"B" Vitamin Breakdown

Garden of Life B Complex
Many people know about taking a "B Complex" but don't really know what B vitamins are good for. Here's a quick rundown of some of the overall benefits of the B vitamins:

  • B1 (Thiamine) - Used for neural function (brain), liver protection, nerve health, vascular health and kidney health in diabetics. 
  • B2 (Riboflavin) - Boosts folic acid's (B9) colorectal cancer protective effect (hence why B complex is necessary...they all work together synergistically), increases iron absorption and regulates red blood cell growth, memory, depression, healthy hair, nails, skin and vision. It also has some antioxidant capacity and is sometimes used as a natural yellow colorant in foods and cosmetics. 
  • B3 (Niacin) - Increases HDL (good) cholesterol and lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, and is critically important for cardiovascular health. It aids in brain repair after a stroke. Niacinamide is known for treating fungal infections, fetal alcohol syndrome and may have a role in easing discomfort for multiple sclerosis by preventing NAD depletion. 
  • B5 (Pantothenic Acid) - Known to be involved as a coenzyme A precursor, it is also vital for metabolism and energy production in the body. Derivatives panthenol and pantethine are important for skin and hair health as well as helping to optimize a person's lipid profile (sound familiar? Pantene Pro-V tries to mimic this vitamin for their shampoos and conditioner). 
  • B6 (Pyridoxine) - In combination with folic acid and B12, it helps reduce homocysteine in the blood, which as implications for heart and brain health. Can also protect against colorectal and lung cancer, especially for smokers. B6 helps optimize nervous system health and can treat neuropathy and carpal tunnel syndrome. 
  • B7 (Biotin) - This vitamin is necessary for cell growth, the production of fatty acids, and the metabolism of fats and amino acids. not only assists in various metabolic reactions but also helps to transfer carbon dioxide. Biotin may also be helpful in maintaining a steady blood sugar level. This is the most popular vitamin for strengthening hair and nails and helping with skin. (I take this =p)
  • B9 (Folic Acid or Folate) - This is critical in reducing homocysteine in the blood (in combo with B6 and B12), a major risk in heart disease and stroke. It prevents neural tube birth defects in developing infants in utero, which is why it's recommended all women whether pregnant or in their child-bearing years take this important B vitamin. Usually 800mcg is the recommended dosage (also found in prenatals). It has been shown to improve vascular function and blood pressure in young women. 
  • B12 (Cynocobalamin or Methylcobalamin) - Useful in homocysteine reduction through its ability to convert folic acid to it's more active form (methylcobalamin) known to treat anemia in the elderly. It helps metabolize fats and carbs and is especially important in optimizing nerve health. Vegetarians have special needs to supplement B12 because their diets are naturally deficient in this critical nutrient. Most importantly, B12 is known best as the energy vitamin. It helps energize the cells and gives individuals that boost they need during the day. On a side note: methylcobalamin is the form I recommend because it is the active form and more readily available and ready to absorb.

I'm really biased with which vitamins I use because I only want the best. The two companies that truly do organic fruits, vegetables and herbs in all of their formulas are Garden of Life and New Chapter (the two images shown above). Each vitamin comes from the mentioned sources. They do not isolate the vitamins and they are definitely not synthetic (which is what you find in most vitamins). The other company worth mentioning cannot be found in stores, it is JuicePlus+ (shown below). They have all fruits and vegetables in their products.

Natural Support for Diabetes

Diabetes is becoming increasingly common, especially among young children. In fact, a recent headline just read "366 Million People Now Have Diabetes". Our American diets don't help! With fast food at every corner, quick meals that contain little nourishment and high starch and sugar content, it's no wonder.

Everyday, more and more people are switching to natural products to support their overall health and current treatment regimen.

These are a few key things that diabetics can do to add a natural treatment:
  1. Diet for Diabetes. A healthy diet can help prevent and control diabetes. Choose a diet rich in lean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fiber. Reduce or remove consumption if refined grains and sugar, which make blood sugar control more difficult. I know this is difficult, especially during the holidays, but keep your well being in mind.
  2. Exercise is Essential. It helps improve circulation, helps control body weight and may even improve blood sugar control.
  3. Daily Multivitamin for Health. A good multi is important for everyone since even the healthiest eaters don't always get every nutrient necessary. (I always recommend New Chapter or Garden of Life multi's since they are made with organic whole foods and herbs and don't contain sugar). In the case of diabetes, there are increased needs for nutrients because there may be impaired metabolism, loss of nutrients through frequent urination, and loss of nutrients due to medication.
  4. Supplemental Support. Any of these recommendations must be discussed with your health care practitioner if you have diabetes. Blood sugar may also be monitored while on natural treatments. Here are some of the best supplements for diabetes:
    • Chromium is an essential trace mineral that helps improve function of insulin. Studies have shown that this helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
    • Cinnamon may help decrease levels of blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood fats (bonus: it can help you lose weight)
    • Alpha Lipoic Acid is a powerful antioxidant in the body that is protective to the nerve cells.
These are just three of several amazing herbs and antioxidants that help boost a healthy lifestyle and helping individuals with diabetes. It's important to get control of your blood sugar and control of your health =)

Winter Wellness

It's that time of season when people are getting sick (I just got over it myself) with fever, sore throat, flu, cough, allergies...etc.

Here are a few things that can help:

  • Vitamin C and Honey: a combo of vitamin C and 1 tsp of honey in the morning and evening can be especially valuable in the winter months.
  • Olive Leaf: has an ORAC value of over 4,000 (that's more than the praised Acai). This is an excellent destroyer of free radicals.
  • Collodial Silver: huge immune booster and also antiviral
  • Healthy Fats and Fiber: good fats, including omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil supplements, help reduce inflammation, helping the immune system focus on fighting the infection.
  • Vitamin D: this vitamin does a million things, but one it does well is switch on a gene that makes a natural antiviral and antibiotic substance in our bodies that help us speed recovery. Adults should take 2,000 IU daily.
  • Probiotics: this is "friendly" bacteria that helps prevent invading bugs from taking residence in the gut. Priobiotics boost the immune response. 5 billion units per daily serving is a good start.
  • Astragalus: this herb is used in Chinese medicine and is an adaptogen that strengthen's your body's resistance to disease. Look for standarized extracts.
  • Echinacea: mainly used to help treat colds and flu. Doctors recommend 50-150mg daily during illness.
  • Beta-Glucan: this is found in some grains, mushrooms, and yeasts and helps lower cholesterol. In addition, it helps protect against viral infection. Doctors recommend a range from 3-15 grams per day.
  • Homeopathy: when flu-like symptoms appear, try Boiron's Oscillococcinum. It really works and easily disolves under the tongue.
  • Elderberry: has shown that it speeds recovery from flu
  • Ginger: this is a powerhouse antioxident that has over 5,000 different attributes that are beneficial to the body. It's great as a tea!
    Other remedies: a few other ways to ward of unwanted invaders is garlic, spirulina and zinc.
Stay healthy! =)

Holiday Sets are here!!!

Ava Anderson Holiday sets

4 Piece avaSKIN Set:  $75.90
(Includes Cleanser, Toner, Moisturizer & Eye makeup remover pads)

6 Piece avaSKIN Set:  $106.90
(Includes Cleanser, Toner, Moisturizer, Eye makeup remover pads, Exfoliator & Sugar lip scrub)

4 Piece avaFACE Set: $101.30
(Includes mascara, Kabuki Brush, Blush, Foundation)

3 Piece avaEYE Set: $55.80
(Includes mascara, eye cream, eye makeup remover pads)

3 Piece avaSKI&SURF Set: $96.80
(Includes 3 Pak SunScreen, Moisturizer & Lip Balm with SPF)

2 Piece avaTEACHER Set: $28.90
(Includes Hand and Body Lotion & 2oz Hand Sanitizer)

Each set is Hand Gift Wrapped in our Holiday or Everyday Wrap

Call or email me today to place your order at 786.390.1521 or jenelleferrer@yahoo.com

Story of Cosmetics

Here's a great video in 8 mintues that gives a quick recap of what and how our cosmetic industry works:

Choose wisely...choose Ava Anderson Non-Toxic, I did =) www.SimplyJenelle.com

When phthalates are exposed to children in womb...

This article continues to prove my point on the dangerous toxins in health and beauty products sold to millions in the U.S. Parents, please read this article and see what can happen when we "trust" these large corporations to make safe and healthy decisions for us on the ingredients and products we use daily:

This is why I use and continue to sell and promote Ava Anderson Non-Toxic beauty line. It's non-toxic ingredients are great for the skin and actually provide nourishment through antioxidents. You can get more information at www.SimplyJenelle.com.

Ask me! =)

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm a huge fan of chocolate and I love cookies. In fact, my nickname in college was "Cookie Monster". I love me some good cookies. Here's my chocolate chip cookie recipe. It's basically Nestle's recipe but tweaked with my ingredients =)

  • 2 1/4 cups - 100% whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp - baking soda (without aluminum)
  • 1 tsp - Himalayan or sea salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks - softened) - Smart Balance extra virgen olive oil butter (non-hydrogenated and no trans fat)
  • 1 1/2 cups - Florida Crystals Organic Cane Sugar
  • 1 tsp - pure vanilla (make sure there's nothing else in the vanilla)
  • 2 - eggs
  • 2 cups - chocolate chip morsels (I don't measure this one...lol)
  • (optional) 1 cup chopped nuts
Preheat to 375°F. Combine it all and drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets or pan.

Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 2 minutes and enjoy! =)

I made soap!

My hubby got me a great gift for my birthday this year: a soap making class for both of us! We didn't use it until last week (my birthday is in July), but it was worth the wait!

I ended up making two boxes because I loved it so much and wanted two different types of ingredients. I can't remember each ingredient we put in our soaps but between the three some of the ingredients are:
  • Saffron
  • Chili powder
  • Indigo
  • Calendula
  • Lavendar
  • Poppy Seeds
  • Mint
  • Rosemary/Basil essential oil
  • Citrus essential oil
  • Lemon essential oil
There's a few more and I'm just forgetting which ones so instead of making it up, I'll just stop at that. Our base was coconut oil and olive oil.

It was so much fun and will be ready November 7th, four weeks after we made them =) Some of you may be getting them as Christmas gifts ;)

Lucas cutting his soap

My first soap

Can't wait to use them!!!

BPA-Free? Not Exactly

Hard to trust the government, especially when it comes to our health and our families health. Here's just another study that has surfaced. It's not meant to scare you, but rather inform and hopefully make you begin to dig a little more and do your own homework....I have.

Check out this article:

BPA-Free? Not Exactly. Healthy Child Healthy World

As a result of trying to reduce the amount of toxins my body absorbs (to avoid completely is impossible), I began using and selling Ava Anderson Non-Toxic beauty products. I've said it several times, your skin is the largest organ in the body! Everything you put on your skin is absorbed immediately into your bloodstream.

For more information on Ava Anderson Non-Toxic beauty line visit: www.SimplyJenelle.com =)

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

For the past 2-3 years, my husband (and brother-in-law) has been asking me to make his favorite dessert, chocolate peanut butter cups. I told him, I'll make it if you get me a recipe. So last week, he finally did and said I had no excuse.

I finally went for it! To make this wonderfully delicious dessert, you'll need the following:

  • 11.5 oz of chocolate chips (divided)
  • 1 cup of peanut butter (I use pure peanut butter with ingredients being roasted peanuts and that's it)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt (I use himalayan or pink salt)
  • 1/2 cup of organic powdered sugar (please don't compromise on this one, it's already an unhealthy dessert) 

Let's get started:

1. Trim 12 paper muffin cup liners to half of their size
2. Place 1/2 chocolate chips in a pan and melt it on low while stirring lightly

3. Spoon the metled chocolate into the muffin cups, filling halfway. With a spoon, draw the chocolate up the sides of the cups until evenly coated.
4. Cool in the refrigerator until firm.
5. In a small bowl, mix together peanut butter, sugar, and salt. Divide evenly into the muffic cups on top of the firm chocolate.
6. Melt the remaining chocolate and pour over the peanut butter. Spread to edges of cups.
7. Refrigerate for a few minutes and then enjoy (or eat it as is without making the top firm).
It may not look as nice and neat as a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, but it tastes better and is better for you. Only 4 ingredients, not 15! You really only need one because it's so rich =)

Enjoy =)

Rosemary Potatoes.

I started making Rosemary Potatoes about a month ago and I'm hooked. They're so delicious that I wanted to share it with my readers!


  • Organic potatoes - red is the preferred but I've tried this on all types and it still tastes amazing! (this is on the list of high pesticides if not organic)
  • Rosemary (fresh or dried)
  • Garlic Salt (optional)
  • Italian Seasoning (I use the Publix brand)
  • Oregano (fresh or dried)
  • Turkish Seasoning (I buy this at Penzey's Spices...it's amazing but optional)
  • Garlic - fresh (2x any other ingredient)
  • EVOO

When I made it yesterday, I used 3 small red potatoes and 1 large russett potato.
  1. Preheat the oven to 450° F. 
  2. Chop up the potatoes in 1/4-1/2 inch slices (or whatever size you want) and place them in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Chop the garlic finely and add it to the potatoes. I used an entire head, but use it as you like (I love garlic!).
  4. Add EVOO to get the mixture going
  5. Then start adding the seasoning as you choose (I just eye it)
  6. Use at least 1 1/2 tbsp of rosemary (hence Rosemary Potatoes)
  7. Use your hands to mix the potatoes and make sure the seasoning applies (the EVOO acts like the glue)

      8.   Place the potatoes on a flat cooking sheet and place in oven

      9.   Bake for 45 minutes

Enjoy with ketchup (one without High Fructose Corn Syrup =)) 

October Specials!

Welcome Fall!!! With a great weather change, comes great rewards and discounts with Ava Non-Toxic! This month, if you purchase $75 of more in products, you'll earn a free Ava Exfoliator =)

Johnson & Johnson Sued for Toxic Ingredients!

And THIS is why it's important to watch what you put on your skin and your children!

I wanted to share that Johnson & Johnson (and Walmart) were sued by a consumer group last year, for having Methylene Chloride in their baby shampoo. This is one of the 9 banned ingredients in this country (which in and of itself is a joke that we only ban 9 while Europe bans over 1,300!). The case was tossed out by the judge, becasue the methylene chloride is there as an "unintended ingredeint" - or contaminant (This is where I insert my comments: WHAT??!?!?!). Crazy but true.

"The complaint — filed in July by Missouri residents Erika Levinson and Maria Watkins — claims that Johnson &Johnson's Baby Shampoo and Wal-Mart's Equate Tearless Baby Wash include three "toxic and potentially cancer-causing chemicals": methylene chloride, formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane.

In addition to cancer, repeated exposure to the chemicals can also cause skin irritation, asthma and hypersensitivity in children, the plaintiffs claim. The lawsuit cites tests run by an independent laboratory that found varying degrees of the chemicals in the defendants’ baby products. However the suit does not contain any allegations of injury-in-fact, instead claiming economic injury in counts of breach of implied warranty, unfair and deceptive trade practices and unjust enrichment, according to the opinion.

Johnson & Johnson and Wal-Mart had argued that the two women lacked standing to sue because they did not allege either an actual injury or that the products did not clean their children's hair as advertised."
And that was the end of that. Unbelievable! Do we have to prove 20 years from now, using their toxic products that now 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men will get cancer in thier lifetime? Guess what? There's no proof of any of it once the disease infiltrates the body. It can be blamed on an array of variables. I know one thing for sure: those toxic ingredients won't touch my body or those of my loved ones. Just one additional reason I choose to use and sell Ava Anderson Non-Toxic Products.
See more here.

FREE Sunscreen until Sept. 30th

Until Sept. 30th get FREE Sunscreen with purchase of $75 or more. This is the very best safe sunscreen on the market. A must have to protect our families!

Ingredients are 21% non nanoparticle zinc oxide, with organic jojoba, cocoa, bees-wax, olive oil and cocoa... that’s it!

Just pay shipping/handling and tax. $18.95 retail value. One free sunscreen per order ♥

5 Pounds of Toxins Each Year!

The average American woman absorbs five pounds of toxic chemicals each and every year from her makeup and personal care products. Every time you wash your hair, brush your teeth, rub on moisturizer, use a deodorant or spritz on a fragrance, you’re adding to your toxic load.

Did you think the FDA was protecting you? Not so much. However, there are some steps you can take to cut down or eliminate these sources of toxins.

First, though, you need to know what they are! Here’s a partial list:

1. Phthalates / DBP. Kids’ toys containing phthalates have been in the news in the past few years, but a lot of cosmetic products include them as well. Often in cosmetic or personal care products you’ll find the ingredient DBP, which stands for dibutyl phthalate. Phthalates cause cancer and interfere with your ability to reproduce.

2. Petroleum distillates are carcinogenic. Propylene glycol is derived from petroleum, is readily absorbed through the skin, and is so toxic that workers are required to wear protective gear when handling it. It’s used in industry to make things like hydraulic brake fluid and antifreeze. It’s found in very high concentrations in stick deodorants.

3. Parabens are synthetic chemical preservatives. They might show up as methyl paraben, propyl paraben, ethyl paraben, butyl paraben or PHB Esters.

4. Mercury and other toxic metals.

5. Formaldehyde. Even if formaldehyde is not listed on the ingredients label, it might be released by imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM Hydantoin or Hexamethylenetetramine.

6. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) destroy cell membranes. It’s derived from coconut, so it’s frequently labeled as a “natural” product. However, after being mixed with other chemical cocktails, it damages your immune system, causes eye damage, and collects in the heart, lungs, brain and liver.

7. Triethanolamine (TEA) is a synthetic chemical frequently contaminated with nitrosamines.

8. Coal tar derivatives are found in dyes and colors.

9. Triclosan is found in almost all toothpastes and hand sanitizers, and is readily absorbed through the soft tissues of the mouth and skin. It disrupts thyroid activity, drops testosterone levels and increases the risk of cancer.

The FDA has admitted it does not protect the public health from toxic chemicals found in cosmetic products.

You Do Have Options for Toxin-Free Products

The Environmental Working Group maintains an extensive database to help you eliminate the damaging chemicals from your personal care and cosmetic products.

It’s divided into logical sections including hair, skin, nails, makeup, etc. You can search for products you’re currently using and rates them as low, moderate or high hazards.

Most shampoos ingredients', while they may not all contain carcinogens, are linked to:

  • development and reproductive damage
  • allergies
  • immune system disruption
  • neurotoxicity
  • endocrine disruption
  • organ system toxicity (non-reproductive)
  • irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs)
  • contamination concerns
  • biochemical or cellular level (DNA) changes
Fortunately, the EWS also provides lists of products with zero toxicity, along with links for purchasing online. All ingredients and thier toxicity levels can be found on their website at http://www.cosmeticdatabase.com/. Their disclaimer reads:
“Environmental Working Group is not associated with the manufacturer or distributor of this product and cannot guarantee the safety or quality of the product, the product formulation nor the service of the store owner.”
My Non-Toxic Option

As a result of searching for the purest ingredients that are completely non-toxic, I found Ava Anderson Non-Toxic beauty line. I have been using the entire line and love every single product! I have felt the difference in my skin, my complexion, my hair and texture of skin. It's been nothing short of amazing!
I now represent this wonderful line and can't stop talking about the difference it has made on my skin! If you would like to try it for yourself and join or host a party contact me here! You can check out the entire line at http://avaandersonnontoxic.com/jenelle.

***NEW Non-Toxic beauty line***

Most of you know how passionate I am about holistic nutrition and health. I have spoken to many of you about this subject and through my blog, recommended many brands of products I've used. I've never been more excited about any brand than I am about Ava Anderson a Non-Toxic beauty and skin care line. There are so many great products available for the whole family!

There are no chemicals, carcinogens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances or dyes, triclosan, sulfates, PEG's or other contaminants. THAT'S AMAZING!!!

This is a line I represent and am strongly promoting. It takes a lot for me to say that. I would love your support and questions! I will be posting continual articles on this blog about holistic nutrition and add new products from Ava Anderson line as they come. I will be hosting a launch party next week in Winter Park.

If you're out of town, I'd love to speak with you about being part of this groundbreaking company that is going to take off. There's nothing like it out there and it's a great company to join now in its grassroots. Email or call me at 786.390.1521 to get more information about joining Ava Non-Toxic.

You can always place your order online at: http://www.avaandersonnontoxic.com/jenelle.  

My best beauty secret!

So when people ask me about natural health for hair, skin and nails, I can go into an indepth conversation about nutrition, vitamins and minerals and products. However, there is one product that stands as my absolute favorite!

100% Bentonite Clay

I actually started using this internally as a heavy metal detox a few years ago. Just a spoon of this mud a day and it basically acts like a magnet in the body for toxins. It does not get absorbed, rather goes right through the body. The taste is neither here nor there...simply put: it's mud.

Then as I began looking into this wonderful clay, I quickly learned that it was an amazing face mask. I recommended it to a few people, including my mother-in-law, and immediately it not only became a favorite, it became the item to own.

Ready to relax? Mix in a small bowl the bentonite clay with apple cider vinegar. Stir with either a plastic spoon or a stirling silver spoon (not your regular spoon because of purity) ~ since most people don't own a silver spoon, just use plastic =). It'll tell you how much to mix on the back of the bottle, but I simply eye it and make sure its thick enough. Then apply on your face and get ready to feel "the pulse". I warn people about this because your face literally pulsates and begins tightening.

It's absolutely amazing and as pure as it comes! I've heard estheticians rave about expensive masks (over $100 a bottle) that boast containing bentonite clay, yet it's listed as the 10th ingredient, after all the toxic carcinogenic ingredients. This is the real deal and under $10 at your local health store.

Wash off with warm water and feel the softness that follows =) Warning: it will leave your face a little red but it wears off shortly. Hint hint: don't do right before a major event. Do it the day before or at least 3 hours before.

Note: The two images are my favorite clay brands. The Redmond Clay can be used both internally and externally.

Summer Skin.

Summer's here and so is the beaming sun! Here's a quick rundown of how to protect you and your family's skin in the summer heat, both externally and internally, so you can enjoy the great weather!

  1. Maintain hydrated skin. Keep your skin clean and hydrated by using a natural cleanser and moisturizer and avoid harsh chemicals (For more info, check out the blog post on skin care ingredients). 
  2. Use sunscreen/sunblock. I'm incredibly bias in this one. I highly recommend Badger's SPF line. They are amazing with NO synthetic chemicals or ingredients. Some people complain that it's too thick but get over it, b/c it's wonderful! =) Read the ingredients for yourself and see. The price may look steep but a little goes a long ways.
  3. Use natural insect repellent. PLEASE, don't apply chemicals to your skin, much less your child's skin. There are great lines that use only essential oils and natural ingredients. If you want to mix your own, dilute citronella and eucalyptus in oil (1 part essential oil to 10-20 parts oil)
  1. Drink LOTS OF PURE WATER! You needs to stay hydrated during the summer to help nourish the skin cells and allow for those water-soluble vitamins (like your B-complex) work better.
  2. Eat plenty of antioxident-rich foods like fruits and veggies and unrefined whole grains. 
  3. Eat good fats like those found in nuts, avocado, flax, chia, cold-water fish and olive oil. These healthy fats support moisture balance in the skin.
  4. Avoid refined and fried foods, like refined white flour, french fries, pastries, donuts...and you know the rest.
  5. Exercise. It can help your skin! Exercise improves your blood flow and oxygenation throughout the body, including skin cells. 

Key Supplements:
  • Antioxidents:
    • Green Tea- delays skin cell aging, soothes and heals stressed skin, and balances skin tone
    • Vitamin C- builds collagen, reduces redness and strengthens capillaries (don't forget that sugar eats away Vitamin C right out of the body!)
    • Vitamin E and Selenium- can help protect against UV-induced oxidative stress from the sun
    • Carotenoids- such as lutein and lycopene wich fight cellular damage caused by UV sun rays, which can help slow the visible signs of aging (carrots contain these components and more)
  • Essential Fatty Acids
    •  Borage oil, Flax seed, Fish oil, Hemp and Chia seeds are all great sources of EFA's which help keep moisture in the skin and maintain hydration, making the skin feel softer
  •  Hyaluronic Acid - this is a compound vital to healthy skin. It keeps collagen hydrated and youthful allowing moisture retention in the skin.
 Recovering after long summer days outdoors:
  • Sunburn occurs from overexposure to the sun. Aloe vera gel is used topically to sooth, cool and speed healing. It's even better if you use actual aloe vera gel from the plant. In addition, cocoa butter and shea butter nourish the skin after a long day in the sun.
  • Poison Ivy, Oak or Sumac are common weather issues in many parts of the U.S. during long hot days outdoors. Use a spray or gel made with jewelweed, which helps naturally relieve itching. Homeopathic remedies can also work great with poison ivy symptoms. 
  • Insect Bites/Stings is one of the most common for me. I really think I have amazing tasting blood b/c I always get bit! My husband says I imagine them and they appear. Not really, but it sure seems that way. The best aid I've personally used is tea tree oil to relieve itching. It's wonderful! You can also use Aloe vera to soothe irritated skin.
Follow these little tips and you'll have fun in the sun without the pain later =)

Surviving the Gluten-Free Diet.

Gluten-free awareness has really taken off in the last decade. Even more so in the past 5 years. You may have already noticed several new gluten-free items in the grocery store popping up every week. Why? Thousands of individuals are realizing that they have a serious intolerance to gluten, a protein found in the seeds of certain plants, notably in grains such as wheat, rye and barley and foods made from them.
There's a few groups of individuals that need to be off of gluten for health reasons such as those with Celiac Disease, Autism and ADD or ADHD. Many people have Celiac and don't even know it until they are either diagnosed or have felt the difference of not consuming gluten.

I want to put together a basic gluten-free survival guide, if you will, to educate those that have no idea where gluten is found and those trying to get on this diet to make sure you don't buy anything that contains it.

First and most obvious point: Grains ARE NOT ALLOWED on GLUTEN-FREE Diets.
Avoid: Wheat, Barley, Rye, Oat

More specific Gluten-containing grains and products to be AVOIDED are:
  • Barley
  • Bulgar
  • Cereal Binding
  • Couscous
  • Durum
  • Einkorn
  • Emmer
  • Filler
  • Farro
  • Graham Flour
  • Kamut
  • Malt
  • Malt Extract
  • Malt Flavoring
  • Malt Syrup
  • Oat Bran
  • Oats
  • Oat Syrup
  • Rye
  • Semolina
  • Spelt (Dinkel)
  • Triticale
  • Wheat
  • Wheat Bran
  • Wheat Germ
  • Wheat Starch
Common foods CONTAINING Gluten:
  • Breads
  • Rolls
  • Biscuits 
  • Croissants
  • Doughnuts
  • Flour Tortillas
  • Chicken Nuggets
  • Croutons
  • Breaded Fish or other Breaded Foods
  • Hamburger Buns
  • Waffles
  • Bagels
  • Ice Cream Cones
  • Pastas
  • Fried Vegetables
  • Graham Crackers
  • Crackers
  • Pretzels
  • Pita Bread
  • Corn Bread
  • French Fries (if frozen)
  • Toast
  • Stuffing
  • Cereals 
  • Pizza
  • Cookies
  • Pies 
  • Cakes
  • Pastries
  • Cupcakes
Tips for following a GLUTEN-FREE Diet:
  • BEWARE- Wheat-free on a label is not necessarily gluten-free
  • Look for GLUTEN-FREE symbols on labels 
  • Use gluten-free pocket guides and recipes
  • Food manufacturers can often change their ingredients. CHECK INGREDIENT LISTINGS regularly and especially if product is not labeled as gluten-free. Call manufacturer and check
  • When dining out, you are safest ordering PLAIN FOODS with minimal ingredients. Inform your server so the kitchen takes special care with your meal to avoid your food coming into contact with gluten-containing foods or surfaces where gluten-containing foods have been prepared.
  • Prepare gluten-free foods at home separately and USE SEPARATE UTENSILS and chopping boards
  • Use SEPARATE COOKING OILS for gluten-free foods
  • Prepared gluten-free products can be found in HEALTH FOOD STORES
  • Try to eat mostly FRESH UNPROCESSED food
I've personally tried many gluten-free products, and while I personally am a huge fan of wheat, barley and gluten-containing products, there are many that taste very good. New gluten-free products come into our store weekly (even gluten-free chocolate bars). It amazes me to see so many different options and alternatives to practically anything you'd eat regularly, BUT gluten-free.

I love hearing stories from individuals with Celiac tell me that over 20-30 years ago when hardly anyone knew what this disease was or entailed, there were close to no options for food, whereas now, you can enter your local health food store and you'll typically see entire aisles dedicated to just gluten-free products.

It's getting easier everyday to find good tasting gluten-free products from reliable brands.

Disclaimer: Information should only be regarded as general information and is not intended as dietary advice for anyone with a medical condition or regarded as a complete reference guide on gluten-free diets. Always consult your doctor for individual advice if you have been diagnosed with any medical condition or suspect you may have one.

Springtime is here...

When some think of Spring, they think: flowers, pastel colors, dresses, sun, grass. While others think: allergies, cold, flu, sneezing.

In order to enjoy the Spring and all its beauties, there are several things that can help you avoid allergies and boost your immune system.

One of the best and easiest things to do (if your not diabetic or pre-diabetic) is buy local honey and take 1-2 tablespoons a day. Why local? Bees pollinate local flowers which is where many people develop their allergies of pollen. This is why local honey is so excellent in treating and even preventing allergies.

A few other great immune boosters that help, not only now but year round are:
  • Oregano oil (Oreganol is the best brand for this)
  • Source Natural Wellness Formula
  • Isotonix OPC-3 (This is the one I take...it's amazing! If you're interested in it, email me)
  • Olive Leaf
  • Echinacea/ Goldenseal
These are excellent in building your immune system and cheaper than a doctor's visit, insurance, plus antibiotics =)

Be blessed and be healthy! Enjoy the beautiful flowers!