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Adrenaline, (aka adrenalin or epinephrine), is a hormone, neurotransmitter, and in modern day – a medication. Epinephrine is normally produced by both the adrenal glands and certain neurons.  Specifically it is secreted by the medulla of the adrenal glands.  It plays an important role in our body’s fight-or-flight response by increasing blood flow to muscles, output of the heart, pupil dilation, and blood sugar.

Interestingly enough, strong emotions such as fear or anger can cause adrenaline to be released into the bloodstream, which causes an increase in heart rate, muscle strength, blood pressure, and sugar metabolism.

  1. Vitamin C-rich Foods
The adrenal glands require Vitamin C-rich foods to help produce cortisol. The Indian Gooseberry or Amla is so accessible and helps to change your mood. A person with Vitamin C deficiency tends to feel fatigued and depressed. The Amla is definitely a mood changer. Other Vitamin C-rich foods in this category are oranges, mangoes, peaches, leafy greens and tomatoes.
  1. Vitamin B-rich Foods
It is found that Vitamin B-rich foods help to support the adrenal glands and also increase the energy levels during stress. Beneficial foods with vitamin B are avocados, bananas, potatoes, oats and legumes.
  1. Use Healthy Oils to Improve Your Mood
Including healthy oils in your diet aid the adrenal glands. Oils with fat content like coconut oil, olive oil, oil from seeds and nuts like groundnut, almond and cashew nuts are certain examples. These oils make one feel full and satisfied. Rational thinking is optimum when there is contentment – even in small measures.
  1. Warm Lemon Water
Start your day with a glass of warm lemon water with a little salt. This aids in blood circulation.
  1. Green Tea

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Green tea is a lot beneficial in the digestion of food. Having a high metabolism rate is essential to have healthy adrenal glands.
  1. Protein-rich Foods
Protein-rich foods help to stabilize the sugar levels and reduce undue cravings for sugar. Sprouted grams, fresh green peas, beans and almonds are recommended for a balanced protein diet to aid healthy adrenal glands.
  1. Ashwagandha
This natural herb is very essential for a strong nervous system. It enables the body to build a strong nervous system while supporting the adrenal glands and their function. This herb is mainly consumed in the form of tablets.
  1. Chyavanprash*

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This is a treat which tops all good health prescriptions. Made up of essentials like cow ghee, Indian gooseberry, and jaggery, this ayurvedic magic has been India’s heritage medicinal treat since ancient times. The newborn to the old alike consume this for a healthy living and a disease-free life. The Vata, Pitta and the Kapha are controlled by consuming a teaspoonful once or twice in a day. The Chyavanprash aids in building a strong immune system.
*  a cooked mixture of sugar, honey, ghee, Indian Gooseberry (amla), jam, sesame oil, berries and various herbs and spices. Email me for a great recipe!
  1. Milk And Turmeric
One of the age-old treats, a glass of warm milk and turmeric is essential for a good night’s sleep. This invigorating treat helps to rejuvenate tired muscles and nerves for an energy-packed day to face flights or fights of the adrenaline.
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Often we forget that sometimes our best medicine is sitting right in our kitchen, not in our medicine cabinet!  The highlight of this post is the fresh herb, cilantro, and its related health benefits.  Scroll to the bottom if you’d like a tasty recipe to try out!

What is it? 

You have most likely already tasted cilantro whether it was in fresh salsa, an Indian curry or a Thai dish.  Tasted alone would be a whole different experience, with its robust bittersweet citrus flavor Cilantro packs a punch! On top of its strong flavor, Cilantro boasts a high mineral content and tons of antioxidants.


Cilantro originated in the Mediterranean and Western Asian regions, but it can be found found around the world in many windowsill herb gardens. The plant’s formal name is coriandrum sativum. The leafy greens are referred to as cilantro and the seeds are called coriander, each offering a wealth of health benefits and different flavors.  You may hear it referred to as “Chinese parsley”.

Health benefits?

Cilantro is a powerful antioxidant and a great source of vitamins and fiber. It contains a flavonoid called quercetin that has demonstrated numerous antioxidant properties.


The Naturopathic Kitchen: Cilantro 101


*Cod is used in this recipe. For a more robust flavor, substitute wild red snapper or Mahi Mahi.  You can also enjoy this on a bed of leafy greens if tortillas are not your favorite.


  • 1 large fillet of fresh (not farm-raised) cod
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ t sea salt
  • ¼ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 t chipotle chili powder
  • 1 t oregano
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 8 radishes, julienned
  • 3 scallions, julienned
  • 1 avocado, peeled and mashed
  • 2 1/2c shredded Napa cabbage
  • 4 non-GMO corn tortillas

In a small bowl combine garlic, salt, cilantro, chili powder, oregano, lime zest and olive oil. Place fish in an oven-safe pan and brush half of the garlic mixture on each side of the fillet. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, flipping the fillet half way through. Remove from oven and discard any skin. Flake the fish into bite size pieces using two forks. Toss fish with remaining half of the garlic mixture, radishes, scallions, avocado and cabbage. Serve in tortillas. *hot sauce optional


Today I wanted to give you a dose of food as medicine.  Enjoy! 

Let’s explore these three superfoods and their benefits:

BAOBAB:See the source image

The “upside down” Baobab Tree found across sub-Saharan Africa produces a melon like fruit with legendary healing properties. This fruit contains 6X more Vitamin C than oranges, 2X as much calcium than a glass of milk and 6X more potassium than a banana! Let’s be sure to mention that the fruit of the Baobab Tree has an antioxidant level that trumps blueberries, pomegranates and cranberries. It as well is chock full of thiamine, vitamin B6, iron and zinc. Just 1 heaping tablespoon of Baobab powder will satisfy 33% of your recommended daily dose of fiber. This fiber content, in combination with high levels of pectin in this fruit, will keep your weight balanced by satisfying your hunger for longer.

HOW TO USE: Give your breakfast a healthy twist! Add a tablespoon to smoothies, fruit juices, breakfast cereal, oatmeal or yogurt.


See the source image
Known as the “Queen of Fruit”, this superfood is found on one of the slowest growing fruit trees in the world and has a diverse list of health benefits. The rind of Mangosteen contains xanthine alkaloids which have ant-microbial, anti-inflammatory and even anti-tumor properties. Because Mangosteen is rich in antioxidants it drives off UV radiation damage by helping protect your bod at the cellular level. It has been shown to help fight chronic inflammation.

Sprinkle into beverages, on top of salads or even use topically on damaged skin.


I bet this super spice is already sitting in your kitchen cupboard! We know it’s sweet aroma is prevalent in homes across our country, but this spice derived from the cinnamon tree’s potent bark does more than flavor your pumpkin pie! Throughout North Africa and Eurasia, cinnamon is used in many dishes and is esteemed for its medicinal qualities.

In our caffeine loving society, I must mention that adding a pinch of cinnamon to your coffee slows the absorption of caffeine into your bloodstream. This allows for a longer and more balanced energy boost. Keeping our blood sugar levels is key when it comes to longevity (just look at those *blue zones!). Cinnamon as well has powerful anti-fungal, anti-parasitic and anti-bacterial properties.

Cinnamon is a versatile spice that can enhance the flavor of a variety of meals and beverages. Try a pinch in your coffee!

*blue zones are geographic areas of the world where people live measurably longer lives


Last week the EWG (Environmental Working Group) published it’s 2018 Dirty Dozen list. According to the working group’s tests, the 12 fruits and veggies on the list below contain the highest amount of pesticides.

While opting out of “organic” may save you a few buckaroos, when it comes to the dirty dozen you might want to rethink the thrifty approach. Going for organic versions of the listed 12 will help you avoid toxic chemicals. Pesticides have been known to pose health risks worth noting. For instance, they have been linked to cancer, hormone disturbance and brain damage. I also just read about a study that took place at the Harvard School of Public Health which connected fertility problems to the consumption of high pesticide foods.

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1. Strawberries (The EWG found TWENTY TWO different pesticide residues in a sample of these berries!)
2. Spinach
3. Nectarines
4. Apples
5. Grapes
6. Peaches
7. Cherries
8. Pears
9. Tomatoes
10. Celery
11. Potatoes
12. Sweet Bell Pepper


Overall, fruits and vegetables that have an outer peel (which you do not eat) will have much fewer pesticides than those with edible skin or no skin at all. The outer layer creates a barrier between the potentially toxic soil and the part of the produce that we consume. Keep this in mind when you are opting in or out of splurging on organic. This being said, I wanted to as well include the “Clean Fifteen” list. These fruits and veggies have the least amount of pesticide residue.

1. Avocados
2. Sweet corn
3. Pineapples
4. Cabbages
5. Onions
6. Sweet peas (frozen)
7. Papayas
8. Asparagus
9. Mangoes
10. Eggplants
11. Honeydew melons
12. Kiwis
13. Cantaloupes
14. Cauliflower
15. Broccoli





“constant or out-of-control inflammation in the body leads to ill health, and  eating to avoid constant inflammation promotes better health and can ward off disease”, says Russell Greenfield, MD, a clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a private-practice physician.

“It’s very clear that inflammation plays a role much more than we thought with respect to certain maladies”,  Greenfield includes.



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Recent studies have shown that there are over 70 antioxidant phenolic substances in this Chinese cabbage! It is also a wonderful source of minerals and vitamins.
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Celery has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  It helps to fight heart disease as it improves blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  It’s seeds help to combat bacterial infections as well.  Add it to your soups, salads or juices!
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There was a recent study in India that demonstrated coconut oil’s ability to reduce inflammation and heal arthritis more effectively than leading
medications.  This is most likely due to the strong anti-inflammatory compounds found in lipids within the oil.  I love to use coconut oil to cook my eggs, or enjoy spoonful for an afternoon boost.
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Blueberries have been known to keep our motor function sharp, improve memory and ward off cognitive decline. They contain quercetin which is  a powerful flavonoid that fights inflammation and even cancer.
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5.  SALMON  
This delicious fish is full of Omega 3 Fatty acids which have been shown to ward off chronic conditions such as heart disease, cancer and arthritis. Ensuring we are ingesting enough essential fatty acids is one of the best ways we can prevent  inflammation.
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It is beet’s powerful antioxidant, betalain, that gives them their beautiful color.   Beets fight to repair damage that inflammation has done to our cells.  A huge bonus for this root veggie is that it contains a significant amount of magnesium, which is crucial for processing calcium in our bodies.  Without enough magnesium, calcium can build up in our bodies and lead to problems such as kidney stones.
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7. GINGER – In Ayurvedic medicine, ginger is recognized for its ability to break down toxins that have accumulated in our organs.  It acts as an inflammatory by reducing inflammation that is caused by overactive immune responses.



Listen to this short audio recording to learn WHY EXERCISE IS SO IMPORTANT FOR NECK PAIN:


In short, you will hear that when our neck and upper back muscles become weakened, our head leans forward. This misalignment puts a ton of strain on our cervical spine which results in neck pain. I have provided 3 simple exercises that aim to improve posture and bring the head back to a neutral place.


*purpose: to increase strength in the muscles that draw our head back over our ears.
Starting Position:
Back against the wall, standing tall with good posture.

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Action: Gentle draw chin toward chest while aiming to flatten your whole neck against the wall. Hold for 6 full seconds, then release. Repeat 12 times. Being with just 1 set, then work your way up to 3.
Notes: Chin tucks can be repeated several times throughout the day. In fact, repetition is key to create proper postural habits. Once comfortable against the wall, you may perform this exercise free standing. I often do this exercise at red lights (just be sure to stop immediately and focus on driving once that light turns green, go!)

*purpose: strengthen shoulder girdle, upper back and neck.
Starting Position:
Lying prone, arms by your sides with thumb out and palms facing down. Place rolled towel under forehead.

A. Draw shoulder blades together, without force, and lift arms up off of floor.
B. Roll your elbows in, as your face your palms out with thumbs up.

C. Lift your head off of towel while keeping your gaze down to maintain proper alignment of neck. Hold for 10 seconds. Repeat 12 times. Begin with 1 set, work your way up to 2.

Notes: To help stabilize the muscles in the front of the neck, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. If 10 seconds feels like too much to start with, begin with 5 seconds. Build strength slowly and safely.

3. T to I’s
*purpose: strengthen upper back, open tight chest and shoulder muscles.
Starting position:
Stand tall with your back against a wall and bring your arms out to a T. Aim to flatten your lower back out onto the wall.

Keeping your fingers, arms, back and head in contact with the wall, draw your arms up over your head into an I position. Move slowly to the top and then back down. Repeat 7 times. Begin with 1 set, work your way up to 3. This exercise may be repeated throughout the days that you exercise.

Notes: Gently push into the wall as you slide arms up and down.





Weight Loss: Is timing everything?

For millions of years our genes have been reacting according to our patterns of behavior.  If we keep this in mind when looking at our bodies tendency to store or use fat as as energy, it makes weight loss quite simple.  Let’s say you walk 10 minutes after a meal as opposed to before a meal.  Do you think your body would react differently?  If you answered yes, you are correct.  

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When you move around post eating, your system is not sure whether or not you are moving on to the next hunting ground and hence will not store the food you just ate as fat.  On the contrary, if you consume a meal and then sit down your system thinks ‘aha, I don’t need this food for energy, I think I’ll store it for later use”.  
All this being said, if your goal is weight loss – consider the timing of your movement and exercise. Perhaps take a stroll after your biggest meal to send your metabolism into action.   As a side bonus, your digestive system will thank you for the movement! 


Having been in the fitness industry for ten years, I can say from experience that one of the major roadblocks which impedes client’s progress is the “I don’t have enough time in the day for exercise” statement. As a firm believer in the idea that even 5 minutes (of intentional movement) a day will keep the doctor away, I was elated to meet David Levinger who is living proof of this philosophy. I wanted to share with you all the exercise routine he has created for himself, who he is, and what inspired him to commit to 5 minutes a day, twice per day plan. I don’t doubt for a second that his story will encourage anyone who is looking to jumpstart their game plan for optimal health.


Meet David:

“I’m a nearly 38-year-old career ‘Computer Guy’ that enjoys being active but rarely has to time for consistency. When I was younger, pre-marriage and kids, I’d hit the gym regularly doing weights and Spin classes, hiking, backpacking and martial arts.  8 years ago my youngest daughter was born and finding the time became increasingly hard.  Since then I haven’t had a regular exercise routine.

My wife and I love to walk and hike a few times a week – it’s a great way to slow down, talk and get your body moving.  However, it didn’t do much to slow my weight gain.

I knew what I wanted was to remove the tire around my middle, strengthen my back and increase my flexibility.  All the exercises I included in my 5 minute routine had those goals in mind.”


Q & A

  1. What was the prime motivation for your 5 minutes a day, 2x per day routine?

I’m  5’10” and after a recent trip to visit family in New Orleans, I came back weighting 192lbs. This was a new high for me and I was not happy about it.  I felt heavy, weighed down, and slow.  At 38, I knew my metabolism wasn’t as fast as it used to be.

  1. Why 5 minutes?

I’d just finished reading a book called The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb and, while not at all about fitness, in one of the short chapters at the end of the book he described his thoughts on exercise.  The following excerpt leaped out to me:

“If you consider your diet and exercise as simple energy deficits and excesses, with a straight calorie-in, calorie-burned equation, you will fall into the trap of misspecifying the system into simple causal and mechanical links. Your food intake becomes the equivalent of filling up the tank of your new BMW. If, on the other hand, you look at food and exercise as activating metabolic signals, with potential metabolic cascades and nonlinearities from network effects with recursive links, then welcome to complexity, hence: Extremist. Both food and workouts provide your body with information about stressors in the environment.”

Reading that made me wonder, would short but vigorous bouts of exercise trigger different things within my body and have a noticeable impact? With that thought in my head I went downstairs and started to exercise. I began by doing a few exercises I remembered using a medicine ball that I happened to have around. It took around 10 minutes and it was exhausting and depressing. I could hardly do anything I used to, but it was a start.

  1. When you do not ‘feel like doing it’, how do you stay on track?

That’s one of the other reasons I picked 5 minutes twice a day. When you don’t want to go to the gym for an hour a few times a week it’s easy to find an excuse. I don’t have time today! I’ll do it tomorrow. But 5 minutes? You always have 5 minutes. Get up a little early. Stay up a little late. If you can’t do 5 minutes then you’re CHOOSING to NOT do it. For me, that’s harder than choosing TO do something.

  1. How has your overall health changed?

Well for starters I dropped from 192 to 167 over the first month and a half. Secondly, my strength has improved a ton.  Initially it was so hard to do even do the 10 minutes, but now while it still gets my heart going, it never feels unattainable. My flexibility has improved a bunch as well and whereas before I had persistent lower back pain that’s been gone for months! My energy level has gone up and it’s easier for me to start the day as well as fall asleep at the end of it.

  1. How long have you been doing this and how long do you foresee yourself continuing?

It’s been a consistent 5 months with no exceptions or missed days. I don’t see myself stopping. It’s 5 minutes. You always have 5 minutes.

  1. What does your routine typically consist of?

I start with a standing medicine ball twist. Then I do the touch the floor and arch my back from this link:

Then I switch to three resistance band exercises picked up from this YouTube link

  1. From roughly the 7 min mark I do a modified version where I keep my legs off the ground making sure I always come to a fully relaxed rest position with my arms but keep my legs off the floor.
  2. From the 10 min mark, but I do both legs at the same time most of the time. Helps stretch my lower back
  3. At the 9 min mark, pretty much in modified

Often times I will swap in several twisting exercises where I anchor the resistance bands within the door.

  1. Tell me in 10-20 words, how do you feel right after your early a.m. routine.

I feel focused, energized, ready to tackle the day, loose in my back, tightened up in my middle and excited.

Cactus the new coconut?

While the thought of a desert is far from hydrating, further contemplation on how much water native plants must store to survive such an arid environment quenches my mental thirst.   It makes a whole lot of sense why the fruit of the prickly pear cactus plants is being juiced to produce cactus water.  If you are a natural food store shopper, chances are you have started to see this product on the shelf.   Is this new fad worth all the hype?  With about half the calories and sugar of coconut water, plus unique beneficial compounds – my answer is YES.  Absolutely.  Read on for the fruitful facts.



low amount of sugar 
high amount of electrolytes (esp. potassium)
high amount of minerals
high amount of vitamins
low in calories
potent source of Betalain Antioxidants *
potent source of Taurine*
*Let’s discuss these two benefits in a bit more detail as they are vital to the achievement of optimal health.
Betalains are powerful antioxidants that studies have shown provide protection against oxidative stress-related disorders.  Particularly they prevent cell damage and are anti-inflammatory.  They also revitalize our skin.  The cactus fruit is the only fruit which contains all 24! To give you a better picture, cactus water has two times the amount of these betalain antioxidants than beets do. 
While you will often hear Taurine referred to as an “amino acid”, it is not so biochemically speaking.  Yes it is an acid that contains an amino group, but rather than a carboxyl group (like true amino acids) it contains a sulfonyl hydroxide making it a sulfonic acid.  That being said, let’s refer to Taurine as an orgainc compound that is broadly distributed in our tissues.   What makes this compound so noteworthy?
It has been shown to aid in the prevention of atherosclerosis and coronary heart        disease (by reducing the secretion of serum lipids and apolipoprotein B100)
Dietary Taurine promotes weight loss and as well reduces oxidative stress caused by exercise. Hence, it aids in muscle recovery. 
It shields against toxicity of lead and cadmium, and acts as a strong antioxidant 
It is essential for the proper functioning of our skeletal muscle, cardiovascular system, our central nervous system and our retina.

In cacti conclusion – bottoms up! 

~SALImage result for cactus waterUD~