food” is made of white sugar, white flour, noodles or contains ingredients that you cannot pronounce, throw it away! I don’t mean pass on the cookies to your co-workers or your mechanic… I mean toss them in the garbage! Don’t put other people through the same challenges you’re trying to get over. You’re not helping them! Yes, throw it away!


5)  Take Your Vitamins!

What!? Why did this one make the list? Sometimes we crave foods, even the ones that are not so good for us, because we are nutritionally deprived. I am one of these people! If you’re not sure if your vitamins are providing enough of what you need, contact a Functional Medicine practitioner. You can do some very helpful tests that assess which vitamins you may need more of according to your DNA and other tests which actually show how well your body is utilizing nutrients and which you may need more of. You’ll also get a good education on quality supplements too!


Again, don’t let the simplicity of this list fool you!

This works! Give it a try!

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Free Generation Naturals Founded by Angela Doyle :037

Angela Created Free Generation Naturals from the Desire to Have a Healthy Pregnancy and a Healthy Child

Motivated to have a healthy pregnancy, fourteen years ago Angela Doyle created her own deodorants and now has a growing line of Free Generation Naturals products.

Even having cancer as a teenager didn’t affect Angela’s awareness of the value of life as much as did becoming pregnant and having the responsibility of caring for another life.

In this interview Angela Doyle, shares her journey of surviving cancer, changing what she used on her body for a healthy pregnancy, and how what she experienced and learned influences her decisions of what to include (or not include) in her own products!


Watch and Listen as Angela shares her story:

  • Surviving mesothelioma as a teenager (often due to exposure to asbestos)
  • How she became more aware and researched what went on her body when she became pregnant
  • Feeling vulnerable and responsible for her growing family and their health
  • Her thoughts and findings of what the FDA has approved and not approved
  • Where to go to find sound information on what is safe to use on and in the body
  • Why sweating can be healthy
  • and more…


What to Use and Not Use

In creating her natural deodorant and growing personal care line, there are ingredients that she seeks to use and not use. In the podcast Angela shares why she uses and doesn’t use certain ingredients. The resources below also give thorough explanation.

To use:

Baking soda (non aluminum)

Magnesium (used in the sensitive skin version)

Coconut oil

Arrowroot powder

Probiotics (for those with the most sensitive skin) – Angela shares why she thinks this will be the next generation of natural products. She explains how the good bacteria inhibits the growth of stinky bacteria that cause body odor.


To avoid:



Phthalates – including “fragrance” and “parfum”




Resources mentioned. Check them out!

Environmental Working Group (EWG)

EWG is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment. Visitors can look up specific chemicals and ingredients to determine risks. Angela will be applying for certification for her products in 2017.


Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a non-profit, independent group that requires global compliance with EU regulations.


Think Dirty App

This is an app that allows users to scan products in stores to learn about a product and its ingredients. Also has safety/risk ratings.


Story of Cosmetics

This 7-min animated film examines the pervasive use of toxic chemicals in our everyday personal care products.


Mother Dirt Products

Products that restore and maintain good bacteria on the skin.


About Angela and Free Generation Naturals

Free Generation Naturals launched in August 2016 with the mission to provide a safe and effective natural deodorant option for people of all ages and stages of life. The founder, Angela Doyle, started her own natural deodorant journey 14 years ago when she was pregnant with her daughter, and considered what was going in and on her body that might affect both her and her daughter’s health. As a childhood cancer survivor, Angela was further motivated to provide healthy options for her entire family.
The deodorant formula has been through hundreds of iterations throughout the years, and the line has expanded to include a sensitive skin version in stick form and a probiotic deodorant cream that is suitable for even the most sensitive skin.

Free Generation Naturals also offers a line of beeswax lip balms and will expand into bodycare products, including lotions and body scrubs, in late 2017. Learn more about the products, ingredients and company at www.FreeGenerationNaturals.com.


Overcome Resistance on Your Health Journey :036

Resistance shows up in a number of ways on your Health Journey

When you dedicate yourself to a healthier way of living, this first push-back you feel is you overcoming your own resistance. This is good because you will need the strength of overcoming your own resistance to overcome resistance from others.


 Resistance from Self

The resistance you get from yourself is really a fear of letting go of the familiar and the resulting consequences. You might ask:

  • If you change your way of eating how will you convince your family members to do the same?
  • Or, how will you make time to prepare separate meals?
  • If you join the class that helped you to feel healthier before, how will you make time for your family?

The list goes on of worries and concerns. They can be very real and seemingly unsurmountable, they might be many small things that deter you from instituting the change that you know you need to in order to achieve the level of health you ultimately desire or even need in your life.

This resistance is normal. There will come a point when the pain of your ailments or just knowing and feeling that your health is suffering, that all the excuses will go out the window. You will do away with them. You will bust out of your cocoon and choose a new life – a new way of being.

Overcoming self resistance just happens, like the butterfly emerging from the cocoon. One day you’re just too big (read: fed up) with your circumstance. You cannot stand being within this cramped space any longer. If you’re experiencing frustration, this is good. You’re getting to the point of emerging from your cocoon, and once you overcome yourself, you can totally manage any resistance from others.


Resistance from Others

Getting through your own resistance helps to prepare you for dealing with external resistance.

It may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes those who are closest, those who say they love us, can cause the greatest resistance.

They know the “old you” – they like “the old you” even if they complain about us at times. The old you is predictable to them. Predictable means comfortable. Who doesn’t like to feel comfortable, especially around loved-ones?

Loved ones may say that they support our health and healing path, but this means that their life will change also; especially the closer they are to us.

Many of us say we want change. We desire a certain result, but rarely do we understand or are we comfortable with the little changes along the way that are required for the big change to happen.

The people nearest you may truly want the end result, the goal, for you; but they may not realize the changes that may result in their life. Recognize this.

The people with your best interest at heart will support your healthy changes – or at least be neutral so long as in the process this does not mean that you are destructive to others. Communicate with those closest to you. Express the importance of you making these changes and how it can help not only you, but other areas of your life – even how it may benefit them.

Make new agreements about time shared (maybe even exercise together!), household duties and roles, to help you create new healthy habits.

If you expect that those closest to you will just adapt to your new way of eating, new exercise schedule or change in priorities they may feel left out or even taken advantage of. Communicate instead of just expecting the support.

Set yourself up for success!


If you still experience resistance

Carry on through the challenges of those resisting you.

You are the product of your environment and as you seek a healthy lifestyle you will be faced with deciding whom you allow in your environment.

Learn to be very discerning on what is necessary and what is not. Be solution oriented. Seek to find the possibilities, not the limitations!

Make healthy changes anyway – despite the resistance. Trust your instincts. Seek to learn what this experience is teaching you.

What you may not know is that you are lighting the way. You inspire others to lead a healthy life – you open the door for others to think it’s possible for them!

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Embarrassed to Exercise :035

I remember what it feels like to be embarrassed to exercise

It first started when I was in elementary school. I lacked coordinated, stamina, understanding of most games and even strategies. I didn’t want to take part in any physical activities, so it didn’t bother me to be chosen last to be on the team; this was a given.


I just wanted to be left alone

On top of my lack of physical skills, being active hurt. The clothing rubbing against my troubled skin plagued me when doing normal activities; any extra activity caused pain from repeated friction. I just wanted to be still.

If that wasn’t bad enough, physical exertion made my stomach sick, my face turn red, I felt light-headed, like I would vomit. If there was any moderate running, my lungs burned and sides ached.

Extremes in weather made it worse. I loved the sun but it dried my skin just from the heat. My face got redder and hotter more quickly. My feet felt like anchors that I had to drag along.

Cold weather was equally painful. My already chilled and sensitive body recoiled in the the cold. My skin felt even more parched in the cool, dry air. The open cracks in my skin, open wounds exposed to the piercing air or caught on layers of clothing.

Oh yeah, and on top of it all, I was overweight. Forty percent heavier than my average classmate.

“Just let me sit out.” I thought, at every recess and every P.E. class.

Just let me be.


My biggest hurdle… embarrassment

So acutely aware of my abnormalities, what I couldn’t do, I was ashamed to even try. That would have made it worse, to try, fail and be teased even more.

There was a point, though, that I realized that by not overcoming this hurdle, I was keeping myself from what was beyond just that one, seemingly monumental hurdle!

If I had allowed myself, I would have gone my whole life not discovering how capable and healthy I have become because I was worried about what others would think of me!

I knew for years that my body needed to dance- to learn to move in a coordinated fashion and with expression.

I was embarrassed as a child because I thought dance was too feminine: I felt I gained favor from those I loved by being a Tom-boy.

I was embarrassed as an adult because I thought I looked silly stumbling around; that’s how I perceived myself.


Get over the hurdle

I became sick and tired of being sick and tired. My ailments and thoughts and feelings about my body and my life continually pushed me into a corner. I felt less and less capable, worthy, and even desirous of anything fun and worth while.

Something in my young self knew this was no way to live. I decided to change. I decided to make my biggest hurdle my greatest victory.

Quick synopsis, almost thirty years later I am stronger and healthier than ever. I feel fit, capable, coordinated and now I am chosen to be on teams! It feels really good to overcome such a multi-faceted challenge!


One embarrassing thing after another

Life is funny. It seems to give us lesson upon lesson until we really get it.

Recently I found that I am once again embarrassed about exercise. Like any good life-lesson, the circumstances are much different. Now, much more self-confident, capable and healthy, I am not embarrassed of my body, but I noticed being embarrassed about what or even how I train; in martial arts.

It started as a curiosity for me many years ago. I met my husband through this activity and we’ve trained off and on throughout the years.

It has been a form of exercise and self-study for me for 16 years. It’s true, there is so much to learn just by metaphors in training martial arts; as we have seen in many movies.  I have learned about boundaries, when and how to meet force, when to go around, flow, movement within movement, patience, muscle memory, overcoming frustration, learning with new training partners and so much more. For me, this training is so much more about how to work with and through a situation, rather than to cause harm. But, because I was training with people of similar interest, I didn’t notice so much the seeming contradiction brewing within me.

What would my yoga friends think!?

I train regularly with training daggers and learn to disarm and return attacks. This is does not fit my equally deep training in yoga. This does not abide by one of the tenets: nonviolence.

I don’t train martial arts to learn to be a violent person. Actually, in metaphoric ways, I have become much better at dealing with non-physical violence and even challenging life situations because of my martial arts training.

Most of all, I’ve had to remember that each of us has our own unique path. I must continue to tune inward and find my own way- without worry of what others think.


I don’t let this stop me from training.

While it still surprises me to see myself in a video, training with practice daggers, I know myself best. I know that I am not training to harm, but to learn the dynamics of life, to train and understand my body, to become proficient in an area of life (physical) that is most challenging to me.

Most of all, I can see the metaphors in life; how to defend and react not to the physical dagger, but the sharp tongue or piercing eyes of another person.

I encourage you to face your seeming contradictions and challenges as well. Don’t let the thoughts (or assumed thoughts) of other people stop you from moving your body the way you need to be healthy in body, mind and spirit!

I keep on training because of the many things I gain: quality time with my hubby, increased awareness, improved coordination and reflexes, strength and greater self-confidence.

If I worried about what others thought, I’d be letting my assumed thoughts of what they might think of me prevent me from becoming who I want to be; more educated, capable and to have greater perspective.

Now I: train martial arts, dance, do yoga, mountain bike and am excited to do more! I’m so thrilled to live in my capable body! No longer will I let others’ presumed thoughts dictate what I do or do not do!

Whatever your reason for embarrassment

Don’t let it stop you!

If you were to join any activity for the fun of it

…and as a result you gained in fitness, coordination or self-awareness–what would you do?

What would you do if no one were looking?

What if money were no object?

What are you curious about?

What do you admire that others can do?

Where can you start? How can you fulfill this for yourself?

Don’t worry about what others might think. You’re living your life!

It’s YOUR Exercise for YOUR Body!

Turn your embarrassment into accomplishment!


“If one loves, one need not have an ideology of love.”  – Bruce Lee

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Exercise: What’s right for Your Body? :034

You know how your body needs and wants to move…

To exercise, it’s intuitive, but it may need some excavating to come out again.

Which activities did you love as a child?

Running, climbing, playing ball, dancing?

This is a first big clue. Write these down!

What did you love about these activities: being outside, being with others, the feeling of freedom, learning, the feeling of continuous challenge and the possibility of winning or losing?

This seems overly simply, but it’s such a healthy mental and emotional exercise to do.

The greatest step we can take in our health is to observe and allow!

Observe how your body truly wants and needs help and support. If that’s difficult to tune into now, recall a time when you felt really in-tune with your body. What were you doing (and not doing) to support yourself? What were your goals and desires? Most of all, what was your attitude?


 Know your Body-type

Some people and bodies need more vigorous exercise others more slow and mellow.

I’ve learned over time that I need mostly gentle exercise: dance, walking, yoga – with some strength and coordination exercise mixed in.

In my book, You-niversal Self-care, I teach about the Body-types and the foods, exercises and habits that help to balance each type. Here’s a summary of the types of exercises that help each Body-type.


Types of Exercise that help each Body-type


This type needs vigorous exercise, but exercising is not typically enjoyable to them. They need a trainer, a group, a class that they enjoy and can kick them into gear! Earth-types like things to be regular. A scheduled class and a consistent trainer are helpful. Earth-types like being around friends, but it’s best not to count on other Earth-type friends to stay accountable. Make sure to find a Fire-type trainer/group leader to keep you going! Beautiful esthetics help. Earth-types also like comfortable and homey atmosphere.  This is not the typical gym, which is why an Earth-type will feel more comfortable in a yoga class (without mirrors). They will benefit from a more vigorous Ashtanga or “Power yoga”. When an Earth-type finds the right activity they actually enjoy it!


Fire-types need lots of activity, something to let off steam, something challenging. They also like competition. Join a sports league which is also motivation to do some supplemental and cross training. You’ll find many Fire-types in competitive environments like Crossfit. A Fire-type naturally wants to move and compete, but when they are overcome by the challenge of “making it” in the business realm they will readily put this healthy practice aside. You will feel and perform much better though, in all areas of life, when you exercise regularly!


Air and Water-types

These types need regularity. Depending on their second most dominant Body-type they may be able to withstand vigorous workouts, or not. If Air is your primary Body-type, like me, less intense workouts like certain styles of martial arts, yoga, tai chi, walking and dance are very helpful. It’s important for these types to do something that does not exhaust their more delicate constitution. For this type it’s not about the calories burned or the miles walked; consistent, daily activity helps theses types the most.

So, what’s your Body-type? Take the Body-type Quiz in the right sidebar!


Getting Clear

Now you know…

Use these tools to narrow down what it is that you can to do for your body!

Try out some activities or classes. Try as many as you like! Rotate. Once you start looking you’ll be amazed by what you can find, even online!

Most of all, have fun!


Improve Your Health – Get Results! :033

Improve Your Health – it’s Simple!

Ok, don’t kick me to the curb yet. I know when you’re in the midst of struggling with health issues this just does not seem true.

I know that it may seem difficult. You may be able to count on all hands and feet how many diets and programs you’ve done. But that’s just it. Being healthy is not about being on a program.


To improve in any area in life you need to consistently change your habits, right?

To get Results, it’s not about Intensity, it’s about Consistency!


Years ago I forced my body to get the results I wanted. Like any relationship, when you continually force what you want, the other party begins to resist.

Looking back, and now with a lot more life experience, I know that the best things in life take consistent effort, over time, and are done in cooperation.



Have sound goal in mind

To truly improve your health, you will need to make truly healthy goals. Rarely is a goal to achieve a certain weight healthy. Instead, institute the healthy practices that you know are necessary, and be surprised how you achieve a healthy weight!

Employ consistent effort and over time and with a bit (or sometimes a lot!) of letting go, allow nature to take its course, you will see your desired results.

The best things in life take consistent care and time

This is the way the finest wines are produced and even enjoyed years after consistent care.

Similarly, relationships grow and improve with a common desire and continued attention.

A growing family needs great tending: feeding, pruning, guiding, allowing and continued care to bear enjoyable fruit.

Even when bread dough is forcefully kneaded, it is still allowed to rest, to rise, to become the beautiful loaf it is meant to be through the process; even through the intense heat of the oven.

But the bread is not meant to be constantly kneaded, nor continually baked. A wine left to continually ferment is not a product you would want to drink by the glassful! How dull is a relationship that is constantly being picked at and pruned, with no room for spontaneity, un-bound growth or even fun!


Working with the body for your fitness or wellness is the same!

Imagine the fine product you’d like to create with yourself.

Find the elements you must work with, address them patiently but diligently step by step.

Push, pound and force only when absolutely necessary.

Be consistent and open up space for growth and change.

And enjoy every sign of growth!

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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Help for Veterans (and everyone!) :032

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a very real thing for many individuals

Nicole Lovald, a trained counselor, life coach, yoga teacher and yoga studio, owner shares in this interview how she was initiated into helping veterans (and civilians) with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Married to a service member, Nicole has a unique perspective and insight to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Watch or listen for the fullest content and experience!


So, first of all, what is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post Traumatic Stress is a very normal reaction to a very abnormal situation.

“When someone is threatened in some way, perceived or real, they will experience increased stress. This stress continues to go with them after the experience and therefor it becomes post traumatic stress.” – Nicole Lovald

Examples of how Post Traumatic Stress Disorder begins

  • Car accident particularly where a person feels their life was threatened
  • Sexual assault
  • Domestic Violence
  • Mugging
  • When you are truly concerned for your life and your safety


What can Trigger a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Reaction?

Regarding veterans, It’s usually something associated with what they saw, smelled or experience while they were in this threatening situation:

  • Blast sounds, ex. fireworks
  • Strobe lights
  • Being unsure of surroundings
  • Flat tires


Are certain people more susceptible to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

It comes down to resiliency. Some people are more resilient than other. Some of this is resiliency we see to be born with and some of this is learned.


What can someone keep in mind when living with or serving a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

  • Make sure that they feel safe. Avoid surprises.
  • Allow the person to be aware of their environment.
  • Be careful about the language you use. For example, in her yoga classes, Nicole does not use the common pose “corpse pose” because it can be a trigger.
  • Be gentle with yourself too. You’re not going to be perfect. You can put yourself in their shoes, but not in their minds. Communicate- ask them!


How does yoga help Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Nicole shares how her husband, a long-time service member, came to know, experience and benefit from yoga. He’s become a better dad (not that he was a bad dad, Nicole confirms) but he is less short-tempered, especially when coming back from deployment. He’s able to respond instead of just blowing up and reacting; he has more resiliency. Now he’s pretty much addicted to his weekly yoga class. It helps his body and clears his mind. It’s not normal for him to relax, so this gives him the ability to self-regulate and calm down.


If you have signs or have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is yoga the only answer?

Finding help is the answer. The suicide rates for veterans are unbelievable and it’s sad. Reach out for help. People love you and care about you. It doesn’t matter if it’s yoga, just get help.

If you’re not ready to dive into yoga, start with breathing exercises. Mental health clinics and doctor’s offices are providing more.

Also, meditation helps a lot.  UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center is a non-secular resource.

Could I be affected by Post Traumatic Stress and not even know it, even those who are not veterans?

Nicole explains there is a natural state that we want to be in, it’s homeostasis; it’s what is called in counseling “the window of tolerance”. This is where out body can self-regulate well: blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, etc.

Then there’s the hyper-aroused state and the hypo-aroused state.

The hyper-aroused state is when you feel anxious. If you’re feeling jittery, your heart is beating harder or faster in your chest, and you just can’t seem to calm down, your just reacting and just can’t get to the more natural, level state then you need help. This is not where your body is supposed to function on a regular basis.

The hypo-aroused state is when you feel lethargic or depressed (this does not necessarily you’ve been diagnosed as depressed) but you just feel like you can’t get out of bed, you don’t have energy, you don’t want to talk to friends or family- this is not a natural state of being.

Even though it’s especially difficult when we feel in the hyper or hypo states, we need to reach out to a friend and ask to talk or go for a walk. Connect with others who can support you.


Resources and Links

Yoga Veterans Project

Wounded Warrior Project

UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center

Nicole is offering a class for yoga teachers and professionals who want to learn better how to work with people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in April, 2017. Healing Through Yoga: Trauma Sensitive Training

About Nicole Lovald

Nicole Lovald is a Certified Yoga Instructor and Life/Wellness Coach with a Master’s degree in Counseling. She has spent over 15 years working in higher education, social services, non-profit, and for-profit settings. Her love of yoga began many years ago when her husband was deployed and she was looking for a self-care practice to ease her worried mind and untangle the stress induced knots in her body.
What she found was that yoga provided amazing benefits that not only impacted her body but also relaxed her mind and allowed her to get in touch with her inner spirit. After realizing the wonderful benefits of her practice, she decided to embark on a yoga teacher training program so that she would be able to bring it to others. She has now been teaching yoga for over 4 years and is thrilled to be able to help others live healthier and happier lives.
As the owner of Spirit of the Lake Yoga and Wellness Center, Nicole is excited to continue to support the Excelsior and surrounding communities. In addition to teaching several classes at Spirit of the Lake she also provides individual wellness and life coaching sessions.


Remedy Infection and Exhaustion During Holiday Rush :031

Infection and exhaustion are rampant during this busy season

In this discussion with Dr. Rory, a Functional Medicine Practitioner and Chiropractor in the western Twin Cities suburbs of Minnesota; we talk about the cause and remedies for these tiresome conditions.

Watch or listen to the podcast for full enjoyment and education.

Following is a summary and helpful links.


“Tire and Wired”

You can tell if you’re “tired and wired” by noticing, when you’re lying in bed and you’re ready to settle in, but you still have so much energy it’s difficult to sleep. This term “Holiday or Christmas rush” really relates in the body as the hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which are pumped up to get us through all of our holiday tasks. The problem is that these hormones are triggered so often during our day that they interfere with our bodies’ normal cycles and prevent us from being able to settle in the evening. This also leads to adrenal fatigue.


Coughing, sneezing, hacking; upper respiratory and lower respiratory infections are so common at this time of year. The continual stimulation of the adrenal glands and release of excitatory hormones adrenaline and cortisol and the resulting effects, weaken the immune system.


What’s Causing Infection and Exhaustion?

Seeing so many people come through his office on a daily basis, Dr. Rory shares his hunch at what’s really going on. He shares how our body cues us to take care of things earlier in the year, to take a break or to just address health conditions sooner. When we keep putting off self-care and refuse to take even small breaks, our bodies become deplete of energy and tired. Being already weakened and tired, what were mild conditions of bloat, gas, indigestion or almost any other symptom can become worse.

Natural Remedies that Dr. Rory Recommends

Try implementing just one or two things at a time:

  • Slow down
  • Take an epsom salt bath (use at least 2-3 pounds per bath!)
  • Go to bed sooner
  • Stop using technology with screens to limit your blue-light exposure at least a couple of hours before bed. Or, use devices and software that filter (glasses) or prevent your device from emitting blue light (Tara uses f.lux for example). But limiting digital activity is still a good idea.
  • Take remedies like Myocalm 
  • Address infection with natural remedies like oregano, berberine and grapeseed extract.
  • For Gastro-Intestinal issues, calm the fire by eliminating trigger foods: spices, dairy, wheat, sugar, coffee and alcohol. Remedies such as aloe and licorice root help too.
  • Practice mindfulness. These biofeedback devices help to train the body and mind to calm.
  • Magnesium: the right type of magnesium can make a huge difference!
  • Address the adrenals


Consult with a Natural Health Practitioner like Dr. Rory to be sure which remedies and dosages are right for you!

Address the Underlying Cause and Systems that are Affected

  • Adrenal Function
  • Hormone and Thyroid (women especially tend to be affected in this area)
  • Mitochondrial function (energy production at the cellular level)
  • Neurotransmitter function – How is your brain feeling and functioning?


Irish Tips and Tricks on How to Kick Back and relax…

When I ask Dr. Rory to share how the Irish (where is originally from) relax, he prefaces that what he is about to share might be considered a bit inappropriate for this wellness-related topic, but shares anyway. (Go to time mark 20:50 to hear this part of the discussion.)

He shares that the Irish go to the local bar with their best friend and “Have the craic.” They tell a few stories, connect in front of the fire; and if you can’t tell a good story, make up a good lie.

Irish jokes aside, we can gather what the true message is. What the Irish seem to have down pat, is how to disengage from a busy day, how to connect with others and have a good time!



About Rory Faherty, D.C.

Dr. Rory is a chiropractor, and functional medicine physician with two decades of experience connecting with patients, and helping them find their journey to health.  Rory grew up on a small island off the west coast of Ireland in a large family.  Life on the Aran Islands is simple and about connection with people.  He brings the values and lifestyle he learned in Ireland to his practice and approaches to treating patients.
Dr. Rory earned a Doctor of Chiropractic at Northwestern Health Sciences University and will complete The Institute for Functional Medicine’s (IFM) Certification program in 2016 to join the less than 20 IFM Certified Practitioners in the state of Minnesota.  Dr. Rory takes the complex world of medicine and creates simplistic plans for healing.
To contact Dr. Rory call  his office: 952-474-2395
Specialties include:
* GI Health with a focus on
     * diagnostics
     * gluten sensitivity 
     * treating infection
     * improving microbiome 
     * customized food plans
* Detoxification
* Chronic Inflammation
* Nervous system & sleep disregulation 
* Applied Kinesiology
* Spinal Adjustment and body work


What CAN You Do (about it)? :030

What CAN you do?

I ask myself this when I feel stuck, when I feel that there are no more options- especially when I’m feeling sorry for myself.

You know those times when you feel that you’re being challenged from all angles and by every situation in your life? When you feel pinned in a corner.

It’s at these times when you must stick up for yourself. Dig deep. Get up! Keep going!


Ask yourself, “What can I do?”

This game of life can be really challenging at times but don’t let it get you down!

Get a piece of paper and a pen, yes, we’re going to do this the old fashioned way! Putting pen to paper makes it more real… because we are looking for real solutions! (When we’re up against a wall and feel defeated we naturally just see what doesn’t work and what isn’t working.)

  • Feel stuck? Call a friend, ask their perspective, what they think are options.
  • Are you noticing resistance? Still write down the option, and also write down your resistance or opposition.
  • Choose one thing you will do to change your situation. Stick with it!
  • Keep adding to your list.
  • Continue implementing solutions.

Remember, you can only change yourself, so this list is about things that you can do to improve your situation.


See the possibilities

You’ll be amazed by how your perspective shifts. The options that come to you. Write them all down, even the seemingly insignificant ones: I can smile, I can breathe, I can change my mind.

“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

– Dr. Wayne Dyer

When You Start Thinking You Can – You Can!

Like The Little Engine that Could, soon enough you will know you can!

Yeah, sounds simplistic, I know. But think of times in your life when this has been true. What have you learned or overcome because you believed you could and stuck with it?

“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right!” – Henry Ford

So, if, just if, every thought you thought came true… which thoughts would you change?

I bet you would choose to think the thoughts of what you want in your life and for your health… not what you don’t want, right?

Notice how just thinking about what is possible changes how you feel. You feel better, which seems to open you up for more solutions.


Find examples of people who have Overcome

A good story can lift the spirits and provide wisdom and guidance. Check out the Success Stories in the archive in the sidebar. Search online “success story ____” and whatever is troubling you.



Stay connected with people and resources that uplift, support and guide you in the direction you want to go. We all need support at times. Connecting to this support is one easy way you can support yourself!

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Weight Loss Success Story – 40lbs+ Kept off for 4+ Years – Bob Davis :029

In our first Success Story Bob Davis Shares how he Lost 40+ lbs and has Kept it off for over 4 years.

Weight Free Wellness is about promoting a healthy lifestyle; and certainly in many cases, healthy weight loss can make a huge improvement to one’s total health.



There is not a one-way path to weight loss.

Bob, a friend and fellow podcaster shares how he found his way to achieve and maintain weight loss. Bob’s a great conversationalist and we covered a number of topics. Watch or listen to the podcast for the complete and entertaining podcast! Here’s a summary:


Bob is a news and current events podcaster.

We discussed his recent visit to North Dakota and real coverage of the pipeline issue.


“What you think that you’re seeing is not what you’re seeing.” – Bob Davis

“The antidote to big media is citizen journalism.” – Bob Davis


Bob was exercising every day but that wasn’t the key to his weight loss

Walking everywhere, biking 16 miles, running, and a vigorous one and a half hour Bikram yoga class everyday did not cause Bob to lose weight.

“It’s a lifestyle choice. You can’t go on a diet.” – Bob Davis


The weight loss happened… the weight dropped off…

When Bob started eating low-carb (Atkins at the time).


Bob’s motivation for weight loss…

Was to be able to do yoga without a gut. (Thanks for being honest Bob!)



  • How this midwest native man (Bob) got into doing yoga (and improved the condition of his knees)!
  • How Bob manages eating right while on the road.
  • Bob answers: Do you fear regaining the weight?
  • We talked a bit about Body-typing. Take the Body-type Quiz in the sidebar.


“Weight is not the issue; it’s being healthy.” – Bob Davis

“You’re not targeting a body shape, you just want to be on an equilibrium with being healthy.” – Bob Davis

“You have to figure out what works for you.” – Bob Davis



Thanks for a great interview Bob!


Visit BobDavisPodcasts.com!




From Pain to Podcast :028


To put it simply, Pain Inspired this podcast

One thing I can say for sure; Your pain has a message for you!

At a young age I had experienced the type of health challenges that people many times my age might face due to prolonged stress and abuse to their bodies.

I’ve overcome the symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Celiac Disease, and painful skin conditions. I treated my underlying nutritional deficiencies, resulting anxiety and depression, irregular menstrual cycles and more. Doctors were not readily diagnosing IBS and Celiac Disease at the time I was experiencing the height of my symptoms in the late 80’s. This is why I say “I experienced symptoms…” I found many more answers to my ailments as soon as I began researching and taking control of my own health.

As a young adult I endured painful hardships in relationships.

It was such an excruciating time; as they say, I would not wish this on my worst enemies. I address emotional and relationship health as a part of overall wellness because it has as much or more affect on us as diet, nutrition and exercise.

These hardships and overcoming made me stronger and wiser.

Having overcome great struggles myself, it is very difficult to see others feeling they are a victim of their own bodies and situations.

Naturally I am empathic person. I feel, to varying degrees, what others are experiencing. It was, and still is, very difficult to experience others’ suffering.

I knew I would contribute someday, somehow; to educate, up-lift and inspire others to overcome as well.

Ever since I was a teenager I had a growing desire – no it was a drive! – to discover and create what I could in order to help others.

This drive, this thing that was to become Weight Free Wellness hounded me to overcome, to discover, to create, to learn things I hated to do (technology) so that I would be prepared to receive the name “Weight Free Wellness” and to do something with it!


When it comes to helping people, there are a few routes (probably many) that one can go.

  • One is simply giving of oneself and giving resources in order to help.
  • Another is to teach.
  • One that is often overlooked; it can be misinterpreted as brute capitalism. They are those who create opportunities for others so they too feel they have a sense of meaning and purpose in this world.
  • And finally, there are those that shine the light.


Those who serve and give don’t always fit into just one of the above categories.

Indeed, this podcast, this entire Weight Free Wellness endeavor, fits into multiple categories and will grow and change.

The most valuable resource we have is time. I simply did not have enough time to educate and share with people what I had learned, and reach as many people as I wanted to help, by talking to one person at a time. I had to expand my reach. Hence, the podcast.


You learn to propel yourself when you read or listen to information.

There are times when we need to feel the direct power and passion by sitting across from someone as they share their experience and story. There is an initial high, but this can wear off. The most valuable tools for me have been those I could read and listen to over and over for education, support and inspiration. The most victorious achievements were those I accomplished by finding and assembling the puzzle pieces myself. Sure, I might have a mentor or guide who chimes in, to at times to shed some light, to teach, but not do for me what I could do for myself. As the saying goes, “…teach a man to fish…” Weight Free Wellness is about empowerment. We’ll help you find the puzzle pieces, we’ll even demonstrate how to put them together, but you are the only one who can put in the work.


Teachers all Around us

I used to feel overwhelmed thinking that I had to continue to be on the cutting edge of all health and wellness information; that I had to have all the information. What a relief when I realized that this is simply not possible. This is not where I thrive. I love to share, to help, to lift up and shine the light on others who are doing the amazing ground-breaking work. I love finding these people, learning what they do and creating a platform for them to share. Weight Free Wellness is about making your Wellness Journey simpler by helping you find the teachers and resources to help you on your way.


Connection and Opportunities

We are at an amazing time of technology and creation. Arguably, the most challenging of things these days is keeping up with all the information and opportunities available to us. I aspire to help connect those in need of valuable health-supporting resources with those brilliant people who dedicate their life’s work to creating the tools (even if this tool is themselves!) to help and heal others. Weight Free Wellness is about helping to create opportunities for those dedicated to teaching, providing services and creating healthy products by helping people connect.


Bringing it Together and Shedding Light

Through the pain and the victories of my own Wellness Journey I have learned many things: what to pack, which routes to take and in which season, whom to have as a companion along the way, and when to seek a guide. It is my absolute pleasure to empower others on their Journey in health, life… it all relates. Weight Free Wellness is about empowerment.


The Underlying Messages

There are threads that I tie into many of the posts and podcasts: here they are, if you haven’t noticed them already 🙂

  • Healing is possible
  • The Healing Journey can be simple.
  • Love yourself – develop self-compassion – you must begin here!
  • You can overcome whatever you’re going through – it’ll be worth it!
  • Sometimes you need to fight, sometimes you need to sit back… and at all times, Love.
  • You are loved… Love heals!


Watch, Listen, Read… Enjoy!


Subscribe! Links in the sidebar: iTunes, Android, YouTube, Newsletter


Lessons from my Bullies :027

I no longer curse my bullies – I thank them.

The earliest bullies of my life taught me valuable lessons:

  • There will always be an outside opinion… and it may not be true!
  • Others’ behavior is more about them than it is about you
  • It feels good to forgive before it seems necessary
  • And most of all, there are always going to be bullies, even when you least expect, the sooner you learn to deal with this, the better!


If you’re not paying someone for their opinion and especially when their opinion is not stemming from good will, do not spend time on other peoples’ thoughts of you.

“Be independent of the good opinion of other people.” – Abraham Maslow 

A bully’s behavior is not about you. Until they become aware, people act and react according to their upbringing and environment. How they act towards you says more about them, than it says about you!

Ask, are they responding based on how they have learned how to act and respond?


Forgive Before it is Necessary

When I was about ten years old I was teased by a small group of boys. I was mostly teased for being chubby. I weighed over one hundred (100+) pounds, when the average child my age was sixty (60) pounds. I was also one of the tallest kids in class. My bullies were all around me in class and on the playground, but the biggest bully I only saw on the bus because he was a couple years older than me. His name ways Joey.

Most of the teasing happened on the bus. Joey, like any really affective bully not only was the primary instigator, he naturally encouraged others to behave like him.

Over time I built up so much anger and contempt for Joey and his cohorts.



I spent many, many afternoon and evenings in tears. Many more hours were spent in self-loathing and self-pity. I soon realized that I was torturing myself when my bullies were not around by feeling sorry for myself. This initiated a great change in me. I thought, if anyone one was going to be nice to me, it ought to be me!

Long story short; eventually I created my own boundaries mentally and physically and the bullying seemed to nearly stop.

I had grown tremendously spiritually during this time and was able to find compassion in my heart for Joey and his followers.

Things got so much better that by the fourth grade I was no longer having issues with bullies. Joey had disappeared to the middle school, or who knows where.

Soon I found out where he had gone.


The Guest Speaker

Once or twice a year we had guest speakers come to our tiny, country elementary school.

As we would usually do on such occasions, we children would line up by classes and sit on the floor of the small, cement gym which was also used as a cafeteria. On this day I believe grades three through five were assembled.  There we were, less than one hundred squirming kids, curious as to what had interrupted our normally scheduled day.

I recall a couple of adults talking first, and then Joey came in. I was curious, not angry or upset.

We learned that Joey had just overcome cancer.


It Wasn’t About me

Feeling as if I were in my own bubble, alone rather than being with nearly one hundred other kids, I sat there and reflected. Were my parents correct; that Joey was acting out cruelly because of his environment? I assumed his dissonant environment was his parents. Was he acting out the cancer that was toiling him on the inside before anyone knew of the disease? Perhaps it was all of this.

I was grateful that I had already forgiven him.

I knew that I would have felt guilty that at this point–with all that Joey had been through–I might have thought that I should forgive him. Grateful that I has forgiven him already and no longer carried any negative emotions, with no “should” or “could’ve’s” weighing me down.


Forgiving is Healing

Glad that I had already initiated that step in the healing process for myself; I shared a mental blessing of well-being as the special gathering came to a close. I left feeling that chapter in our lives had ended well.


You’re Being Prepared for Bigger Bullies

You’re going to encounter bullies. The sooner you learn to deal with this the better.

The bully might be the person driving next to you on the road, your coworker, indeed, even some who says they love you.


Learn to handle these situations.

The tricky thing about dealing with bullies is that they like to engage. They’re like a parasite. They have to stick on and get something out of you to survive. Don’t let them stick on; get away from them, move out of their vicinity, stay away as much as you can.

Don’t engage!

Also, be careful that your disengaging isn’t actually engaging… Once you tell them, “Get away!” or simply, “Leave me alone!” you’ve already engaged. You will likely just need to avoid them or go away without saying a thing. I know, it sounds weak to not confront them, but it’s the best use of your energy.


Don’t give them the gratification of knowing when they “get you”!

Going back to the parasite analogy, bullies feed off knowing that they “got you”.

Don’t give them that gratification! Don’t reward their bad behavior!

Be non-reactive to their comments. You’ll know that you’re doing this right when they comment that you’re cold or distant.

I am not suggesting that you bottle up your feelings for good. Find a good friend or counselor and let your true feelings out with them.


Move on

Moving on can mean different things. Sometimes your bully will move on because they’re no longer getting the charge out of you they once did. That’s the nature of a bully.

Sometimes you have to move on. This is not always convenient. It can mean giving up your house, your belonging and much more. Perhaps it is giving up a job where you see promise for your future career-wise, but the emotional environment is not conducive to you progressing. Perhaps it means giving up on what you thought could be; ending a relationship that goes against every fiber of your body, except for the one that says, “no more!”.


When you can Thank Your Bullies…

You’ve learned the lesson. You’re prepared for the next one! Pray that the next biggest bully need not find you, and know that you are prepared with what you have learned.

Don’t become bitter… Become better!



How to Deal with a Weight or Health Plateau :026

So, You’ve Hit a Plateau

Your Wellness Journey has been trucking along, until now…

It’s hard not to feel disappointment, frustration, even sadness.

Things were going so well. You finally overcame addictions, well ingrained habits, even your own mental roadblocks!


When Your Health Seems at a Standstill… press on!

Despite your best efforts, sometimes the body will seemingly not respond. But it is responding!

It’s doing deeper, inner work. It’s telling you to change things up, or even to be patient and wait.

So continue to support your body through this time, anyway!

When it seems that your weight or health has hit a plateau and there are no signs of improvement, let go of the focus, let go of the goal, step back and gain perspective.



Seek to understand the underlying message…

What are you supposed to see?

What has worked so far? Does something need to be changed?

Are you focusing on the horizon, the ever-distant goal; when you need to focus instead, on the next scenic overlook on this lesson-filled Wellness Journey.

Indeed, you may be at a scenic overlook at this point and your spirit wants you to take a look at how far you have come! Take it in! Soak up your lessons, your accomplishments, cherish who you are at this point in time!


Like the repose of winter, our body, mind and spirit need periods of rest as well.

Sit back. Relax. Observe during this time.

Know that when it’s time for you to press on, your tank will be so full of lessons learned, hope and knowledge gained, that you can go further with the progress of your next stage than just sheer determination could have taken you.


After you have stopped to take in the scenery, plot a new path.

Sit with someone who knows the land and the journey. Discuss which path to take. Stock up on supplies and when your heart and spirit are filled with inspiration, take off once again!

Like any worthwhile journey, the Wellness Journey is full of ups and downs, the “are we there yet’s?”; thrilling passes and long monotonous stretches.

Acknowledge how far you’ve come.

Re-plot the next leg of your journey if necessary.

Find some good companions to share in the fun, rejoice in the victories and to help each other along the way.

Most of all, keep on going! Even if this mean just sitting back, enjoying the scenery and the journey so far! Restore, then press on!



Your Body is a Messenger :025

Your Body is a Messenger, but not Just any Messenger

Your body is your specific, personally issued messenger! You have yours, others have theirs.

Your body is always communicating to you.

Listen to what it has to say.


It starts with whispers…

“Feed me.” “I need water.” “Don’t consume that again.” or “I want more of that.”


If we cannot hear, or we ignore the whispers, the messages from our body become more firm, and the physical signs more obvious…

“I cannot take that in!”  I cannot handle any more of that!” “Get me out of this situation!”

…you may find the body actually preventing you from taking in foods, or moving in unusual and uncomfortable ways to prevent you from causing more harm.


Lastly, the body cries out. We reach a crisis point.

The body may become injured. Disease may manifest. Things get out of our control.

For your body, it was never about control. The body doesn’t want to do battle. It doesn’t want to struggle with you. It just needs you to listen, so you can live in harmony.


Your body is not an object… it is your constant companion.

Listen, hear and fulfill the requests for water and clean, whole foods.

Respond when it says in the many ways that it can, “Let’s go!” “Let’s move!” or, “This form of exercise does not benefit us. This may work for Jenny, but it does not work for me!”

Listen with your heart when it says “I cannot endure this any longer.”


You are dependent on one another

Despite what disease or ailment you’re experiencing, even if it seems like your body is trying to hurt you… it’s not.

There are messages and lessons everywhere in life. Your body will relay many of these messages! Learn the lessons coming through your body! The sooner the better.


Work with your body, not on it.


Listen to your body’s messages; it’s trying to help you!

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Make Weight Loss the Benefit, Not the Goal :024

Weight Loss and “Fitting-in” Used to be my Goals

Weight loss and fitting-in were my primary objectives for many years; to fit-in to the right sized jeans and to fit-in to the groups I glamorized.


When you struggle with weight, it becomes your focus.

When it comes to health, weight is a symptom, not the cause.

Recognize that you may the Type who tends to carry more weight naturally. (Take the Body-typing Quiz in the sidebar and learn more about Body-typing in my book, You-niversal Self-care: Improved Health Through Self-Understanding.)

But when being overweight or underweight is truly and issue, we don’t need a scale to tell us this!

From my health and weight struggles and victories, I encourage you to change your focus!

Get off the scale and on to Wellness!

There’s a story

…of how monkeys are captured. The short version is; trappers hang a coconut with a hole just large enough for the monkey to slip its tiny hand into. The trappers place the monkeys favorite fruit inside and wait. Soon enough a troop of monkeys comes through this area and when the freely available fruits are consumed by the hungry bunch, an unlucky few find the baited trap. The monkey slips its hand through the hole to grasp the fruit. He thinks he has the prize, but soon finds out that he cannot remove his hand with the tightly-grasped fruit treat. He does not let go of the fruit and so ends up trapping himself.

When we let go of thinking that a certain weight is the goal, our perspective opens.

We are no longer trapped in this game where a particular weight is the prize.

Instead, let your goals be those things that actually promote health. Find the food and habits that help you feel as close to 100% as possible!

Experience your body being free of cravings by eliminating certain foods, stabilizing your blood sugars, and even by taking quality vitamins!

Your body and mind can learn to enjoy exercise and especially the benefits when you find something that is challenging enough and feels good! (Yes, exercise can feel good and be very rewarding!)

Feel how these changes in habit work synergistically; when eating the foods your body needs it gives you genuine energy (not fake energy from caffeine or sugar) and how moving your body is so much easier with the right sources of energy- and encourages you to keep making those health-promoting choices!

See beyond the “bait” of weight and you will likely achieve so much more than you hoped for!


A Gift Guide with Heart :023

This Gift Guide Does Not Have Product Suggestions

This gift guide could actually be the start of a gift that keeps on giving; a well-tuned-in heart.

Even when I’ve had very little money to spend, I found ways to give meaningful gifts that make people smile and feel special… but better yet… feel understood!

To know that someone holds you in a special place in their heart is one of the most beautiful gifts in the world to receive! This guide is to help you express those sentiments at anytime… especially during the holidays!


It’s not about the gift… Well, it is, but it isn’t…

To give or receive a gift is initially about the gift, but there is this amazing opportunity for a gift to become a channel of sentiment.

As you begin to imagine what to give a person, connect with the emotion that you feel for them: love, passion, appreciation, admiration, tenderness, fondness, adoration, care, intrigue, fun, elation, etc., etc. It could be that you experience several of these and more!



Connect with the Person

Although the holiday season does tend to focus us on the material things; we are also reminded to connect.

Gift giving is a bit of an art, like interior decorating. If you hire an interior decorator, they don’t just put together a room how they would like theirs to be; they (should) observe you, the colors and patterns you use often in your wardrobe and the lifestyle you lead.

The best gifts are not what you want to give to another person… The best gifts are all about the recipient.


Sounds good, but how do you really know what to give?

Sometimes we are too close to people to really get a perspective on who they are and what they want. Don’t believe me? Go through the following inquiries… I guarantee you’ll learn something new about the people who are closest to you! (And learn how to give a great gift in the process!)


What’s their “Love Language”?

The Five Love Languages is an ever-helpful book written by Dr. Gary Chapman. The principles in this book can be used in all kinds of relationships and encounters, even with children and I have found it helpful in business too!

In the book Dr. Chapman illustrates how we each have two primary “Love Languages” with which we like to communicate and especially to receive our messages of love. They are:

  • Physical Touch
  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Quality Time

While writing this article I took the quiz again: it’s been quite a few years since I last did it and I wanted to confirm my Love Languages. My top 2 Love Languages are Acts of Service and Receiving Gifts.

Take the Love Language Quiz for yourself and even ask your loved ones to take it. Or, at least through taking it yourself you’ll get an idea for what may be their primary Love Languages.


Another way to figure out their Love Language is

Observe what they tend to give more often. We tend to give what we like to receive. It’s natural that we subconsciously think that others will appreciate what we like.

Also, what do they complain about:

  • Physical Touch: Why don’t you touch me? Hold my hand. Or they are particular about how they like to be touched.
  • Words of Affirmation: You never say you love me! (This may be exaggerated but feels true to them.) Tell me I’m doing a good job for once!
  • Acts of Service: Would you just help out! I do all the work around here!
  • Receiving Gifts: I can’t wait for my birthday, at least I know that I can count on a gift then!
  • Quality Time: Why can’t you take some time for us? When can we have time together, just the two of us?

Note, I am not at all advocating the above tactics!


You can notice their primary Love Languages by what they ask for or treat themselves to:

  • Physical Touch: Massage, spa treatments, hand holding, caressing.
  • Words of Affirmation: Seeking friendships with people who offer praise. Posting social media posts that initiate praise. Bolstering oneself.
  • Acts of Service: Volunteering, offering to help others (even when they are short on time, energy and help for themselves).
  • Receiving Gifts: Giving gifts to others (especially if for no apparent reason). Self-gifting even going as far to wrap and/or put presents out for self.
  • Quality Time: Depending on their personality they will either force Quality Time to happen or seek the Quality Time with the people with whom it is possible. They will use texting or messaging as a tool but not as a true means to have Quality Time. They will settle for phone conversations but prefer face-to-face encounters. It bothers them greatly when you put the phone between you and them!


Now you Should have a Good Idea of Which Category of Gift to Give

Treat him or her to:

  • Physical Touch: Do it yourself if your loved-one also likes Quality Time, or schedule a couple’s massage!
  • Words of Affirmation: Do a fun collage of things you love about him/her, or notes around the house 12-days of Christmas style or some other seasonal theme.
  • Acts of Service: Make a coupon book with redeemable chores you will help with. Leave a few that are fill-in requests. Be sure to honor them! I would suggest you add a line of “will be completed within 1 day or 1 week” for example, for clarity. (Just a hint from experience.)
  • Receiving Gifts: Read the next section on Body-typing to really hone-in on what type of gift to give.
  • Quality Time: Put some thought and effort into it. My hubby is a Quality Time person. This is my least dominant Love Language, so I have to really think from his perspective on this one. Remember, a gift is about the recipient. I will often go to movies that I don’t particularly enjoy because I know he likes to go, together. I find it silly that we don’t even get to talk or interact except for after the movie, but that doesn’t matter, it’s for him. I have found myself looking deeper into movies and we have great discussions afterwards!


One more thing… Go for the Gold! What’s their Body-type?

Really good gift-giving is not simple, but it brings meaning to relationships. As you’ve seen me illustrate, I use the term gift-giving liberally. Sometimes you give of your time, sometimes you give in a type of effort.

This post is not just about “The Holiday Spirit,” it’s about cultivating healthy relationships for the long-run, not just for a season.

As I describe in my book, You-niversal Self-care: Improved Health Through Self-Understanding, we each show dominance in two of the four Body-types.

Take the Body-type Quiz (in the sidebar).


Understanding our Body-type (and that of others) can help us with our health and even relationships!


Earth-types are naturally very grounded and homey. They tend to focus on friends, family, home, good food and often are great crafters or makers. I have observed that many Earth-types really appreciate the Quality Time (Love Language). Truly, for them, one of the greatest gifts you can give is the gift of your presence. The second most common Love Language I see among this type is Receiving Gifts. This type loves collecting and preserving keep-sakes and mementos. A framed family photo, a charm for a bracelet or a mother’s ring would be special gifts. Notice what they collect. Can you add something particularly meaningful to that collection?



This type is always clear on what they want. Often materially oriented, they love gifts, but if they can afford it; they likely have everything they want which can make gifting challenging. If you’re not sure, ask! They will tell you want they want, if they haven’t already made it clear! It’s best to ask this type what they want. If you get it wrong, they’ll let you know- and who wants that disappointment?


Air-type and Water-type

These types can be the most challenging to shop for. These are elements that tend towards instability (as opposed to the clock-like Earth-type). Even if you ask them what they want, you still might not get a clear answer. Worse yet, they may be unsure, or if they’re moody, they might test you by making you guess. Keep asking, and then follow-through to whatever level you can. This will open-up the usually thought-oriented Air-type and earn you huge points- this doesn’t have to be a diamond ring! Maybe what your creative Water-type wants to do is take some dance classes together or a couples painting class with wine tasting: sure, perhaps this sounds torturous to you, but have fun with it! Make fun of yourself! You’ll be amazed by the memories you make by truly giving with the other person in mind!


Still need help?

Comment below and we’ll put our minds together to come up with a memorable, material or intangible gift!


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Autoimmune Wellness with Angie Alt and Mickey Trescott :022

Autoimmune Issues Show up as Nagging Symptoms

Do you have a list of symptoms you experience that seem to have no rhyme or reason? Do they show up at the most inconvenient times, and those around you (even loved ones) just don’t understand what all the fuss is about!

The list is seemingly endless, but may include:

  • feeling tired
  • feeling irritable
  • pain in all kinds of strange places
  • unpredictable energy patterns
  • sleepless or at best fidgety nights
  • hair loss
  • skin ailments and so many more


From this stellar book, “The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook”, I got some explanation for seemingly unrelated health symptoms that I’ve experienced since childhood!

If this book has been around 15 years ago when I first became aware of the Celiac Disease and Irritable Bowel-like symptoms I experience as a child, I could have helped my body much quicker and sooner.

But the great news is that it’s available for you!


I am very pleased to share this insightful interview with the authors of The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook

Angie Alt and Mickey Trescott have put together an amazingly helpful book for those who suspect they have or have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. The Weight Free Wellness Podcast is here to help you make your wellness journey as simple as it can be (and provide some encouragement along the way) and Angie and Mickey’s book is a perfect fit!

Watch, Listen, Read… Enjoy!


The answers below have been summarized from the podcast…

Turn to the audio or visual podcast for the full experience!


Q:  Where are you from?

A:  Angie Alt, NTC, CHC  lives just outside of Washington D.C. and is originally from Montana. (On the left in the photo above.)

A:  Mickey Trescott, NTP lives on the West coast in rural area of Portland, Oregon. (On the right in the photo above.)


Q:  Please introduce yourself and give us your educational background.

A:  Angie is a certified nutritional therapy consultant and certified health coach.

A:  Mickey has a background as a personal chef and after diagnosis studies to become a certified nutritional therapy practitioner.


Q:  What is an Autoimmune Disease?

A:  This is the part of our body that serves to protect us from pathogens (bacteria, fungus, viruses for example) and rids the body of these foreign invaders. The body protects itself from suffering future attacks of the same kind by creating immunity- essentially it is already familiar with the former intruder, it has its mugshot, and can quickly mount a seek-and-destroy mission if this pathogen enters the body again. In the case of an Autoimmune Disease, the body sees a part of itself as the invader, and therefor is continually on the attack of the “invader,” which is your own body. Not good…


Q:  Which Autoimmune Diseases have you been diagnosed with and their primary symptoms?

A:  Angie: A diagnosis of 3 or more autoimmune diseases is considered a category of its own, Multiple Autoimmune Syndrome (MAS). Usually MAS includes a skin disorder.

Lichen sclerosus – tearing and changes to the skin in the genital region

Endometriosis – (suspected autoimmune disease) – symptoms are primarily emergency-level painful menstrual cycles.

Celiac Disease – (Angie suspects this is her primary autoimmune disease) – The immune system attacks the cells in the small intestine which prevents absorption of [some] nutrients. Can experience intestine pain, weight lost, diarrhea, or even constipation or weight gain. Celiac Disease can be a symptom due to nutrient deficiency.


A:  Mickey: 

Celiac Disease – Explains how hers and Angie’s symptoms showed up as more neurological and emotional due to the effects of nutritional deficiencies that Celiac Disease can cause; illustrating that Celiac Disease does not always show up as disturbing sensations in the abdomen.

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis – It is the most common autoimmune disease. Symptoms are varied greatly: loss of feeling in fingertips, feeling cold even in the summer (despite ambient temperature), hair loss, very low energy, exhaustion, muscle fatigue, mental and emotional “stuff”, anxiety, depression, weight gain not helped by diet; although weight gain was not the case for Mickey which she explains can complicate diagnosis since most doctors see this as a almost necessary symptom.


Q:  What causes Autoimmune Disease?

A:  Angie: There can be a lot of factors. Genetics is one of them. If others in your family have an autoimmune disease you may experience one as well, but it could be an entirely difference diagnosis. Your environment: toxins, viruses, diets and lifestyle.


Q: What is Paleo?

A:  Paleo is a way of eating like our ancestors. There are many different version, but most agree it’s a diet more like our ancestors’: without processed foods, thickeners, and even as far as eating grass-fed meats… that the animals are eating what their ancestors ate too (Tara).


Q: How is the Autoimmune Paleo protocol different?

A:  The AIP protocol falls under the umbrella of Paleo but eliminates foods that are known to trigger autoimmune symptoms while adding foods that are dense in nutrients.


We also talk about:

Elimination diets and/or food allergy testing.

Food – there are some amazing recipes in this book and each author has previously authored Paleo and Autoimmune Paleo cookbooks!

Achieve Wellness – Not an Image…what this means to them.

The dedication of the book to their supportive hubbies

I praise the book, maybe a little too much (was it weird?) but it’s so true… it’s such a terrific book!

How to handle the stress of making healthy changes when already stressed with challenging symptoms.

Angie and Mickey share their parting messages and words of encouragement.



From The Autoimmune Wellness Handbook

“Wellness is not in your doctors office or in a new pill; it is in your hands and it starts with being informed.”

Start to inform yourself with their book, you’ll be glad you did!

Visit Autoimmune-Paleo.com



Relieve Anxiety Naturally (My top 9 Remedies) :021

Anxiety is a Familiar Subject to me

Growing up I witnessed close family members suffer debilitating anxiety and as I came into adulthood and “real life,” I found myself experiencing symptoms as well.

Fortunately I was able to recognize symptoms before they grew into full-blown anxiety attacks. By applying this information, you too can diminish symptoms and prevent them from escalating!

Note, this is by no means medical advice. I am sharing what has worked for me and others. I only share what I have used personally for at least 6 months. I have used all the remedies listed here for several years. (There is one exception below.) Consult with your trusted Natural Health Practitioner to discuss the following options.

Relieve Anxiety Naturally

How I Relieve Anxiety Naturally


1)   Breathe

Yeah, I know it seems too simple. You’re alive, right!? So you must be breathing! Few of us get the quality of breath that we need to fully oxygenate our bodies and stimulate the relaxation response.

Ways to retrain this into your body:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Stretch your “side body” by doing gentle sidebands. This opens the body to be able to breathe laterally (between the side ribs) rather than solely in the upper chest; the latter triggers the stress response.
  • Take breath-work classes. Go to your local yoga studio and ask if they offer Pranayama. (prah-nah-yah-mah). Yeah, it seemed weird to me at first too; but when you feel it working, you’ll want to go back for more!
  • Learn to breathe into your belly. This initiates the relaxation response.
  • Wear clothing that has a loose or stretchy waist so your breathing can be more free and unrestricted.
  • Set a timer to remind you to take several deep, belly breaths every hour.
  • Last but not least… use the HeartMath Inner Balance Transformation System. It’s a simple biofeedback device that you use along with an App on your smartphone that is scientifically proven to reduce anxiety by 46% in 6-9 weeks. When I do just a 5 minute session before going to bed, I notice a remarkable improvement in sleep quality upon waking the next morning!


2)   Live in Day-tight Compartments

I wish I could say that I came up with this one, but I have to give full credit to Dale Carnegie and his timeless book, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.

In this immensely valuable book he instructs readers to leave all the cares of yesterday in the past and all the thoughts of the morrow for the future; to live solely in a single day. Live in day-tight compartments!

As a side note, try to make a point of reading (listen to the audio for convenience) to this book quarterly.


3)   Moderation and Consistency

Especially for the Air-type (I teach about Body-types in my book, You-niversal Self-care: Improved Health Through Self-Understanding) learning to set healthy patterns is very, very important in order to feel balanced and even calm.

There are three areas in life, that if we can regulate them, will help to set or reset the body’s natural rhythms. These are:

  • Food  Eating healthy, whole foods on a regular basis helps to naturally regulate the body. Eating plenty of healthy fats and complex carbohydrates in the form of fruits and veggies (keeping even the natural sugars to a minimum) helps to balance blood sugars and therefor energy, mood and much more! If you suffer from sever anxiety I would eat meals on a schedule as strictly as possible until symptoms abate. Eat in silence or with soft, comforting music: no tv, no phone, just you and your food and loved ones if they’re present!
  • Exercise  This is important not only to maintain a healthy, functioning physique, it does so much for the rhythmic functions of our hormone regulation system. I’ll talk more about what kinds of exercise are best later…
  • Sleep  If you’re experiencing anxiety it’s likely that you’re already challenged in this area. Anxiety begets troubled sleep which begets poor sleep, it’s a vicious cycle! If you’ve applied all these suggestions and your sleep is still not better, consult your trusted Natural Health Practitioner for stronger natural remedies. If you have a very active mind, I find the Bach Flower’s Rescue Sleep to be very helpful. Also, I have not personally used this but have known it to be very helpful for others, Doc Parsley’s Sleep Remedy.


4)   Eliminate

Sometimes moderation is not enough. There are times where we need to eliminate certain things from our life in order to re-establish homeostasis. If you’re already suffering from symptoms of anxiety, you may feel dependent on the following, but they are not promoting overall health. By eliminating these things you are more likely to prevent the anxiety from getting worse.

  • Caffeine  We all know that caffeine can give us a nice little boost, but this charge can throw off our rhythms for the entire day. I find myself explaining to people often that caffeine is a diuretic which noticeably stimulates the kidneys and large intestines. Caffeine also stimulates other areas of the body, including the small, helpful little adrenal glands that sit atop the kidneys. So as caffeine stimulates the kidneys, it does the same for the adrenals. I see it like the kidneys and adrenals are sponges and the caffeine squeezes the healthy juices and even nutrients from them. Some people will be affected more than others. Clearly if you’re already experiencing anxiety it doesn’t hurt to try eliminating caffeine… dare I say it? Even from chocolate…
  • Refined Sugar  As mentioned earlier, keeping blood sugars stable help to regular many other functions of the body.
  • Alcohol  Although that night cap feels like it initially helps you to sleep, it actually prevents you from getting quality sleep! It also dehydrates the body, further throwing off any regularity already established. This does not help to promote prolonged health and healing. I have found Bach Flower Remedy Rescue Sleep to help calm my mind, instead of alcohol.


5)   Bach Flowers Rescue Remedy

Sometimes anxiety can be initiated by a traumatic event which then can leave you more sensitive to smaller triggers. It can also feel like anxiety is one continued trauma. For such deeply emotional conditions (and even the mild versions) I like to use this totally natural and very gentle yet effective remedy, Bach Flowers Rescue Remedy or FES 5-Flower Essence. They have been used to help victims of devastating floods, tsunamis and other disasters.


6)   Move Your Body – Shake it Loose

Sometimes when wrought with anxiety it does not make sense to do anything exciting or agitating to the body. But, have you ever been with a kid who is just so excited or even on a “sugar-high” that the only somewhat reasonable thing to do is to let/help them burn it off? Sometimes the inner giggles are so strong that you have to just get them out of your system. In my experience, this is how anxiety can be at the extreme stages; your body is so full of seeming electric energy, while perhaps counterintuitive, it’s better to just burn it off, shake it loose, lose your breath (so your body can re-regulate), lose your mind (that is your ruminating thoughts) and… have fun!


7)   Herbs and Supplements

Be sure to consult with your trusted Natural Health Practitioner on this one; I will share some supplements that have really helped me. When in an anxious state your body is likely lacking in nutrients and quickly uses up stores. I’ve found it helpful to supplement with minerals (primarily calcium and magnesium for my body); vitamin C, B-complex and zinc. I also really benefit from adaptogenic herbs. There are many; your health practitioner should be able to help you find what’s right for you! Check out My List of Favorite Natural Remedies in the side bar for details on what I like and use.


8)   Gentle Exercise

I already mentioned exercise above, but the type of exercise you implement when you feel anxious can have dramatic affects! Aside from an occasional “Shake it Loose” session, I have found gentle exercise the best for helping to calm the body and mind. Examples include: yoga, walking (especially in nature), Thai chi, Qigong and casual bike rides. The idea is to move your body in a gentle way, take a break from your day, allow your mind to also take a break… and even smile! Take time to center yourself.


9)  Observe

This one comes last not because of importance, but because it’s the one that takes the most practice. By implementing the above practices you’ll already be well on your way to better observe your body, mind and emotions. If you’ve already experienced very strong symptoms of anxiety, you know that you don’t want the symptoms to escalate again.

The key to prevention is observation.

What does it feel like when your anxiety levels are at a 3 versus an 8?

Which remedies can help you quickly relieve anxiety, and which habits is it necessary for you to keep up on in order to not suddenly be feeling anxious?

Where did you learn the patterns of being anxious? This is not to blame or be a victim, but to observe our environments to become more aware. For must of us, this was our childhood environment or even as early as being in the womb.


The good news is

You can un-train your body! You can manage anxiety naturally. I encourage you to find a health practitioner who not only supports your desire to heal naturally, but who is also knowledgable in ways to do this. Connecting with people who are successfully managing anxiety naturally can help too!

One day at a time. You can do it!

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The Emily Program – Eating Disorder Help :020

The Emily Program, is an eating disorder treatment program

…located in MN, WA, OH and PA that takes a more holistic approach for treatment.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Lisa Diers, RDN, E-RYT, who oversees the national operations of both nutrition and yoga departments, which includes the direction and over site of the clinical practices for 65+ nutrition staff and 20+ yoga instructors.

In my book, You-niversal Self-care: Improved Health Through Self-Understanding I share my experience of anorexia. I share more of my experience including what helped me to “come out of it”.

This is a great time to clarify that the name “Weight Free Wellness®” by no means implies unhealthy weight management. Rather, my message through this podcast is that wellness goes beyond weight; and achieving a healthy weight (which is different for each individual) is often a byproduct of leading a life with healthy habits.

Lisa and I find out we share a lot in common and have a lively chat about eating disorders, yoga, wellness and more!

Step off the scale, get on to wellness!


The Emily Program - Eating Disorder Help

What kinds of eating disorders does The Emily Program treat?

All kinds, all ages! The most common or what people are most familiar with are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and eating disorder not formerly specified. Eating disorders are a mental health illness and this category has the highest mortality rate of any mental health illness.

Eating disorders do not discriminate. – Lisa Diers  RDN, E-RYT


How do you identify if someone is experiencing an eating disorder?

Lisa expresses that this is a challenge because in our culture we put so much emphasis and even communicate heavily on the basis of weight, food and image. You don’t know unless they are clinically diagnosed but there are some signs:

  • If your/their eating patterns have changed significantly. Examples are if someone has eliminated a food group or is more anxious around food.
  • Eating disorders thrive in isolation. If a person is not engaging as they normally would, this could be a sign.
  • Depression and irritability


With 12 years of experience working with eating disorders and at The Emily Program, what do you see as the underlying cause of eating disorders?


Having an eating disorder is not a choice. – Lisa Diers  RDN, E-RYT


“One way to really, really generalize and simplify [the cause of eating disorders] would be when life feels out of control; the two things that us humans can control… are our weight and our food.” – Lisa

Eating disorder is a very complicated subject. This is a broad generalization but serves to help shed some light on what goes through the mind of someone experiencing an eating disorder.

“If I’m experiencing internal turmoil and I feel like I have no control over it, a false sense of control is to manipulate my food, self medicate with food or change my weight… can serve as a distraction… Of course this is not a long-term, healthy way to cope.” – Lisa


Eating disorders are a mal-adaptitve coping skill for life stresses. – Lisa Diers  RDN, E-RYT

No one chooses to have an eating disorder. – Lisa Diers  RDN, E-RYT


What causes eating disorder?

The cause is multifactorial and can include:

  • Genetic
  • Environment (ex. Growing up in an environment with individuals who diet and the impact of media.)


What can you expect when seeking treatment at The Emily Program?

You will receive:

  • A clinical assessment
  • Recommendation for treatment based on research, clinical knowledge and what the individual needs and is ready for. This can include an intensive day program with supported meals and snacks, group process, and yoga therapy. There is also out-patient care where you sit with a therapist and dietician. There is also a residential option for 24/7 acute treatment.
  • Reconnect, rediscover, repair the relationship to food and yourself!


I see people recover all the time! – Lisa Diers  RDN, E-RYT

Also mentioned in this podcast:

  • Our bodies are made up of the components of the foods that we eat… when you are missing key components from your food your are missing key components of yourself.
  • Balance, variety, moderation
  • The connection between gut health and brain health.
  • How to eat a food with confidence… own it!
  • How yoga and mindful movement facilitate the healing process: connecting, compassion, anxiety and depression relief, healthy movement.
  • What’s the best and perhaps the quickest way to develop self-compassion?
  • Pause: observe yourself, observe your thoughts, in a curious, not furious way.
  • The thoughts you think about yourself, would you say them to a loved-one or friend?


…Appreciate what your body can do, versus what it looks like! – Lisa Diers  RDN, E-RYT


Check out The Emily Program website for really helpful resources!

About Lisa

Lisa Diers, RDN, LD, E-RYT is  director of nutrition and yoga at The Emily Program, an eating disorder treatment program located in MN, WA, OH and PA. Lisa oversees the national operations of both nutrition and yoga departments, which includes the direction and oversite  of the clinical practices for 65+ nutrition staff and 20+ yoga instructors. She has over 10 years of eating disorder specific: yoga instruction, clinical nutrition counseling and program development experience. Lisa draws from her deep knowledge base of yoga, body image and eating disorder treatment to meet client’s physical and emotional needs. She developed and conducts national  eating disorder & body image  sensitive yoga trainings as well as is  a regular blogger on nutrition, yoga and body image,   a published author (articles, book chapters and published research), and continues to  conduct research to better understand the role of yoga and nutrition in eating disorder recovery.

Lisa Diers - Emily Program


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Revive Your Relationship and Have Fun Doing it! :019

Be inspired to revive your relationship!

Our relationship has gone through all kinds of bumps and bruises, but with intense care, we come out healthier each time.

After sixteen years of marriage we are still mistaken for newly-weds. I don’t mean to mislead you; this doesn’t mean that things are rosy all the time, but we do have a few things to share to help you be like this too, most of the time.

In this episode Jon and I share how random mutual appreciation sessions keep the love stoked between us.

This is a casual, fun and open discussion with some especially rich insights at the end.


Revive Your Relationship

Revive Your Relationship with These “Secrets” from our Sixteen-year Marriage:

  • Generously give compliments
  • Express appreciation for one another as much as possible (It’s like fertilizer water on the sensitive “relationship plant”.)
  • Avoiding criticizing as much as possible! (It’s absolute poison for the “relationship plant”.)
  • Make openings for Random Mutual Appreciation Sessions: turn off the cell phones, get a babysitter, sit across from one another at dinner whether at a restaurant or at home, turn down the lights, focus on one another, start digging for the gold in your history!
  • Reminisce – what are the “good ol’ days” moments? These memories need to be visited often!
  • Be careful with each others’ emotions. To be open and share deep feelings is a very vulnerable position. It seems counterintuitive, but the longer the relationship has gone on, the more “dirt” you have on one-another. Throwing dirt or getting in a mud-slinging match will close the doors to intimacy. Protect your relationship from rash emotions and actions.

We genuinely hope that our conversation inspires you!

Hopefully you’ll be entertained a bit in the process too!


As always the audio and video recordings are much more complete. We invite you to…

Watch, Listen… Enjoy!


Be Patient With Yourself :018

Be Patient with Yourself, easier said than done, right?

My dad used to tell me this when I was frustrated with how life wasn’t working out; more accurately, how I couldn’t get my life to be the way I wanted it to be. At that time I only had worries about making grades in school or handling bullies, but they were good lessons that I took with me.

Later this advice came back to me as I dealt with health issues. I pushed so hard to make my body heal. I later realized that this was hindering my health and healing.

Don’t be so hard on yourself.

I wanted results. I wanted to be better. In looking back, ultimately I wanted to feel good about me! I yearned for approval from others. Now I know, that I also needed self-approval.

Self-approval happens in an instant. It’s a change in mindset. I could have given myself the approval I desired so deeply, any time I wanted.

I had overcome the physical aspects of anorexia, but I still starved myself emotionally.

I was stingy with self-love and self-care, because my standards were so stringent and high.


Be patient with yourself… the words somehow came back to me.

You may never meet “their” standards, but you can always cultivate self-approval. You know the truth. You know how hard you have worked. You know that all great things take time. Self-healing is a journey, it’s not a linear process.

Give yourself permission to feel good, even about the smallest things. Celebrate small accomplishments. Know that you’re on your way to achieving the big goals, rather than being hard on yourself and chastising yourself for not meeting the big goals in an unreasonable time period.

I see and experience now that the journey I am on is so much more enjoyable just by simply celebrating my small achievements.

No longer do I put unreasonable burdens on myself, filling my backpack with all the tools they say I need. Nor do I visit all the stops they say I must.

Look up, enjoy the view and the journey. Celebrate the accomplishment of each small step!

Know that even long, toiling roads eventually lead somewhere. Perhaps invite a buddy to share in the journey.

Sing in the rain. Stomp in the puddles. Lean into the wind. Listen for the messages in the long, dark, quiet nights.


Be Patient, but also…

Keep going

Keep patiently waiting if necessary

Have faith

Follow your instincts

Stay focused

Do your best

Let go

…and most of all, have fun!

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When to do Online Yoga and Why to go to a Yoga Studio :017

It’s convenient to take an online yoga class…

…but I much prefer going to a warm, cozy studio with a great yoga instructor to guide me through a yoga practice. No distractions. No problems.

Sometimes the time and financial resources it takes to go to a studio are limited. In this case online yoga classes can sound appealing, but are they right for you?

As I began taking online yoga classes it occurred to me that I take a lot of my advanced training and yoga history for granted. As I modify poses for what I need and want, it occurs to me that online classes are convenient, but perhaps not ideal for everyone.

If you’re wondering which is better for you, here are my thoughts:


When to do Online Yoga - Why to go to a Yoga Studio

Online Yoga:

Online yoga is great if you have a foundational understanding of the basic poses.

It saves time having to drive to and from a studio, unless you can go on the way to or from work!

If you have little ones at home, paying for a babysitter and yoga classes may not only be time-consuming but pinch the budget a bit. Squeeze in an online class when you can or get the kids involved!

If you’re the type who can commit to a regular workout routine, online yoga, available whenever you are, may be just the right match.

Studio Yoga:

In my opinion, beginning students really should go to a yoga studio to gain basic instruction from a knowledgable and experienced instructor who can monitor you and teach safety while moving through and holding yoga postures. This isn’t about creating “the perfect pose,” it’s for your safety. Yoga is a more gentle form of body movement than most (depending on the style of yoga) but the repetitive movements can still strain and harm the body over time if not done properly.

For intermediate and advanced students it is helpful to go in for “check-ups.” It’s easy to develop bad habits. Something as simple as keeping your elbows in (which easily creep out) can help prevent painful elbow problems.

Sometimes when you need “space” it helps to grab a yoga mat, humbly claim your area, and take a mini-vacation in your bubble of space and time. Get lost in the music and movement. No cares. No distractions.

There is so much behind what goes into a yoga class that a teacher just can’t get into while teaching a regular class. Most studios offer workshops to learn more which can help you gain even more from your regular classes!

By going to a yoga studio you support a local business. It’s a feel-good moment for everyone!

Lastly, I recommend taking classes at a yoga studio if you have a hard time committing to yourself. If new routines are difficult, I highly recommend buying a punchcard and committing to taking a regular class. Start with one class per week if that’s where you need to start. For some Body-types, having a healthy group atmosphere with caring people whom you enjoy seeing and who extol how much they’ve missed you when you’re gone is a helpful start to committing to a yoga practice- especially the Earth-type and Water-type. (Body-typing book here. Take the Body-type Quiz in the sidebar.)


As you can see, I’m a big fan of Studio Yoga, but I’ve experience that Online Yoga fills a significant need and is helpful as well.


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Work With Your Body – Not on it! :016

The Mantra, “Work With Your Body – Not on It!” came to me…

…as I excavated the messages from my own body and healing journey for my first book, You-niversal Self-care: Improved Health Through Self-Understanding.

In this book I share my journey from being an unhealthy child, suffering from undiagnosed Celiac Disease and Irritable Bowel- like symptoms. I was also overweight. I weighed over 100 pounds at age nine when my average classmate weighed 60 pounds. My skin also nearly constantly pained me. It felt like it was being stretched at best, and would crack and bleed at worst.

In addition to this I had the usual social pressures to look thin and be in-style, and to behave in a way that was similarly in vogue.

I tried for some time to force myself to fit in. I literally starved myself in body and stretched myself in character, hoping it would all gain me more favor. It worked initially. Although, like how a little bit of makeup can look appealing, there is always a tipping point, when too much effort becomes a disaster. Looking back, eventually my extreme measures to change my body and character looked clownish.

There are more details in my book, so I will not repeat them here, but what I will emphasize is this: in order to meet other peoples’ standards I harmed my body greatly. I deprived my body of vital nutrients for growth at a critical time during puberty for which I feel I have finally healed… twenty years later!


Work With Your Body - Not on It

On the other hand there are positives that have come out of this time.

Going through that Dark Night of the Soul experience that also manifested in my body, I became much more acutely aware of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual condition.

It is much more clear to me now what is truly healthy and health-supporting and what is just fashion. Now I have a deep reverence and understanding that what is good for one person, may not be good for another.

I have created a deep, healthy, healing relationship with my body, mind, emotions and even spirit. It’s as if these aspects are layers of my own self that can converse with and guide each other for overall wellness. I am much more acutely aware of my needs in these areas in order to be healthy and balanced.

Going through this time of deep sadness and suffering, longing to be and become accepted, tired of being teased and left-out, helped me to be more compassionate towards others suffering in similar ways.

Most of all I learned to become compassionate with myself. It is necessary, I now see, to start here. We innately treat others the way we treat ourselves- it’s all that we know, until we learn otherwise. We are our own learning-ground.


I urge you to learn to Work With Your Body – Not on It!

Yes, there are times that we need to push ourselves, get outside our comfort zone, even to create healthy changes!

It’s healthy in most cases to: break a sweet, run out of breath, or workout so hard you are sore the next day. Stress initiates change.

What is not healthy is when we have unreasonable goals and ideals.

When I wanted to be the same size as children my same age who weighed forty percent less than me (that was nearly half my size!) I put unreasonable stress on myself, and did not have healthy motives.

As an adult I have to remain focused on building and supporting my body with nutrition, balanced exercise and attribute training so that I am working towards the best version of me that I can help come forth; rather than the jury-rigged version that I might be able to create based on what media and my peers are promoting.


Here are some tips on how to work with your body:

  1. Set a goal with a health-oriented result. Setting a weight as a goals makes you unreasonably focused about weight, which can fluctuate on a daily basis and even increase when you begin healthy habits like working out when you build heavier tissues, i.e. muscle. Set a single goal like eating whole foods for a month and be surprised how the effect of weight loss just happens!
  2. When you commit to a new or renewed goal, don’t make a big deal out of it. The more you build it up to yourself (and others by sharing with them) the more emotion you put into it and if you don’t meet your goal the more of an emotional crash you’re likely to experience. Treat it like it’s something you’re doing because it needs to be done- like going to the grocery store or brushing your teeth.
  3. Give yourself time. How long did it take for your body to get to the condition it’s in? What if it took that same amount of time to heal? It more than likely won’t; but if it did, at least you would be getting healthier and feeling better all along the way!


The beauty of you is that there is no one else like you and we need you to be YOU! Support your body, mind, emotions and spirit so you can be the best version of you possible. How amazing would that be!



Catching Courage with Zoe McKey :015

It takes courage to make healthy life changes.

At Weight Free Wellness® we strive to share the people, resources and principles that it takes to lead a healthy life; and courage is definitely one of these!


In this inspiring interview, Zoe McKey shares insight from her book, Catching Courage (what a great title!) and we talk about how the insight applies to wellness.


“Bravery is a state of mind with an absence of fear… Generally, courage on the other hand, is more than a state of mind, it’s an emotion. When you feel that pressing fear but you decide to do anyway what you’re about to do. You’re totally aware that failure is a high chance to happen, but you decide to do it anyway.” – Zoe McKey

Catching Courage with Zoe McKey

“With courage you experience an overcoming feeling of strength…” – Zoe McKey

Here are some of the highlights of Courage for a Wellness Lifestyle:

  • The difference between Bravery and Courage
  • Why to keep goals to yourself
  • The benefits of getting in and staying in motion
  • Do you have Decidophobia – the fear of making a decision?
  • Be clear on where you want to go
  • Gain knowledge
  • Trust your gut

For the full experience watch or listen to the podcast!


“Deciding to do nothing is still a decision.” – Zoe McKey


“Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s what’s possible, then suddenly you’re doing the impossible.” – St. Francis of Assisi


“Knowledge can help us reduce our fears…” – Zoe McKey


“Whatever you do, whatever aspect of life you want to improve, be very clear about it.” – Zoe McKey


Learn more about Zoe and her work…



About Zoe

My name is Zoe McKey, and I’m a former dishwasher, shop assistant, car factory worker, translator, international relations manager at a language school, and communication coach of a smaller Japanese organization. Add my hours spent as a high school and university student and you can see that I needed 25 hours in every day.

I’ve been living on my own and supporting myself since I was 14. For years I was unable to pursue my passion. And today I’m grateful for all the things I went through.

Because of my situation I had to learn to connect and get along with every type of person. From a young age I had to develop my ability to understand emotional needs. With my strong self-awareness, I help people (re)gain their confidence and self-esteem so they can live a lasting balanced life.

Right now I’m a Communication Coach; I teach interpersonal and social skills internationally. My training doesn’t follow the conventional “pep talk self-help” style, but is the result of a ten-year, thorough study of human behavior, limits, and challenges.

I’m also a #1 Amazon bestselling self-help author. I consider my work to be like a pickle jar filled with different sized pickles. Each pickle represents a different solution to a problem related to confidence: personal lifestyle development, enhancing confidence, improving perseverance, overcoming fears, beating procrastination, building social skills, and many others.

I’m not a mentalist, nor am I an expert gathering titles to prove my aptitude. I believe more in the power of undivided attention, honest caring, and asking questions instead of demanding solutions based on a ten-minute discussion. I’m a simple girl, with an ENFJ personality, who wants to help everyone who needs it.

I’ve been in the position when all the world made me feel insignificant and unworthy, small and helpless. There’s a way out of it. And I know it, and I’d like to share it with you.

I know what it feels like when all the world makes you feel insignificant and unworthy, small and helpless. There’s a way out of it. And I know it, and I’d like to share it with you.

In my free-time (now that I actually have some) I like to draw or paint, take long nature walks, do badass CrossFit training, and sing Karaoke – usually in a box because I don’t want to harm humanity with my singing voice.

My favorite book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. (Please don’t judge.)

Visit Zoe’s website here!



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How to Self-Critique Without Being Critical About Your Fitness :014

How to Self-Critique Without Being Critical

Being self-critical is a very difficult habit to break when you have lived your life overweight and have become self-critical to pre-empt what others might criticize you for.


It can be done, though, and it needs to be done. It may seem contradictory but self-critique is necessary and even helpful. If you can not judiciously assess yourself, how do you know where health improvements can be made?


Now technically I should not be using “critique” and “critical” as if they stem from different words; but the truth is that colloquially we put different values on these words. To critique can be seen as a valuable thing- that your are picking out what needs to change for improvement. To be critical has a heavy tone to it; like a disapproving father who picks at everything that isn’t perfect. So make note, I’m using the colloquial definitions here, that I just illustrated.


Here’s how I made the shift to be able to Self-Critique without being Critical


I take an adult dance class two times per week. I started seeking this cross-training when I realized several years ago that I needed an activity that would help me train my body in coordination that would not exhaust me at the same time.


Ballet class is my gauge. I can tell where I am at in mental clarity, physical strength, flexibility and coordination each time I go to class.


It’s through challenging myself in the areas that are most difficult for me to learn (physical movement and coordination) where I learned to self-critique but not to be critical.


The goals and standards I create are my own; I’m not striving to live to anyone else’s ideals. I challenge myself, but am still caring towards myself.


This compassionate nature is what helps me to Self-critique without becoming Critical.


How to Self-Critique Without Being Critical


In this video of this podcast I am critiquing (and sharing these principles) as I resume a workout regime I have not done in months.


I Critique for improvement as opposed to being Critical which tears a person down.


Examples of the difference between Self-Critique and being Critical


First, as I Critique I Keep in Mind:

That I have not done this workout in months. “Just see where you’re at.”

The purpose of this workout is to help improve my strength for ballet. (Weight change and body-shape are positive benefits for me, but not goals.)

I will improve with consistency and applied feedback for improvement.

I will feel my body shift and change… perhaps in undesirable ways at first, but that it will lead to what I desire. (Soreness will lead to strength. Body mass increase (weight and size) will lead to toning.)

I note the positive things that might even surprise me: Wow! I can still do side plank with pretty good stability! I didn’t get as sore as I thought I might!


I Would be Being Critical if I Said to Myself:

It’s only been 6 months and you lost your form!

You can only do a couple suspended crunches per side!

Push yourself and do three sets… You need to get off on a big start!

Did you get the results yet? Go check!



Notice how you feel just reading these: Critiques vs. Being Critical!




How to Self-Critique Without Being Critical Tips:

Focus on creating healthy habits as your goal rather than a weight or a size. The habits more than likely will lead to the results you want anyways!

Cut out the pomp and circumstance! Make the healthy habit something you do normally; make it a normal thing in your life. When you make it an emotion-filled task you set yourself up for an equally emotional let-down if you don’t meet your objective.

Start moderately. Don’t burn yourself out at the start. Allow yourself to feel good; feel progress from the start!

Approach health and fitness with a light-hearted nature. Have fun! Find things you enjoy. Find the activity that is balancing for your Body-type. Take the Body-type Assessment (in the sidebar) to learn more.

Allow time and consistency to work their magic!

Notice where you’re critical of others. You’re likely ten times more critical of yourself in those areas. Then let go!

What if your objective were to learn to improve, rather than to accomplish?

Treat yourself like a beloved child who must learn this (a) particular lesson, and give him/her the patience, resources and time to learn, improve and make changes.


Wishing you Well-ness!





The Other Half of Your Yoga Practice – Yin Yoga with Bernie Clark :013

Yin Yoga

The Other Half of Your Yoga Practice

with Bernie Clark

In this interview with Bernie Clark (a name synonymous with Yin Yoga) we discuss the who, what and why of this vital “other half” of our yoga practices and life!


Bernie has been teaching yoga and meditation since 1998. His yoga practice encompasses the hard, yang-styles, such as Ashtanga and Power Yoga, and the softer, yin-styles, as exemplified in Yin Yoga. Bernie also worked as a member of the executive team of one of Canada’s oldest and largest Hi-Technology companies. Bernie lives, teaches and offers workshops in Vancouver, Canada.


He is the Author of:

The Complete Guide to Yin Yoga

Your Body, Your Yoga


From the Gita to the Grail



“God doesn’t keep a list of who can do a deep forward fold.” – Bernie Clark 

“…that’s what we’re trying to in yoga, just become healthy- not super flexible.”

– Bernie Clark

Yin Yoga with Bernie Clark

In this Podcast on Yin Yoga:

Bernie Shares:

  • How started meditation in his 20’s and yoga asana practice to help meditation in his 40’s.
  • Initially due to his Type-A personality, he gravitated towards active “yang” style yoga and later noticed how Yin Yoga brought balance.
  • His Yin Yoga lineage from Paul Grilley to Sarah Powers
  • How yoga is like prayer and meditation
  • How Yin has specifically helped him (a self-acclaimed “Yang-ster) – Physical, Mental, Emotional
  • How to address very stressful times. (Resisting and acting out don’t work very well, but Yin-type actions do.)



“…to really understand Yin Yoga, or any form of yoga, one must experience it. Reading about yoga is like reading a menu when you are hungry: interesting, maybe even mouth watering, but until you actually partake of what you are seeing, your need will not be quenched. ” – Bernie Clark



About Yin Yoga:

  • What are Yin and Yang in general?
  • What are Yin and Yang in yoga and which tissues do they each target?
  • What are the effects of a yang-dominant yoga (exercise) practice?
  • What does lack of movement do to our tissues by comparison? Here’s a very good reference from Bernie’s book YinSights
  • What is fascia and why is it so important to pay attention to it? (Bernie offers a great illustration at about 22 minutes into the recording.)
  • What is the balance point between Yin and Yang styles of yoga or exercise?
  • How Yin Yoga can help a person meditate 2 and 3 minutes at a time.



How Yin Yoga has Helped me:

  • When I replaced my usual practice with solely Yin Yoga my joints were freed up and I could better use my Strength and Flexibility in my ballet classes I attend.
  • Bernie says that Yin Yoga is not Restorative yoga but I did experience a sense of calm during and hours after practicing.




Taking the Yin Concepts into Life – Yin Yoga on or Off the Mat

I ask each guest to share something that listeners can take into their daily life. Here’s what Bernie offered:

Know your intention. Why are you doing anything (that you do) in life?

Bernie explains this beautifully at the closing of the podcast with a helpful metaphor of the map. You can catch this in the last 5 minutes of the podcast.



“Know what your in-tention and then pay a-ttention- whether it’s yoga or life.”

– Bernie Clark


Other Books Mentioned in this Podcast:

Secrets of the Lost Mode of Prayer – Gregg Braden

The Places That Scare You – Pema Chodron

How to Stop Worrying and Start Living – Dale Carnegie



More About Bernie Clark

Bernie has been teaching yoga and meditation since 1998. He has a bachelor degree in Science from the University of Waterloo and combines his intense interest in yoga with an understanding of the scientific approach to investigating the nature of things. His ongoing studies have taken him deeply inside mythology, comparative religions and psychology. All of these avenues of exploration have clarified his understanding of the ancient Eastern practices of yoga and meditation. His teaching, workshops and books have helped many students broaden their own understanding of health, life and the source of true joy.

Bernie’s yoga practice encompasses the hard, yang-styles, such as Ashtanga and Power Yoga, and the softer, yin-styles, as exemplified in Yin Yoga. His meditation experience goes back to the early 80’s when he first began to explore the practice of Zen meditation. During those days, while he struggled with the conflict between practice and theory, Bernie also worked as a member of the executive team of one of Canada’s oldest and largest Hi-Technology companies.


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Inflammation: Belly Aches – Leaky Gut – Dementia :012

Inflammation affects us every day

Inflammation is the body’s reaction, the “fire-alarm” (read: in-flame-ation) to trigger the helpers in the body to bring in reinforcements to help and heal the body. Prolonged inflammation can lead to everything from Belly Aches, to Leaky Gut and Dementia.


Inflammation is most commonly experienced as pain. But there are certain areas of the body that do not experience pain like others, namely the brain. The down-side to this is that when the brain is being injured and is inflamed, we don’t often notice until damage has been done.


In this talk with Dr. Rory, a Chiropractor in the greater Minneapolis area of Minnesota and Functional Medicine practitioner, we discuss how inflammation shows in our bodies and how to address it naturally and when more heavy-hitting drugs like corticosteroids may be the answer. Below is a summary of our talk.


Sign and Symptoms of Inflammation

Inflammation can occur from minor injuries like hitting the shin on a coffee table, to traumatic car accidents to long-term injury on the body from long-term digestive inflammation or environmental toxins.

No matter the stimulus, the results are similar when it comes to inflammation which is the bodies first response to injury. When this “fire alarm” goes off the body ushers in the healing forces of the body. The first signs are discoloration, swelling and usually a warming of the tissue.


Inflammation with Dr. Rory


Inflammation and The Brain

In most cases, we also feel the symptoms of pain or discomfort. Although, when the brain is inflamed we do not experience pain- rather we experience the symptoms or effects such as trouble remembering words, names and if the inflammation is prolonged, conditions such as dementia or Alzheimers. These signs and symptoms are showing up at younger and younger ages, as early as the 40’s in some people, which is a sure sign that inflammation needs to be addressed.

Because the signs and symptoms may not be evident until real damage has been done, it’s important to be familiar with how your body uniquely demonstrates inflammation.


Inflammation and The Gut

The digestive system, particularly the intestines show inflammation very readily in most people. Symptoms can include: bloating, aching, diarrhea, constipation and many more. In severe and chronic cases it manifests as Heart Burn (stomach), Leaky Gut Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease and Celiac Disease (intestines).


“I tend to work with peoples’ guts [environment] more because this seems to be the seat of inflammation.” Dr. Rory


Inflammation and Traumatic Injury

When there is a traumatic injury to the body whether it be from an accident or surgery, this can have not only a physical effect on the body, but there is often also an effect on the nervous system which can be treated with natural “calm-ers” such as rhodiola, valerian, passionflower and hops. This is true for emotional trauma as well. Retraining the para-sympathetic system helps the body to get back to a normal “rest and digest” function.


Inflammation and Stress

Did you know that symptoms of PTSD can be passed down from one generation to another? This learned programming happens as early as our time in the womb.

When you think to yourself, “This is not working for me!” this is a great point to institute change.

Does your body remember what it’s like to really relax? When’s the last time you felt the feeling of  “ahhhhh…”?

It’s important that we re-familiarize ourselves with how to turn our systems off and reboot, before we experience a crash.


“My grandpa used to say, ‘Is this a first world problem or a third world problem?'” – Dr. Rory


Pharmaceutical Drugs and Natural Alternatives for Inflammation

There is a time and place for everything. In certain cases, Dr. Rory shares that a corticosteroid can help a patient delay a hip surgery for example, until it’s a better time to have the procedure done.

It is important to note however, that too many anti-inflammatories drugs, corticosteroids and opioids (commonly used to treat pain) can impede healing response in the long-term. Working with a professional like Dr. Rory is essential to help understand if your particular situation can benefit in the short and long-term by the myriad therapies available.

For long-term health herbal remedies which are conveniently also food ingredients like turmeric and ginger (which are know for their benefits by their common constituent curcumin) are better in long-term because they aid the body in healing. While they are also anti-inflammatories like some drugs are called; these (and many other) herbs do not prevent the body from healing, but rather, help it.

By now it is well-know that Prince died from and overdose of the opiate drug, fentanyl. This  case “hit home” for many; but especially for us since many of us in this area pass Prince’s home and studio on a regular basis (I do every day on average!). But, on a humanly compassionate way, his passing affected many of us because, I believe, we innately recognize our similarities, and how real pain is for each of us these days. We have even more ability to connect, but are we really any closer?


“The biggest side-effect is that it (opiates) derail us and disengage us from life.” Dr. Rory

How to Address Inflammation Naturally

The change to reduce inflammatory responses induced by our thoughts (i.e. stress) can happen as actively as the renown techniques taught by Tony Robins or as simply as the built-in stress-reliever… spending time in nature!


Avoidance is easier than taking something…

Test lessening the burden on the body by removing gluten and other potential inflammatories (refined foods, carbohydrates, sugars.)


General Advice to Alleviate Inflammation

Taking herbal supplements with ginger, turmeric, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, passion flower and valerian can help a lot.

Dr. Rory also believes in taking a quality Omega-3. Remember, you pay for what you get. Krill oil is a higher quality.

It is, of course, very important to work with a knowledgeable health care practitioner who is educated in the philosophy of health care that match your values. What is mentioned in this podcast and blog is for information purposes only. You should work with your trusted health care practitioner to decide which supplementation and tests and marker CRP or iGG iGA to get more specific on how to address your signs and causes of inflammation.


Also in this Podcast… What are you inflamed by?

I do my best to summarize the important points of conversations with guests, but there is so much that can not be wrapped up into words. Watch and/or listen for the full experience!



Links and References:

Tony Robbins’ recent documentary: I am Not Your Guru

Golden Milk Recipe and other healthy recipes in the Weight Free Wellness Cookbook


Supplements mentioned:

AccutePhase (Metagenics)

TranQ (Metagenics)


About Rory Faherty, D.C.

Dr. Rory is a chiropractor, and functional medicine physician with two decades of experience connecting with patients, and helping them find their journey to health.    Rory grew up on a small island off the west coast of Ireland in a large family.  Life on the Aran Islands is simple and about connection with people.  He brings the values and lifestyle he learned in Ireland to his practice and approaches to treating patients.
Dr. Rory earned a Doctor of Chiropractic at Northwestern Health Sciences University and will complete The Institute for Functional Medicine’s (IFM) Certification program in 2016 to join the less than 20 IFM Certified Practitioners in the state of Minnesota.  Dr. Rory takes the complex world of medicine and creates simplistic plans for healing.
To contact Dr. Rory call  his office: 952-474-2395
Specialties include:
* GI Health with a focus on
     * diagnostics
     * gluten sensitivity 
     * treating infection
     * improving microbiome 
     * customized food plans
* Detoxification
* Chronic Inflammation
* Nervous system & sleep disregulation 
* Applied Kinesiology
* Spinal Adjustment and body work

Rory Faherty, D.C.





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What do Men Really Want or Need? :011

What do Men Really Want or Need?


Does it feel like you and your partner are just not on the same page? Does it seem like one person is talking and the other “just doesn’t get it”? What does he really need? Hang with me here… we’ll get to the ladies later…


We realize that the insights we are sharing are based on a traditional male/female marriage, simply because this is our perspective. If this does not appear to be reflective of your relationship: consider which of the partners is more masculine (or yang or the Fire Element) and which is more feminine (or yin or the Earth or sometimes Water Element). It does not matter the physical sex of the person. This is a basic way of understanding Body-typing also.


What do men really need?


What if men and women came with operation manuals? Who would write the book?

Since few of us know ourselves well enough to give instructions… we are often left to the people who have figured it out, for them, to leave clues to help us to figure out our own box of mixed parts.

So, that’s what this is. Jon and I share from our experiences of building our guidebooks over our 16 year relationship through insights from previous relationships, study and trial and error.


This lively talk is summarized here but it is great fun to listen to also! Watch, listen and subscribe through YouTube, iTunes or the Newsletter! Enjoy!

So, Jon, What do Men Really Want or Need?

My initial question to Jon was, “What do Men really Want?” but he clarified that it’s better to get down to needs. When our needs are met, then we can address ‘wants’…

Fortunately, when Jon and I got together, he had enough experience and insight to have a really good basic “Instruction Manual to Jon” – and this is exactly how he would share his insights. He’d say, “I’m giving you the Owner’s Manual to Jon, and here’s what I really need from you right now…”

His requests were clear, infrequent and always in a loving, caring tone that stated his needs; rather than pointing out my ineptitude at meeting his needs.


 “All that I really need is respect and admiration.” – Jon

He goes on to describe how my being his support, believing in him, followed by respect and even admiration is the best encouragement and support he could receive. He explains that this kind of cheer-leading (my words) are the best way to motivate a man to “get the job done” – better than any continuous requests (i.e. nagging), demanding or cajoling.

He explains further that in a relationship like we have where the man is the primary breadwinner and plays a more masculine role that he needs to be respected and be appreciated for being the provider, for the mental, physical and other efforts it takes to provide whatever lifestyle we have at the time. His re-emphasizing to, “…belief in what I’m doing…” gives the feeling that this is the secret elixir, the ruby (or silver) slippers… the magic ring. Realize the tremendous power you have in the decision to bestow confidence and belief in your mate.

“The more responsibility you put on a man, if you step back and appreciate and believe in what he is doing that’s all that he needs. Then he will feel the weight and responsibility of getting things done, taking care of things, making things work and being successful…” – Jon

What about Others’ Needs and Wants?


“You have to be respectable to get respect.” – Jon

Simply put, there are some people in whom we simply cannot trust. Rather than get too mired in the philosophy of when, how and why to trust… we can break it down to- if you feel (Yes, I said feel! Your gut will tell you a lot about a situation!) that you cannot trust someone, you must consider to what degree you will be involved with the person. As Jon would poignantly say to be early on in our relationship, “You trust me to have a child with you, but you don’t trust me with $20?” (He’s always had a way of getting me to see the truth so clearly!)

“You have to be in a caring, loving relationship where both sides want to figure things out and want to grow in their relationship.” – Jon


Is This Something That All Men Need or Want?

While we may have a hard time admitting it, women process by “talking it out”.

It may be hard to believe that guys similarly (not the same) talk about their relationships and situations with other men.

After nearly 30 years in teaching and being an entrepreneur, Jon has had the opportunity to observe and interact with many people and in many, many situations.

So, when I pried and asked, “Do all men have these needs?”

“Yes,” he shares, “… in listening to guys talk, there are a lot of guys who are not getting much in regards to “‘filling the love tank'” – see The Five Love Languages also check out John Gray (the Mars/Venus guy)

The fact is that both sides of the couple relationship need love and support. Sometimes to get things back on track one person may need to put out a little more initial effort. If the couple ultimately is intent on being together, see this “sacrifice” is really more like an “investment” in the relationship- because it will pay off and there will be benefits for both later.


The Benefits of Fulfilling His Needs

It took me several years and many explanations before I really understood what Jon was asking for.

Finally, after one particular clash (we don’t argue much and I don’t even remember this occasion, but it was significant enough for me to literally, take note!) I wrote on two pieces of colored paper and stuck them to my mirror that I use every day, “Respect!” and “Appreciation!”

I needed this reminder so that I would at least start out the day filling his needs. This helped him tackle the days challenges with more vim and vigor.

It’s been a couple of years since I did this and the difference is huge!

  1. There is less much less tension between us i.e. we work together not just on the surface, but emotionally too.
  2. I am more compassionate with Jon and what he goes through on a daily basis
  3. I feel and experience that Jon is much more responsive to my needs as well.
  4. I am generally more content.

All the while, I must note, life has not gotten any easier on us (quite the contrary) but we can handle things with more ease and ultimately are more happy.


“In my world there is: What a man needs from his woman and what a man needs to give to his woman.” – Jon



Other Things we Discussed:

  • Taking out the garbage
  • Give insight to expectation or hope… By tomorrow morning the water jugs need to be out. “heads-up”
  • Of course the kryptonite to this is doing the opposite- tearing the other person down and criticizing.
  • Those little things that make life smooth can seem so insignificant but they are huge.
  • We are likely to act what was modeled for us. Look at your examples. Do you want your relationships to be like that? Accept or learn.


Other examples of how to show respect and admiration:

  • Touching… love languages… physical touch.. Know your own Love Languages also!
  • Don’t make your partner guess!

When you need to be careful

  • Are you on the same page? Can you get there?
  • Try putting in a little bit more to see if they’re willing to meet you and work on things because they are feeling more fulfilled.
  • There has to be adjustment time.


“When I would bring things up I would generally bring one thing up at a time. I would say, this is what I need from you; I love you, I want to be with you… Do you understand that? Can you do it?” – Jon


“I did’t think you were messed up [when we had conflict]… I looked at it from an NLP perspective… that you had strategies you were working from to get what you wanted… you just wanted time with me… we both had each others’ interests but we weren’t communicating effectively.” – Jon


Books and Resources Mentioned:

Masaru Emoto Water experiments


Invocation or prayer to self:  From Masaru Emoto’s book Love Thyself, Say to water…

I love you

I thank you

I respect you

(Very interesting corollary!)



Beliefs: Pathways to Health and Well-being – Book

NLP is all about strategies… the map is is a guide, it’s not the territory.


We end with a song!

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How to Become and Stay Fit After 50! :010

Being Fit after 50 Improves Overall

Quality of Life!




Being physically fit can have a positive emotional and even spiritual component.

Through #funfitness programs such as these I hope to inspire listeners (and readers) to find the particular form of fitness activity that suits them.



In this interview with my dear friends Charlie and Tammy, they share how the weekly ballet class we attend together is not just exercise, it enriches their lives!


Charlie, a tall energetic fellow who would rival Willy Wonka for creativity and Dick Van Dyke for spryness; is a tremendous example of how at 76 years of age you can be more than just a kid at heart!


Tamara (whom we call Tammy) is a heartfelt, graceful and vivacious woman; and at 69 years of age she glides and springs across the dance floor with awe-inspiring levity and is the personification of joy.



These notes are just a summary. I highly encourage you to listen to this lively and heart-warming discussion!



These two inspire me greatly! I hope sharing their insights in this interview inspires you too!


Tammy shares:

  • The role that ballet has played throughout her life.
  • How having malformed feet affected her as a child and how her awareness as a life-long dancer helps her take care of symptoms now.
  • How she made her health and wellness through ballet a priority while raising a family, through a busy teaching career and also as a single parent.
  • How to work around not being able to afford classes. “For years, I was my teacher.” – Tamara
  • How she lost and regained 1/2″ in height!
  • Working with muscles that don’t seem to be getting the message of what to do.



“Ballet as an art, a sport and endeavor is so fulfilling… for the physical strength and balance and flexibility…  also for the intellectual challenge… There’s the artistry, of course, but it goes beyond artistry to spiritual…” – Tamara


“I think being in a class environment really helps.” – Tamara


“I am a grandmother to 6 little children and I’ve been able to pick them up and carry them around and play and roll around on the floor and do well… I think because of the ballet.”

– Tamara


“I have had injuries, I’ve been able to tune in… adapt… to be kind to muscle but not to stop… I adapt what I do to the process of healing… I believe I cut the healing time in half by doing that.” – Tamara



Charlie shares:

  • How Tammy inspired him to enter community theatre and her amusing recommendation to the director for him to play the part of Drosselmeyer in The Nutcracker. “He dances with great spirit, but he’s a sloppy dancer…” FYI… he got the part and will be playing Drosselmeyer for the sixth time this year!
  • Charlie (76) began ballet class at age 63. He admits that he hadn’t even been to many ballets!
  • His ever-present creative side chimes in and shares his first poem and first dance.
  • He adds, ballet and being active has helped him most through pain. “Don’t give up as you feel more and more pain… through arthritis and back pain.” He says, when he gets to ballet class, it goes away!
  • Charlie share the words of advice his father shared with him from his deathbed… a message we can all take to heart!


“Having fun is the biggest part…” – Charlie

“Working through it with other people and working through in a graceful way is nice… other than doing medical things… Stretching, moving turning. You feel alive. And pain is a part of it.” – Charlie

“Ballet has been very important in my life to force me to stay focused.” – Charlie

“I wish more guys would try it (ballet)… and not see it as too feminine or too easy.” – Charlie




Closing thoughts


Tammy, because she was a teacher of foreign language for so many years, she adopted the habit early of striving to always be learning something new to be continually familiar with what it’s like to be a newbie; to better relate with there students. “Come, be humbled, hang in there, be patient with yourself because your brain will adapt to those new elements and you’ll be glad you did!” – Tamara


“…Especially for our children and grandchildren, there has to be joy in the world , there has to be happiness, and if it’s not going to come from the television… it has to come from the people around them. Finding ways to see the happy side of life…” – Charlie



Whether you begin at four, forty, or 64… it’s never too late to find your particular #funfitness activity that keeps you healthy from your head to your heart and even down to your feet!



About Tamara

Tamara Ann Rogers has been a secondary teacher of world languages and a ballet dancer. Born in 1947 in southern Ohio she grew up in a magnolia culture, danced as a performing member of Cincinnati Ballet, and graduated from Denison University in the major of French, with a triple minor in Latin, Dance and Education. Tamara moved to Minnesota in 1972, raised her beloved daughters here, and grew to become a Northerner with a southern flair. Her immediate family expanded with a step-son and treasured grandchildren. She and husband Randall Schumacher are richly involved at their church St Luke, in their community, and in their arts of dance and music.

Tammy and her Granddaughter


About Charlie

Charlie Title created a successful career composing scripts and songs for many corporate and institutional organizations. He spends his retired life dancing, creating tremendously entertaining musicals, chasing his cats back to the house from the woods, serving his wife delicious meals, fitting in travel here and there, and last but not least, enjoying time with his precious grandchildren.


Charlie Title



Feeling Emotional This Veteran’s Day?: Bonus Episode 2

Veteran’s Day, similar to Memorial Day, brings up many feelings and emotions.

Different Body-types, in balance and out of balance, will have different ways of responding.


Which one seems more like you?




When in balance Earth-types are comfortable people to be around. On this particularly nostalgic day they give off vibes of: devotion, reverence, gratitude and heart-illuminating memory.

We all get off-kilter from time to time but the emotional string pulling that Veteran’s Day can evoke can especially affect the watery (remember the Earth contains 70% water) and emotional aspects of this type. They include: grief, sadness (which if they are very imbalanced can lead to depression), and emotional sensitivity that can range from weepiness to defensive behaviors.

If you are into the energetic systems of the body, they are ruled by the heart center (chakra). They are “heartfelt” and take things “to heart”.



These action-oriented people can be great fun to be around. Many of them are likely veterans themselves. Those who volunteer and stay active in the military must have strong principles and be willing to take extreme action to stand behind their beliefs. Or, interestingly, a Fire-type may also be staunchly opposed to any war-like efforts. Fire-type people, whether military or not, will show staunch reverence, pride, stoicism and are not afraid to share their opinion.

It is very apparent when this type is out of balance. They come across as: defensive in an offensive way, extremely opinionated, and demanding.

They are ruled by the solar plexus (power center) center (chakra) of the energetic body. They are said to have the “guts”and the “gall” to do something and can “stomach” many things that others without so much Fire Element cannot. (Remember, we are all a combination of these Elements).



People dominant in this Element seem like they feel through their minds. A naturally emotional type (Earth or Water) may get frustrated with this type, feeling that Air-types have no heart (remember Earth is ruled by the heart). This type will likely feel/demonstrate in these ways: reasoning (i.e. this happened because of that), a historical perspective and may show reverence out of a feeling of reasoned obligation.

When out of balance they will become argumentative with logic (whereas the Fire-type argues more for sport) or be consumed in thought or simply moody with ruminating, unpleasant thoughts.

This type is ruled by the head/mind center of the energetic body. When high in the Air Elements with very low amounts of the other elements to their character they come across as Mr. Spock from Star Trek.



Last but not least we come to the other emotion-based Body-type, the Water-type. On a day like today, similar to the Earth-type, they may be very affected by emotions. When in balance they can be festive and are great idea generators of events. They are also naturally empathic, so may feel mixed because of the myriad feelings that others are experiencing.

When out of balance, like the water-dominant Earth-type, they can become emotional, especially if the occasion sparks grief or loss. They can feel the profound depths of sadness like Earth-types but it is more general like a rain cloud over the head. The Earth-types is more like ruminating feelings (similar to the experience of ruminating thoughts).

Since this Body-type has such a capacity to shape-shift and move, I feel that this type is more represented by the movement of subtle energy in the body- in yogic teaching this would be the Sushumna, or the channel in which energies flow up and down the body and through the seven primary chakras. Mood-wise this illustrates how Water-types can be up on “cloud-nine” one moment or “down in the dumps” the next.


Have you taken the FREE Body-typing Assessment yet?

Learn how to be more balanced with your unique makeup of Body-type characteristics in my Body-typing Book!

Or, for more direct and immediate insight on how to feel balanced, schedule a consultation!




Trump – A Natural Fire-type Body-type: Bonus Episode 1

Trump – a Natural Fire-type

Trump is such a good example of a Fire-type from his ruddy complexion to his short, direct comments and his innate constructive and destructive abilities.


***I am not taking sides here. My objective with these bonus episodes is to provide insight to how Body-typing can help us with a broader perspective from health – and in today’s episode – to politics. Also, I typically don’t go anywhere close to politics, but this is too good of an example to ignore this topic!***


Original (Photo by Jae C. Hong/AP)


Fire is very appealing and even necessary for survival.

We need it to keep warm, cook food, propel our gas and electric powered vehicles; from the stirring of digestion and the activation of muscles: these are all examples of the metaphoric sense of Fire in our lives.

Fire is uncomfortable though when we get too close or it gets out of hand: scorching from the fire, burnt food, misdirected power, overactive digestion, in-flame-d muscles, etc.


Our country was founded by Fiery individuals.

This Body-type has the innate desire to explore, overcome and innovate. By contrast, an Earth-type would rather stay home and will deal with the lot they were given (literally in the historical sense) just to stay reasonably comfortable. A Fire-type will not put up with much bull, and will institute change.


Characteristics of Fire:

  • Tenacity
  • Destructive and Creative (As Traditional Chinese Medicine principles illustrate that sometimes the fire is necessary to clear the way for the new growth.)
  • Trail-blazing
  • Burning the candle at both ends
  • Direct
  • Creates boundaries/can also seem like divides
  • Intense
  • Focused
  • Others nearby can really “feel the heat”
  • Principled
  • Leader
  • Not afraid of confrontation (may often seek it)
  • many more…


‘It takes one to know one.’

At the end of the second debate each candidate was asked to share something that they respect about the other.

Hillary said, “I respect his children… His children are incredibly able and devoted, and I think that says a lot about Donald.” (A very Earth-type comment.) (Cited from USA Today.)

Trump responded, “She doesn’t quit,” he said. “She doesn’t give up, I respect that.” (Cited from USA Today.)


Fire-types come in all shapes and sizes.

It takes a particularly strong and determined person to withstand the grueling schedule (burning the candle at both ends) to not only become a candidate and then be elected- but to be willing to take on the monumental task of being President!

Like I said before, Fire is comfortable until you get too close. Some people are more comfortable with being near the heat, “playing with fire” or even initiating fire more than others. During “heated” elections like these we notice our fire being stirred more than usual, as it takes fire to initiate fire – even if by a lot of friction!


Are you feeling “fired-up” about this election season?

Does this feel uncomfortable to you? (Then you’re likely not so naturally “Fiery” yourself.)

The solution I have is not oriented around a single candidate, but it is oriented around a single person… YOU!


  • Understand your Body-type!
  • Are you in or out of balance? (You are at your best when you’re in balance, so why not strive for this!)
  • What are your weaknesses and strengths?



One Body-type is not better than the other; like the unique ecosystem of the ocean,

we each play our role. 

Learn more about Body-typing in my book,

You-niversal Self-care: Improved Health Through Self-Understanding HERE!




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Spirit of the Lake Yoga – On and Off the Mat :008

Spirit of the Lake Yoga is a lovely studio near Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota.


In this interview, (now) yoga studio owner Nicole Lovald, shares how she came to yoga while her husband was deployed in Iraq, and how yoga helped her to cope with her many thoughts, concerns and challenges as she was faced with raising their 2 year old son alone during that time.


Several years later she and her husband are owners of an award-winning yoga studio, and take the goodness of yoga beyond the mat to their community.


Nicole recounts her first yoga class she went to: that for first time, since her husband had left for Iraq, her mind was silent. She remembers leaving class feeling better. This was enough to convince herself to go to class weekly!





She admits that her friends could tell if she missed a class, because with yoga she was a calmer, happier, easier person to be around.



“When you support your body… you can release… muscles, emotions, tension… Whatever is challenging you at the time.” – Nicole



Not too long after Nicole took a yoga teacher training course, never with the intention to teach (or own a studio for that matter) but to understand better what was going on that caused the great changes she felt in herself.


Some other things we talk about in this episode:

  • How she and her husband came to be owners of Spirit of the Lake
  • How Nicole and her husband have a special desire to work with veterans
  • Is yoga a religion?
  • Stand-up Paddleboard (SUP) yoga
  • Nicole’s passion for working with kids – especially little kids.
  • How they are taking yoga off the mat and support the community


“You don’t have to be flexible in body, but be flexible in mind.” – Nicole


What’s unique about Spirit of the Lake Yoga:


Family friendly programs for all ages!

Online programs:

  • Intro to meditation
  • Soulful self-care
  • Mindful parenting
  • Mindful eating

Spirit of the Midwest Yoga Festival

“We can still focus on the good even when we’re dealing with trauma, even when we’re dealing with sadness. It’s important to let that sadness move through us.” – Nicole

 2 Tips on How to Feel More Balanced in Times of Stress and Despair

  • Let “that” emotion move through you (rather than stuffing it). Which leads to illness and disease. Restorative and Yin yoga for example allow us to be quiet and to release.
  • Breathe – “We take our breath for granted… Our breath is our life-force…. It’s what gives us vitality… It’s what helps us to move those emotions through…”  Learn to breathe into the belly.



How Yoga Helps us With Everyday Things – Like Kids

Nicole is adamant that she shares parenting tips not because she is the perfect parent, but because so many of the mindfulness techniques taught in yoga (and in former training) have helped her to be a better parent. She suggests to bring in mindfulness (bring awareness into the here and now). This helps a parent to take the time to respond to a situation rather than hastily reacting. Kids can eventually learn to model this mindfulness behavior also!



“Try to find moments, where you truly see your children… experience with them.” – Nicole



“I just keep thinking how much my teenage years would have been had I had yoga then… Self-esteem, self-confidence…” – Nicole



Listen to the podcast to hear how Nicole beautifully explains the how-to and the benefits of these tips. 



About Nicole Lovald


Nicole Lovald is a Certified Yoga Instructor and Life/Wellness Coach with a Master’s degree in Counseling. She has spent over 15 years working in higher education, social services, non-profit, and for-profit settings. Her love of yoga began many years ago when her husband was deployed and she was looking for a self-care practice to ease her worried mind and untangle the stress induced knots in her body.
What she found was that yoga provided amazing benefits that not only impacted her body but also relaxed her mind and allowed her to get in touch with her inner spirit. After realizing the wonderful benefits of her practice, she decided to embark on a yoga teacher training program so that she would be able to bring it to others. She has now been teaching yoga for over 4 years and is thrilled to be able to help others live healthier and happier lives.
As the owner of Spirit of the Lake Yoga and Wellness Center, Nicole is excited to continue to support the Excelsior and surrounding communities. In addition to teaching several classes at Spirit of the Lake she also provides individual wellness and life coaching sessions.

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Irritated by Your Partner? You’re not Alone! :007

Being irritated by our partners is rare in the early days together…

Often-times we are so  caught up in new discoveries about each other that it’s easy to ignore if not just plain not see things that flip our switches years later.


After 16 years of an eventful, love-filled and also challenge-filled life together; my hubby and I open-up about our pet peeves with each other and how we manage them within ourselves and with the other person.




I do want to preface that by ‘partner’ we mean any two adults who are in a committed, monogamous relationship. Based upon our experience and preferences, clearly this is going to be especially relatable for heterosexual relationships.


In this episode we cover:


Toilet Dribble (I can’t believe that we ended up starting on this topic!)

Why is this such a big deal!?

Dealing (or not dealing) with ex’s.

Not everyone is able to simply make a clean-cut with their ex, but there are some things you can do to make life easier for you and your new partner; in a nutshell, set boundaries…


What to have for dinner

I share when/why I get upset when my hubby wants to go out to eat…



My hubby has been carefully curating movies for us to watch together all these years… I learn in this podcast! <3



Learn more than you ever need to know…



Good, bad or ugly, we have found success in our relationship by depending on each other; i.e. only bringing others into our relationship for help under specific circumstances and when both partners are present.



What’s your agreement? And, the question comes up…



…How can I help you help me?


Video games…

Where do they stand in your relationship? Between you?

Is it possible to justify a place for video games when you get blank stares and nebulous responses when trying to communicate with a partner who’s playing video games?

Jon talks about John Gray (When Mars and Venus Collide) and how: men meed adventure… they take failure hard- and how video games can fill this void.


Why to give 100% / 100% in the relationship

Then when one partner is having an ‘off’ day, you can still operate at least a 100%



Simplify where you can.

We make our lives as complicated or as simple as we want. Where will it benefit you to simplify?


What is nagging, really?

Women get blamed for nagging, but what do they mean? How do men interpret this and what does it do to the relationship?


Treat me how I treat you…

A variable on ‘The Golden Rule’ because your standards of “…how you want to be treated.” might be much lower than the standards for how I want to be treated. It’s a bit of a mind-bender, but give it a go!


Why don’t guys listen?

How to get the attention of your man…


Why to treat your partner like a king/queen

This doesn’t mean necessarily to wait on them at every turn and address him or her as, ‘Your Highness,’ but any relationship can be benefitted with an increase in courtesy.



What are your secrets to a happy, healthy relationship!?


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Connecting Kids with Nature: 006

Connecting Kids with Nature Takes a Concerted Effort These Days.

A steward and guide to nature who can help make the connection between kids and nature are needed than ever these days. If you don’t have such a person in your area, our local Naturalist, Larry Wade, has created a wonderful guidebook for elementary aged students (and I must attest, as a big kid I enjoyed it very much too!) to connect with nature. Parents, teachers, fellow guides for the next generation… this is a wonderful tool!


The making of a Naturalist

Larry Wade is a Naturalist in the Minneapolis area and has taught for many years at local parks and in school programs.

In the beginning of our talk Larry described how he grew up in a rural area of Southern California in the 1950’s. Nature was his playground since, in those days, there was not much else to occupy a child. During his middle and high school years Larry admits he grew away from nature, but when it came time to go to college he found himself back at nature’s doorstep.

At around age 30 he found himself at a cross-roads; his marine biology career was taking off, but he knew this would conflict with raising a family. So, he made the decision to leave the marine biology, start a family, and moved to Minnesota.


Connecting Kids with Nature:006


Outdoor Activities for Autumn

Larry describes an activity he does with 2nd and 3rd grade students during the fall (which is also clearly outlined in his workbook) called “Grasshopper Studies”.

He describes how this activity helps kids learn a number of things from grasshopper species diversity, grasshopper care and even empathy for such critters. The grasshoppers are collected and released within a week’s time.


“Writing creates empathy.” – Larry Wade, The Old Naturalist  

(See “My Life as an Oak” exercise in the Nature Seeker Workbook)

More Nature Activity Ideas for Kids

Animal homes activity gets kids out on a full-day event to identify…. that’s right… animal homes! Exercises include a nature hike (which doubles as Physical Education activity), a pond study, tree aging identification (math activity) and an art activity using the pigments found in nature. Larry says that the kids (and he) are so full of the expansiveness of nature at the end of the day that the school walls can barely contain the group upon their return.

Whale Day is a special day dedicated to Larry’s early passion of marine life. It includes art activities with his friend and workbook illustrator Jeannette Dickinson (and Amelia Ladd), his shell lab activities and respectful squid dissection.

The workbook is full of many other activities all centered around helping children learn about nature…

Many exercises involve other learning skills such as math, writing and more. There are activities for each season. Even if you do not live in the Upper Midwest region where much of the exercise are geared towards, this workbook can be an excellent guide to adapt the lessons for your region.

Other topics covered:

Larry’s adventures in snorkeling in local Minnehaha Creek – and his encounter with a Pike and a four-foot Muskie – it’s quite a “Fish Story”!

Hear him recount poetic experiences snorkeling among lily pads.

Kids are not the only ones affected by nature. Larry has also taken senior groups with Alzheimers Disease  into nature, he says, “You can feel their hearts remembering!”

“It’s about connection.” – Larry Wade, The Old Naturalist



In closing I ask guests to share 2 things that can help listeners improve their health with their subject material.

Larry and I agreed that connecting with nature plays a vital role in helping us improve our health. He suggests:

  • When you are out walking your dog (if you have one, of course!), Take time to be present. Don’t bring the phone, don’t think about work. Try to listen – with your whole body. Listen to the trees. Slow down.
  • For the kids, it depends on what age they are… Go to a park and let them run through the forrest- that’s great exercise! Then guide them, even if it’s just for ten minutes, to take some quiet time to draw or say, “Let’s try to write some poetry.” Of course, this all depends on the age of the child.



Other Links and Resources

If any part of this material interests you I highly recommend you check out Larry’s website. There he posts about his adventures underwater, recent activities he’s done with kids and some truly special audio clips of animal and nature sounds!

Larry’s website – The Old Naturalist: A voice for the earth- honoring life and seeking beauty

You can find his Nature Seeker Workbook here and at Amazon.com

Finding Balance in Nature – A gift from Larry… a PDF of great ideas!

About Larry

My name is Larry Wade, and I’ve had a passionate affair with the Planet Earth for most of my life. I have a deep and abiding respect for this amazing rock-and-water covered sphere where life expresses itself in millions of different forms, and in a set of interconnected systems.

I also have deep concerns about how we are treating our home. We have a lot of work to do to preserve the beauty and and living things on our planet.

One of the reasons why I continue this blog is my desire to help readers develop a relationship with the Earth. My personal mission can be summed up:


A Voice for the Earth.
Honoring Life and Seeking Beauty
Connecting, Learning, Healing
Earth First.

It’s my hope that you’ll find something in here–words, pictures, activities, poetry, something–that will stir something deep inside you and make you want to get outside. Take a walk. Look up. Look down. Listen. Close your eyes. Get dirty. Get wet. Re-introduce yourself to this amazing place we too often take for granted. Fall in love with Nature. Pass that love along to someone else–especially a child.

And let me know what you find.

Larry Wade
The Old Naturalist



Connecting Kids with Nature - Larry Wade - The Old Naturalist


Holistic Dentist – What Your Oral Health says about your Body :005

A Holistic Dentist can Tell you More About Your Body Than

What’s Going on in Your Mouth!

In this interview with the well-studied and poised holistic dentist, Dr. Tara Kaur, we explore how your oral health is both and indicator and the story-teller of your overall health.


Holistic Dentist- What your oral health says about your body: 005


How did you get into dentistry and then holistic dentistry?

Dr. Kaur shares her background in becoming not only a dentist, but how she gravitated towards the yet uncharted field of holistic dentistry. After practicing dentistry now for 17 years and holistic dentistry for over 10 years, she has solid experience and information to share.



“We connect with people as a whole person… we’re looking at your whole body… your being… your emotions, stress, lifestyle… It all comes together when developing treatment plans.” – Dr. Tara Kaur



What sets you apart?

When asked what sets her practice apart, her first answer was not that she practices holistic dentistry, but that she and her staff look at and treat a person as an individual with unique needs, values and past history. They strive to inform the patient, communicate and educate and allow the patient to be in the driver’s seat. As a patient of Dr. Kaur I can absolutely attest that this is how they operate! And more…


The Mouth-Body Connection

Learning about Weston A. Price, a dentist in the early 20th century has influenced many in the natural health community. His travels and subsequent studies proved that oral health is directly correlated to the quality of diet, no matter in what part of the world you live! and that these were indicators for overall health and especially fertility.


Dr. Kaur shares the studies that especially piqued her interest and cemented the concept of the mouth-body connection.


Two examples of how oral health indicates the condition of the overall body:

  1. Inflammation – (ex. gingivitis of the gums) is an indicator that this inflammation is perhaps occurring throughout the body and degrading the rest of the body as well. This then up-regulates the immune system which can lead to auto-immune disease and conditions: examples include rheumatoid arthritis, digestive disorders, lupus and many other conditions.
  2. Enamel erosion – is a sign that the body’s pH is off and can also be a sign of acid reflux. (Factors such as a diet high in processed food, lack of minerals in the diet, sugar and soda-based drinks, as well as high stress levels can alter the body’s pH greatly. – added by Tara of Weight Free Wellness)



“It’s all connected… What we see in the mouth we see in the body…” – Dr. Tara Kaur



Takeaways to improve oral health:

  • Reduce stress!
  • Increase mineral intake. Stress depletes body of minerals. Add baking soda to toothpaste. Use toothpaste with clay. Take mineral supplement.



Other topics covered in this talk:

  • Differences between holistic and conventional dentistry
  • Safe metal removal – amalgam removal “silver fillings”
  • What is the biological effect of dental procedures and products?
  • Alternatives to silver fillings
  • Biocompatible testing
  • Affects of fluoride
  • Reducing the amount of ionizing radiation i.e. x-rays
  • The benefits of biocompatible composites: looks and function
  • Root canals
  • Micro-fractures in the teeth
  • Clenching
  • Bruxism – teeth grinding
  • Alternatives to night-guards
  • pH and how it affects oral and overall health



Watch and listen to podcast for more!



Check out Dr. Kaur’s Website!

It is a Terrific Resource for Information on Holistic Dentistry!

Dr. Tara Kaur’s website www.TaraKaurDDS.com



About Dr. Kaur

Dr. Tara Kaur nurtures patient centered dental care with holistic and biological philosophies. She sees each dental patient as unique and strives to educate, empower, and assist all patients in making informed health care decisions. Her awareness of dental care as it relates to the whole body allows for an integrative and interdisciplinary approach to health. Dr. Kaur is concerned about YOU and how your oral health is contributing to your overall health and wholeness.

Dr. Kaur graduated from University of Minnesota School of Dentistry in 2000. She is a current member of the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology, the Holistic Dental Association and the Eco-Dentistry Association.

Dr. Kaur has over 1000 hours of continuing education and experience in complementary, alternative and energy healing modalities.  She leads a very blessed life and is grateful to be of service to her patients.


Dr Tara Kaur - Weight Free Wellness Podcast


From Acne and Eczema to Glowing Skin, Naturally!: 004

From Acne to Eczema and Everything in Between…

Glowing Skin is the Result of Healthy Lifestyle and Pure, Safe Skincare



“How your skin looks is 95% lifestyle.” – Viktoriya


This is not something you might expect someone who sells their own skincare line to say; but Viktoriya made it clear that how your skin looks is more than just skincare!

She says our skin reflects what we eat, think and do (exercise and skincare for examples)…

The biggest trigger for her own skin she says was sugar. She tried everything under the sun to avoid having to give this up, but her skin issues cleared dramatically when she gave up refined sugar.

In this interview with Viktoriya, creator of Vika’s Essentials, makes it clear that the key to healthy-looking, glowing skin is a healthy life-style and pure, safe skincare products.



What inspired Viktoriya to Create her Own Skincare Line

  • Struggles with acne and rashes for over 25 years (Vika’s tips on how to clear-up acne)
  • Frustration with products that exacerbated her sensitive skin
  • Needing a solution to dry, flaky patches of skin once she turned 50 diagnosed as eczema (She’s 58 at the time of this interview – doesn’t she look amazing!? She’s her own testimonial!)
  • Not wanting to use anything but natural products– which meant ditching the prescribed steroid cream!



From Acne and Eczema to Glowing Skin, Naturally! Weight Free Wellness Podcast Episode 004

How to Treat Your Skin Based on Skin-type, Body-type and Region/Season:

What’s your skin-type?

When you awake in the morning, look at your skin the mirror.

If you wake up with oily skin over most of your face you have oily skin.

If you have normal skin all over and after you take a shower your skin feels normal or taught you have normal to dry skin.

If you have oiliness in the T-zone (across the forehead and down the center past the nose to the chin) but your cheeks remain normal or dry, you have combination skin.

The most common skin-type is Combination Skin

Combination Skin is considered out-of-balance. The goal is to find balance by suppressing oil production in the T-zone. We do this by using the right skincare routine which includes:

  • Washing the face with the right face wash
  • No soap
  • No alcohol
  • No emulsifiers
  • No preservatives
  • Exfoliate
  • Masks
  • Use light hydrators such as Vika’s toners (a light mist with specific ingredients per skin-type)
  • And using the right oils that hydrate where needed
  • Internal cleansing helps a lot too (My combination skin was helped immensely when I cleansed my liver which helped my body to properly process oils internally, which translated to my skin. Similarly, discoloration, brown spots or “liver spots” can be helped by such internal cleanses.)


It seems strange to use oils when we’ve all been accustomed to use lotions and creams.


Pure, organic oils are rich in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. Viktoriya explains that this is an ancient science and she chooses and blends the oils mindfully- even creating her own oil infusions which take months to develop.

She shares how she was inspired by research she learned for her own skin conditions and by ingredients used in her native country of Russia such as Sea Buckthorn which is highly revered in Russia and China for internal and external healing.


Take-aways on the types of oils used:

  • There are so many great oils- it’s good to rotate (by season especially).
  • Coconut oil is great, but it is not a one-size-fit-all solution- especially not for fine lines and wrinkles… that’s more of a job for rose, frankincense and myrrh
  • Non-comedogenic oils that will not clog pores even good for combination and in smaller amounts for oily skin. In this case use light oils to hydrate which don’t trigger more sebum production (apricot kernel oil, rose hip oil, argon nut oil, macadamia nut oil).
  • All oils are high quality, certified organic
  • Carrier oils are cold-pressed which means highest quality and performance
  • Essential oils are steam or water distilled (not by solvent/chemical process)


Vika is offering a discount to YOU through October 2016!

Get 15% with $50 minimum order

Use code: WEIGHTFREE15



When asked…

What are 2 simple things people can do right now to increase their wellness? She had a lot to offer!

  • Completely eliminate refined sugar from your diet.
  • Use certified organic products when it comes to skincare.
  • Diet- stick to 80/20… 80% raw 20% steamed or baked… mostly vegetables and some fruit. She prefers green smoothies.
  • Detoxify the body
  • Drink plenty of water – add a couple of drops of organic lemon essential oil if drinking water is difficult for you or fresh mint leaves (also naturally cooling and gently detoxing).


Other topics covered in this podcast:

Why bags under the eyes?

Viktoriya says, “I don’t like selling water…”

Why safety of skincare products should be #1

What this skincare expert thinks of sunscreen and sun exposure.


Also mentioned in the Podcast:

EWG Website (Environmental Working Group) “… a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.”  A database of information on safe and un-healthy ingredients used in daily products.

EWG’s App – Healthy Living

Veriditas Botanicals

Eden Botanicals

Organic Infusions


Learn more about Viktoriya and her lovely, pure, organic products at Vika’s Essentials

Check out these valuable articles:

Tips for Clearing up Acne

Ten Beauty Tips

Ingredients to Avoid


About Viktoriya

Hi, I’m Viktoriya – the founder of Vika’s Essentials.  Throughout my life, I routinely suffered from acne breakouts, eczema rashes and all manners of sensitive skin issues.  Those of us with sensitive skin know how much irritation can result from even a simple artificial fragrance.  Not  mentioning how breakouts could effect the self-esteem!  As I got older the problems seemed to worsen.  Even expensive high end natural products left me with severe reactions.  Finally, I decided to find the answers for myself and looked for the answers in the alternative direction – aromatherapy and Ayurveda.  I began an amazing journey of study, research and travel all over the world.  I was fascinated to learn about the healing power of pure essential oils, natural butters and oils!  Ancient civilizations have cataloged knowledge for thousands of years, why not apply this wisdom on myself?  I did and it worked!  And thus, in 2008 Vika’s Essentials Organic Skincare was born.  Our customers care about the purity of ingredients put on their bodies and the results.  If you have sensitive, dry or acne prone skin you come to the right place!  Embrace organic and natural solutions to all of your skin care problems.

Vika’s Essentials – “Ancient science for modern life”.




Should I go Gluten-Free? with Dr. Rory: 003

“Going Gluten-free” Does it really matter?

  • Is it just a fad?
  • What are familiar and unfamiliar signs of Gluten-Sensitivity
  • What is Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity?
  • Am I genetically destined to be sensitive to gluten?
  • Tips on how to start and stick-to a Gluten-free lifestyle


Dr. Rory Faherty will be a regular guest on the Weight Free Wellness Podcast and in his first appearance he shares his personal experience and that of working with patients for nearly 20 years helping people on their health journey. He is a Chiropractor and Functional Medicine practitioner.

*Show notes are a summary of the guest’s and, to some extent, the hostess’ thoughts in this podcast. Please listen or watch the podcast for full, complete content!


Familiar and Unfamiliar signs of Gluten-sensitivity?

  • Abnormal fatigue
  • Brain-fog and poor memory ( Dr. Rory says that this is usually the symptom that gets peoples’ attention the most and prompts them to come in for a help.)
  • Bloating
  • Painful digestion
  • Abnormally sore muscles
  • Stiffness
  • Chronic pain
  • General decrease in will
  • Skin problems
  • and a host of newer symptoms that are showing up in patients

Patients may report any of the symptoms listed above (and others) which may indicate gluten-sensitivity on some level.




Should I go Gluten-free? 003


Dr. Rory mentions that a number of patients have come to him after visiting the Gastroenterologist, with information that they test negative for Celiac Disease but still experience any number of the uncomfortable symptoms mentioned above.


This condition is called Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity…

A person can test negative for Celiac Disease (i.e. they do not have the auto-immune responses based on tests) but still be highly reactive to gluten because they may be reacting adversely to other proteins not targeted in the Celiac Disease testing.


“Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitive are people who can eat a little bit of gluten and get a lot of response… for example bloat.” says Dr. Rory



With symptoms like these in mind, Dr. Rory may:

  • look into the toxin levels in the body
  • may suggest allergen testing or an elimination diet (ideally testing for 30-60 days)


So, can I still have a few Gluten-containing foods every now-and-then?

Everyone’s body is different. Keep in mind:

  • Gluten can create burden on the body. This is where chronic inflammatory states come from resulting in myriad painful and problematic conditions. (Dr. Rory and Tara share their personal experiences.)
  • Research shows that Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity could be more detrimental on a body in the long-term than Celiac Disease.
  • Gluten-Sensitivity is linked to mal-nutrition, causing stunted growth and other nutrition-related problems. Our diets are calorie-dense, but nutrient-deficient.



Certain populations like the Northern Europeans have a higher percentage of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitive diagnoses.

There are estimates that approximately 20-30% of the population experiences the condition Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity.

BUT, Dr. Rory emphasizes, just because we have the genetic markers, does not mean that gene will be expressed as disease. In other words, you may see the genetic marker for breast cancer on your DNA report for example, but there are factors of environment, lifestyle and even a person’s thoughts that can turn the switch on for this gene and for the disease to show up as breast cancer in the body.


Why is so much gluten-sensitivity “popping up”?

It’s hard to say definitively, but clinical practice and observation show that factors such as: stress, toxicity, lifestyle, and the ways in which our food crops have been cultivated and genetically altered can be significant factors.


How will I get nutrients if I eliminate grains from my diet?

Compared to other foods such as organ meats, meat, fruits and vegetables; grains are relatively low in nutrients, says Dr. Rory.


What about fiber?

Considering that fruits and vegetables can easily provide our bodies with enough fiber, the risks far out-weigh the benefits to consume grains for fiber.


How to do an elimination diet, change cooking, and stay on-track?

Doing an elimination diet can be equally daunting and enlightening.

Here are a few great ways to start:


Will I even get to eat gluten again?

Each person’s case is different, but rest-assured, this process doesn’t have to be complicated.

Will and hope go up when we get data- whether this is in the form of lab tests or personal experience.

It’s about balance. Be informed. Take action!


About Rory Faherty, D.C.

Dr. Rory is a chiropractor, and functional medicine physician with two decades of experience connecting with patients, and helping them find their journey to health.    Rory grew up on a small island off the west coast of Ireland in a large family.  Life on the Aran Islands is simple and about connection with people.  He brings the values and lifestyle he learned in Ireland to his practice and approaches to treating patients.
Dr. Rory earned a Doctor of Chiropractic at Northwestern Health Sciences University and will complete The Institute for Functional Medicine’s (IFM) Certification program in 2016 to join the less than 20 IFM Certified Practitioners in the state of Minnesota.  Dr. Rory takes the complex world of medicine and creates simplistic plans for healing.
To contact Dr. Rory call  his office: 952-474-2395
Specialties include:
* GI Health with a focus on
     * diagnostics
     * gluten sensitivity 
     * treating infection
     * improving microbiome, 
     * customized food plans
* Detoxification
* Chronic Inflammation
* Nervous system & sleep disregulation 
* Applied Kinesiology
* Spinal Adjustment and body work
Rory Faherty, D.C.


Being Overweight, Bullies, IBS and Anorexia Made me Stronger :002

Being overweight, dealing with bullies and IBS (at the same time) and later anorexia was not comfortable…

…so why would I want to bring it up now? To help others in similar times of need.


I’ve put off sharing these stories for years.


Why? Because to tell the message that’s really deep inside of me; born of gut-wrenching emotional hardships and puzzling physical-health obstacles… I have to be real.


Being real and telling the truth are not easy. I don’t mean the plain truths; I mean the real truth where I don’t put up a veil, put on a mask, or just stay “politely” quiet.


So, to say the least, this is really awkward; to be on camera, talking about myself, figuratively and literally nearly naked.


***Learning to create a podcast is a bit like learning to ride a bike. You can observe, take instruction from those who’ve done it- but the first several attempts are going to be wobbly and might make you gasp! We’ll get the hang of this sooner than later. Please be patient as we get this thing going smoothly! Thanks!***



I’m creating this podcast because over my years of my personal Wellness Journey and through consulting others I’ve learned so much; and I want to continue to learn and help others!


By sharing my research, resources, and experiences through the enjoyable medium of conversation and podcasting, I get to do what satiates my desires to learn more and help others.


I started this process several years ago with my first book You-niversal Self-care: Improved Health Through Self-Understanding, teaching the ancient wisdom of Body-typing. Earth, Fire, Air and Water are the elements I use as metaphors to help people understand their body and environment, including relationships.

Since then I’ve felt the deep desire to contribute more, and help people gain Self-Empowerment and Self-Compassion.



At about 12 minutes into the recording  I’m more settled into talking to the camera and share significant experiences that cultivated me to be able to teach this material.



Significant Experiences I Highlight in this Podcast:

  • I was blessed with an unhealthy body as a youngster. Yes, I said “blessed”. Because I was significantly overweight and larger than my classmates (I weighed over 100 pounds as a 3rd-grader when my classmates weighted 60 pounds on average.) I am able to deeply empathize with those who are overweight, feel the pressures from multiple directions to be a “normal” weight, and to simply fit in; not to mention to just fit into normal clothes!
  • The truth is, bullies make you tougher… I don’t condone bullying, but today I thank mine. They prepared me for bigger bullies!
  • Through this experience I also learned that focusing on weight was not the answer, and by focusing on weight, I actually put more figurative weight on myself; the weight on one’s shoulders, so-to-speak.
  • If I were a youngster with the same conditions living in the time with knowledge we have today, I believe I would have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease and Irritable Bowels Syndrome.
  • Eating disorders are no joke. When I experienced anorexia I was trying to re-create myself. I wanted to fit-in and be accepted. I felt terrible. I had no energy. I was starving my body, and the essence of myself. I lost site of life, having fun and being me.



By the way, posting this video of me in my bathing suit is not comfortable. As I said before, it’s very metaphoric of how nearly-naked I feel in just beginning to talk about some topics that I feel very vulnerable in talking about.

I’m normally rather reserved.

But, from my experience, I know how motivating it can be to see that someone else has achieved the goals that I desire. It’s like a sign saying, “It’s possible. You can do it too!”

While I do not promote physical image to be the end-all-be-all goal, a natural byproduct of leading a healthy life is looking good/healthy!

I’m doing what’s uncomfortable to me because my goal is to help people be more comfortable with themselves and more Self-Loving.

So, if this helps you feel more inspired that you can overcome too – here you go!

I want this to be a healthy form of motivation.

It’s about Self-Love… Sounds narcissistic, doesn’t it?

Don’t let this thought stop you! (Like it did to me for many years!)

The degree to which you can love yourself, you can love others. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true!

This ties into later podcasts on the topic of relationships I will do later with my hubby.


Ok… back to…

Significant memories from being anorexic- the turning points:

  • While literally starving myself I would make myself exercise. I played basketball at the time; not because I enjoyed it or was interested in it really, but because it was an activity I could involve myself in in order to exercise, burn more calories during the day, and avoid my parents seeing what was really going on.  Because my body was weak and I lacked energy, I would fall on the basketball court often.
  • I remember one final fall –it must have been right before I quit– when I heard, I mean really heard, my legs impact the hardwood floor. My knees sounded eerily hollow. It occurred to me then, that I felt as hollow as my body sounded physically. At that moment I felt sad and sensed empathy for myself.
  • Around the same time there were two people who’s simple, genuine inquiries of “Are you ok?” showed the care and concern I must have needed. I didn’t feel like I needed attention at the time, but these gestures of concern helped me to see that I deserved to give myself more care and concern. These two people were a teacher and an aunt.


What I learned about Healthy Self-Image, from the Oprah show

Around this same time, it was a typical routine for me to arrive at home, turn on the t.v. to watch a bit of an afternoon talk-show before doing homework and having dinner. Oftentimes I would decide on the Oprah show. That particular day she had on a guest who gave tips on developing healthy self-image. I am paraphrasing from memories nearly 20 years old…

“… Stand in front of the mirror naked. Pick out one thing you can genuinely love and admire about yourself. Keep doing this day-after-day. There will be a point where you will begin to see other things you can love and appreciate about yourself. It may take days or even months, but soon this self-love and appreciation will increase.”

Well, it sounded crazy at the time. And I felt so tremendously uncomfortable doing it, but at a time when I needed healthy Self-image the most- I gave it a try!

And, it works… really!



When you appreciate one thing in life or about yourself, it creates a healthy habit making it so much easier to appreciate many other things in life.

Then… life just get better and better!

What is concerning you? What steps are you taking?

It took me nearly 20 years to get to a point in my Wellness Journey where I feel healthy… it can happen much faster for you!

In future episodes we’ll continue to cover the plethora of information on health and wellness that’s available, and most of all, how to sort it out!

Comment and share!

Love,  Tara Baklund

, , ,

How to Help A Loved-One be Healthy & Intro. :001


It’s very difficult to watch a loved-on lead an unhealthy life;

…eating poor quality foods, not exercising and doing things that are outright harmful to the body.


How to help a Loved One be Healthy


In this podcast my hubby Jon and I discuss what a person can do to help a loved-one create a healthier lifestyle.


You’ll also get a good intro. to us. and meet my other co-host… my cat Starry 🙂


***Learning to create a podcast is a bit like learning to ride a bike. You can observe, take instruction from those who’ve done it- but the first several attempts are going to be wobbly and might make you gasp! We’ll get the hang of this sooner than later. Please be patient as we get this thing going smoothly! Thanks!***



Here are a few summarized tips from the discussion:

  • You can only really help the people who are truly looking for help.
  • The person has to want to make changes. (I would add that regarding health, the “why” may not be to “be healthy” but if you can find a tangential motivation (ex. to be able to play with grandkids with more ease) this could be a good starting point.
  • While Jon had many well-studied and perfectly reasonable solutions for me based on his experience; he encouraged me to go to other teachers early on. (The people closest to you may not be the ideal people to help you move to the next level.)
  • Wait to comment about food choices and habits until well-after your loved-one has enjoyed their experience. From a metaphysical perspective, the thoughts and feelings you experience are more impactful than the physical actions you take. I.e. What you think, you become. (See Dr. Masaru Emoto’s or Bruce Lipton, Ph.D.‘s works for excellent examples of this!)

Please share and engage with us on social media!

See you there!