quickie post : smoothie shortcut!

saw this online and had to share.  on your meal prep days, chop up and portion out your smoothie ingredients to make for quick breakfasts on the go!  i like to add a couple TB of chia seeds for protein and fiber, and if i don’t have nut milk on hand, i’ll throw some nuts into the bottom of the blender cup and whip up all the ingredients with water.

choose natural health newsletter: the large intestine + digestion

one of our vendors, pure herbs (who makes can-sol, the herbal tincture to help control candida yeast overgrowth), puts out delightful and very informative newsletters every month.  with permission from their writer, jeri spencer, i’ve decided to share some of the best ones with you all, in hopes that you can gain more knowledge about how your body works, and how to best optimize the one you’ve got!  we want to empower you to understand and take charge!

any sS’er knows how important digestion is to eliminating the body’s toxins.  toxins that build up within the body often times manifests in the skin (as acne, or rashes) and extreme cases can induce (or be indicative of) more complicated underlying imbalances, like candida yeast overgrowth.

read this and let us know what you think!  take a close look at the ingredients of “know your ingredients” – it’s surprising to discover what’s in products that are marketed as healthy (the product is disclosed at the end of the newsletter).  and i personally love the joke of the month! 🙂

Choose Natural Health Newsletter April 2017

“ALL-DISEASE-BEGINS-IN-THE-GUT.”-–-HIPPOCRATES-2.jpgThe large intestine is the topic of this newsletter.  It has been said you are what you eat.  I believe it goes further to: you are what you eat, absorb, assimilate and don’t eliminate.  Often  allopathic doctors when questioned say as long as it is regular there is nothing to worry about even if you are only having regular bowel movements once every couple of days, weeks, or months,   If this is the case why does the CDC rate Colon/Rectal cancer as the #2 cause of death in America?

If you have ever had a baby and think back to when they were newborns, they would sleep, eat and poop.  When the baby finished eating you could wait a little while and know you were going to have to change the diaper.  As children age, they often get too busy to stop and take the time to eliminate creating a lifelong habit of holding bowel movements  in.   In addition,  the abusive use of antibiotics destroying the good bacteria of the microbiome adds to the development of lifetime constipation.

It is very important to remember the ways of the newborn’s elimination process is the way it should continue throughout life.  For every meal eaten, there should be a bowel movement the next day.  It takes approximately 24 hours for food to digest and pass the entire way through the digestive system.

Know Your Ingredients
cultured grade A reduced-fat milk, sugar, water, fructose or fruit sugar, modified food starch, less than 1 percent milk protein concentrate, modified corn starch, kosher gelatin, agar, guar gum, lactic acid, calcium lactate, vitamin D3 and sodium citrate

Recipe of the Month: Want a way to warm up the digestive system and burn excess fat at the same time, try drinking the Melt Away Tea a couple of times a day.

Morning and Afternoon Melt Away Tea

  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger puree (peel and chop ginger, add water in blender, blend until pureed;  store in fridge)
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • Dash of Cayenne pepper
  • Very warm water.
  • Stevia or Xylitol to taste

Large Intestine Function
The major function of the large intestine is to absorb water from the remaining indigestible food matter and transmit the useless waste material from the body.

Joke of the Month: Who’s In Charge?
One day the different parts of the body were having an argument to see which should be in charge.

The brain said, “I do all the thinking so I’m the most important and I should be in charge.”
The eyes said, “I see everything and let the rest of you know where we are, so I’m the most important and I should be in charge.”
The hands said, “Without me we wouldn’t be able to pick anything up or move anything. So I’m the most important and I should be in charge.”
The stomach said, “I turn the food we eat into energy for the rest of you. Without me, we’d starve. So I’m the most important and I should be in charge.”
The legs said, “Without me we wouldn’t be able to move anywhere. So I’m the most important and I should be in charge.”
Then the intestine said, “I think I should be in charge.”
All the rest of the parts said, “You?!? You are just the garbage dump! You’re not important! You can’t be in charge.”

So the intestines shut down.

After a few days, the legs were all wobbly, the stomach was all queasy, the hands were all shaky, the eyes were all watery, and the brain was all cloudy. They all agreed that they couldn’t take any more of this and agreed to put the intestines in charge.

LargeIntestine.pngThe Large Intestine Anatomy
Food and liquid pass through the stomach into the small intestine to the large intestine or colon.  The average length of an adult colon is 5 feet long. Its largest diameter is at the cecum (about 3″) and narrowest in the sigmoid (around 1″). Fecal matter passes through the ileocecal valve from the small intestine into the cecum, the first part of the large intestine.  It then needs to work against gravity and climb up through the ascending colon, around the hepatic flexure (curving area near the liver) across the transverse colon and around the splenic flexure (left side of the body) to the descending colon, sigmoid colon, rectum, anal canal and then is eliminated.
The large intestine is lined internally by a layer of mucosa. This mucosa contains tiny indentations called the crypts of Lieberkühn. These contain various glands and goblet cells that help in secretion and absorption of fluids.

There is also a large amount of lymphoid tissue that helps in maintaining an immune barrier.

Antibody Production
The lymphoid tissue contained in the large intestine help in the production of antibodies.  These antibodies are produced in part to protect against harmful bacteria and helpful in protecting against infections.

Vitamin Absorption
The good bacteria or probiotics, sometimes called commensal bacteria,  residing in the large intestine play an important part in the continuation of the digestive process.   These bacteria are also responsible for the production of large amounts of vitamins if the intact of nutrient dense food is lacking.  A person eating a typical American diet whose body depended on the formation of vitamins by commensal bacteria may become vitamin deficient; especially if they have a history of drug use like antibiotics which kill the commensal bacteria.

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Know your Ingredients Answer

: Danon Activia Original

candida care for your ayurvedic type by john douillard

candida is a yeast that can negatively influence the body and skin when it overgrows. we found this awesome article about the ayurvedic approach to balancing candida within the body. check it out and enjoy!


Candida Care for Your Ayurvedic Type

candida albicans Dandelion sunset imageCandida albicans yeast is a naturally-occurring intestinal inhabitant which is normally kept in check by a properly balanced intestinal medium. Candida albicans becomes a concern when the intestinal flora’s good bacteria is out-populated by this yeast, which is commonly included under the heading bad bacteria. The now-flourishing yeast can enter the bloodstream via the enteric cycle and elicit the classic yeast symptoms of low energy levels, interrupted sleep, immunity issues, ringing in the ears, and sluggish digestion.

The Western approach to candida overgrowth is to eradicate the yeast and therefore relieve the associated symptoms. Ayurvedically, it is considered most important to address the underlying cause of candida while using herbal remedies to rebalance the body towards a healthy intestinal medium.


How Does Candida Take Over?

In Ayurveda, the etiology, or cause underlying the uncontrolled proliferation of candida is considered to be agnimandya, or deficient digestion. Deficient digestion results in the production of ama, which is the by-product of undigested food. Ama is then either absorbed into the bloodstream or lymphatic system, creating a toxicity and the ground floor for many health issues. Invariably, this ama will accumulate in the seat of vata found in the lower digestive tract. The seat of vata is governed by the apana (or downward moving) energy, which regulates the growth of flora in the gastrointestinal tract. As the ama accumulates in the small and large intestines, it will putrefy and ferment, thus inhibiting the normal flora from proliferating. Under these conditions, yeast has free reign to spread throughout the intestines unchecked.

The next stage of the candida growth process is a result of the intestinal absorption of ama into the liver and blood via the portal system.

In Ayurveda it is believed that, once yeast enters the bloodstream, the step-by-step generation and regeneration process of the seven tissues of the body can be interrupted or damaged.

If the seven tissues – which include rasa (plasma), rakta (blood), mamsa (muscle), medha (fat), majja (nervous tissue), asthi (bone), and sukra (sperm and ovum) – are damaged or improperly formed, an overall lack of luster and vitality is the result. The dhatus are formed in a carefully designed succession, and if any one of the dhatus are improperly formed then the production of sukra will be inhibited. Sukra, the final culmination of the digestive process and of dhatu development, provides the body with immunity, procreation, vitality, luster, long life, and health. It is this gross lack of vitality and immunity that colors the symptoms of candida proliferation.

Reigning it Back In

From an Ayurvedic perspective, the two most important strategies in reigning candida back in are, first, to ensure the integrity of the digestive strength (also called agni, or fire) and second, to build immunity back into the body. With both of these in place, the treatment to kill off the excess yeast with medical drugs or herbs can safely and effectively be employed.

In Ayurveda, it’s understood that candida overgrowth can present differently based on body type, or prakriti, and can respond to a different support protocol depending on whether it’s a vata, pitta, or kapha form of candida overgrowth. Below, I’ll walk you through how to tell which form may match your presentation, and how to support each accordingly. After that, I’ll give you some general lifestyle suggestions that anypresentation of candida overgrowth will benefit from.

Vata Candida Issues

Vata is aggravated by the excessive intake of pungent, bitter, and astringent foods; sugar; hard-to-digest proteins; wheat, dairy, nuts and soy; too much cold food and excessive travel; the suppression of natural and normal urges; excessive intercourse, and irregular eating and sleeping habits. Signs of vata aggravation include dry skin; nervousness, moodiness and an inability to cope; constipation, gas and bloating; ups and downs in energy levels, and unbalanced sleep patterns. If these are paired with signs of yeast imbalance, this can be considered a vata presentation of candida.lemon ginger honey concoction image

Dietary Support

1. Start with an ama decreasing diet. This involves avoiding dairy, sugar, breads, and mucous-producing foods. Cold and raw foods should also be avoided. Sip hot water every 20 minutes and drink eight to ten 8oz glasses of warm lemon water per day. Eat a large relaxing lunch and a warm cooked soup for dinner. Avoid fruit juice and eat fresh fruit in moderation and separately from all other food groups. Use hing, ginger, basil ajwan, and garlic to spice your food*.

2. Start each meal with equal parts of ginger juice and honey, and a pinch of lemon juice, salt, and cumin powder*.

Pitta Candida Issues

Aggravated pitta can put out digestive fire in the same way that a flood of boiling water will put out a flame. Pitta is aggravated by greasy and spicy foods, and sugar. Signs of pitta imbalance are acidic digestion and occasional heartburn; bloating; yellowing complexion; irritability; swelling and other issues of the joints; yellowing loose stool; raised body temperature, and excessive thirst. Remember that often times the upward flow of vayu can take a vata based candida issue and mix it with a pitta presentation. Both sets of symptoms at the same time indicates a vata and pitta combined cause. A support protocol would then have to address both vata and pitta.

Dietary Support

1. Eat more fresh raw leafy green vegetables, avoid sugar and fruit juice. Emphasize pomegranates and bitter herbs, veggies, and spices.

Kapha Candida Issues

Kapha is aggravated by the intake of food that is too heavy, too oily, and cold, and by pasta, bread, and sugar. Overeating and sleeping after meals produces ama and puts out the digestive fire. In this case digestion becomes slow and difficult. Kapha yeast issues can present with lowered immunity, swollen glands, water retention, heavy mood, fatigue, and excessive sleep.

Dietary Support

1. Avoid all mucus-forming, oily, and greasy foods. Avoid salt and sugar. Eat primarily grains and vegetables. Dandelion, asparagus, kale, collard greens, and spinach are foods to increase.

2. Flavor food with pungent spices like cayenne, ginger, black pepper, clove, and curry.

Lifestyle Tips to Keep Candida in Check

If you are experiencing the signs of yeast overgrowth, it can be very helpful to follow a regular daily routine in waking, eating, and sleeping habits.

Each day:Bridge in the garden

  • Wake between 5 and 7am
  • Take lunch between 12 and 1pm
  • Take dinner between 5 and 7pm
  • Go to bed between 9 and 10pm

Perform a sesame oil self-massage in the morning, followed with a warm bath or shower. You can learn how to give yourself an Ayurvedic self-massage here.

Make lunch your main meal of the day – the biggest and most satisfying. Dinner should be light. Breakfast should be very light and is optional. Favor food that is freshly prepared. Avoid leftovers, frozen, canned, or processed food.

Sip hot water frequently throughout the day (every 1 or 2 hours or as often as desired). This keeps the digestive fire alive and flushes ama from the system. If you feel anxious, sipping hot water also settles the nervous system.

Get fresh air and regular exercise (preferably outdoors) through such methods as a morning or evening walk, sun salutations or other yoga asanas.

Extra Mealtime Tips

  • Eat in a settled environment.
  • Eat three meals a day and avoid snacking (except for the between lunch and dinner yogurt lassi, below).
  • Eat only when hungry, after the last meal has been digested. Stop eating when you feel satisfied, but not yet full (about 1/2 to 3/4 full).
  • Sit quietly for at least five minutes after eating to promote digestion.
  • If dairy tolerant, take a lassi (yogurt mixed with water, 1:1, 1:2, or 1:4) during lunch and between lunch and dinner, as needed to promote digestion. It is best to make lassi with freshly made yogurt. Although traditionally lassi can be sweet or seasoned, with yeast issues you’ll want to keep it savory, flavoring with spices such as cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom, for example, or salt, ginger, and cumin.
  • Avoid cold food or drinks, especially foods and drinks taken directly from the refrigerator.
  • Avoid heavy food at the evening meal, including heavy desserts, yogurt, cheese, oily food, and fried food.

Ayurveda is all about going downstream with the cycles. Combining the dietary and lifestyle suggestions in this article with your existing protocol for candida elimination will help support the body in regaining balance, which will help your body heal itself – the cornerstone of Ayurveda!


Sharma, P.V. Cakradatt, Chaukhambha Orientalia. New Delhi, India. 1994.
Altha Vale, V.B. Basic Principles of Ayurveda, Bombay India. 1980.
Bhishagratma, K.L. Shusshruta Samhita, Vols. 1 and 2, Varanasi, India. 1981.
Sharma, P.V. Caraka Samhita. Vols. 1 and 2. Varanasi, India.
Devaraj, T.L. The Panchakarma Treatment of Ayurveda. Dwanwantari Orientalia Publication, Bangalore, India. 1986.
Chopra, R., and De, P. The action of sympathomimetic alkaloids in Sida cordifolia. Ind. J. Med. Res. 18 (1930): 467.


meal prep monday: raw food!

hello beautiful people! i am super excited to share my weekly meal prep with you today. a lot of our clients think that they don’t have time to prepare their meals at home. all the cooking, cleaning, and scrubbing pots can add up if you don’t have a plan. so i decided to cut out the oven time and caked on pans this week and do a meal plan that’s 100% raw.

i ate raw for about a month a few years ago and felt really amazing. my energy was high, i was motivated and eager to work, and my skin was glowing. that was the clearest my skin has been in the last 10 years, until now 😉

kerry and i were chatting about raw food last week and i was inspired to give it another go and see what it does for my skin in conjunction with my sS regimen.

if you guys go for it please let me know how you feel mind, body, and SKIN!




  1. cauliflower pesto salad see the recipe below
  2. carrot and raisin salad we made this last week and it was so delicious that we included it again! substitute raisins and cold pressed organic sunflower oil in this recipe
  3. mango cucumber salad see recipe below
  4. collard wraps this recipe was the original inspiration but we are filling our collard wraps with whatever salad or veggies we want throughout the week.
  5. zucchini hummus with fresh tahini (weekly fav!) find the hummus recipe here and the tahini recipe here. *i added a handful of fresh chives to the hummus and it’s to die for. i used less than half of the tahini in the hummus and saved the rest to eat as a dip with veggies. you can even add a little honey to it and eat it with apples!
  6. overnight oats there are SO many delicious recipes on pinterest! see my simple recipe below.
  7. raw sunflower seed butter this taste like peanut butter… only better! get the recipe here
  8. i’ll probably try to go out for raw sashimi for dinner at least a few times this week just to pump up my protein intake. if you do indulge, remember to take your coconut aminos with you instead of using their cloggy soy sauce 😉



day one: marinate your cauliflower (pesto salad), soak your sesame seeds (tahini) and make your overnight oats.


day two: 

  1. make raw sunflower seed butter
  2. make tahini
  3. make zucchini hummus
  4. make pesto and finish the cauliflower pesto salad.
  5. make the carrot and raisin salad
  6. make the mango cucumber salad
  7. wash and cut any fresh veggies that you want to have on hand for the week.


  • breakfast: overnight oats
  • snack: celery sticks with zucchini hummus
  • lunch: collard wraps filled with tahini and carrot salad cauliflower pesto salad
  • snack 2 (if you’re hungry): cup of watermelon or 2 raw figs with sunflower seed butter
  • dinner: mango cucumber salad served with avocado, raw hemp seeds and raw sunflower seeds over arugula.
carrot and raisin salad with sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and figs over greens.

carrot and raisin salad with sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, and figs over greens.



  • bob’s red mill gluten free oats


  • organic old pressed sunflower seed oil
  • green spanish olives (sun dried is preferred)
  • 1 bag organic avocados


  • organic raw hulled sesame seeds
  • raw hulled hemp seeds (i like the hemp hearts brand)
  • organic raw pumpkin seeds
  • organic raw hulled sunflower seeds


  • 1 head organic cauliflower
  • 1 organic red bell pepper
  • 1 box heirloom cherry tomatoes
  • 1 bunch organic carrots
  • 2 organic cucumbers
  • 2 organic zucchini
  • 1 bunch organic collard greens
  • 1 bag organic arugula
  • 1 bunch organic celery


  • 4 meyer lemons
  • 2 limes
  • 1 watermelon
  • 1 box organic strawberries
  • 1 box organic black mission figs
  • 2 organic mangos
  • 4 organic apples


  • celtic sea salt shaker
  • 1 bunch organic chives
  • 1 box organic basil

cauliflower pesto salad recipe

  • chop 1 head of cauliflower into florets and mix with 1 tbs sunflower oil, 3 tbs lemon juice, 1/2 tsp celtic sea salt, and fresh black pepper. toss to coat and let marinate in the fridge overnight.
  • the next day: add chopped green spanish olives, 1  finely chopped red bell pepper and 1 box of cherry tomatoes cut in quarters.
  • pesto: in a blender combine 1 box fresh organic basil, 1 handful fresh chives, 1/2 tsp celtic sea salt, 1 tbs organic no salt seasoning (we bought it at trader joe’s) and the juice of 1 lime.
  • toss the cauliflower salad in the pesto and enjoy!

mango cucumber salad recipe

  • peel 2 mangos and 2 cucumbers and cut in cubes
  • toss with the juice of 1 lemon, 1/2 tsp celtic sea salt, 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper and 1/2 tsp paprika
  • store in the fridge and serve with avocado and fresh arugula

overnight oats recipe

  • combine 1/2 cup gluten free oats, 1/2 grated apple, 2 tbs raisins, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1 cup of water in a glass container with a lid.
  • soak overnight and enjoy cold in the morning!


meal prep monday: the candida cleanse

some of you have heard us talk about the candida cleanse before and how it can positively impact your skin if you have a candida overgrowth. we’ve written blog posts about what candida is and how to treat it. you can read those popular posts here and here.


the most important aspects of the cleanse are taking your supplement to wipe out the candida (we recommend cansol) and strictly following the candida free diet. just because there are things that you can’t eat doesn’t mean that this diet has to be boring! here’s a meal plan to get your through the first week of candida cleanse. prep all of this food on your day off and keep it in the fridge throughout the week.



  1. cauliflower tortillas are a super yummy candida safe alternative to corn or flour tortillas. wrap scrambled eggs in them for breakfast, meat to make tacos, or use as a “mini pizza crust.” find the recipe here.
  2. toasted pumpkin seed guacamole to eat with raw veggies or later on tacos! we left out the serano from this recipe.
  3. barbacoa from this chipotle copycat recipe for tacos or on top of salad.
  4. nappa cabbage, almond & chicken salad sub soy sauce for coconut aminos in this recipe
  5. marinated zucchini with mint sub the white wine vinegar for apple cider vinegar to keep this recipe candida free.
  6. roasted fennel & artichoke salad find the recipe here



  • breakfast: 2 scrambled eggs with green onions and a cauliflower tortilla
  • snack: toasted pumpkin seed guacamole with celery stalks
  • lunch: nappa cabbage, almond & chicken salad
  • dinner: barbacoa and marinated zucchini with mint over arugula


  1. start your roast in the crockpot and bake your chicken breasts for the salad.
  2. make the cauliflower tortillas
  3. cook the zucchini
  4. roast the fennel
  5. combine remaining salad ingredients
  6. make nappa cabbage salad
  7. make guacamole
  8. enjoy! 



  • 3 avocados
  • 1 cups organic raw pumpkin seeds
  • organic cold pressed sunflower seed oil
  • sesame oil
  • 1 cup raw almonds


  • 2 dozen free range organic eggs
  • 4 lb chuck roast
  • 1/2 lb organic free range chicken breast


  • 1 head organic cauliflower
  • 1 napa cabbage
  • 1 small sweet onion
  • 3 organic zucchini
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 can whole artichoke hearts in water
  • 1 bag organic spinach or arugula
  • 1 bunch organic celery


  • 2 limes
  • 2 lemons


  • celtic sea salt
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
  • 1 head garlic
  • bay leaves
  • oregano
  • cloves
  • fresh ginger
  • green onions


  • bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar with mother
  • coconut aminos
  • organic chicken broth (best to make it yourself or purchase handmade frozen from your local butcher. packaged broth often contains sugar and lacks the essential vitamins that homemade contains)