Toxicity quiz
After a holiday season filled with sweets and rich foods, I always feel like the start of the new year is a great time to cleanse and detoxify - purifying your bodily systems for a fresh new year ahead!

No matter what type of diet or eating plan you follow, you likely have toxins built up in your body that you aren't even aware of. After all, toxins can accumulate in our tissues from many sources. From your personal care and cleaning products, to air pollution (both inside and outside the home), to the water you drink and the food you eat, toxins can come from many different sources.

Of course, you probably already know that your body has many built-in mechanisms for removing these toxins; however, depending on how much toxic exposure you've had over the past year (or years), it may be more than your body can handle without some support - especially if you are continuing to load your body with more toxins from the sources listed above. 


If you're not sure whether you need to do a detox, below I've listed some signs that your body could probably use some support in its detoxification efforts.

Or, go take this interesting quiz to find out your body's toxicity score...


 
 
Holistic health
It's no secret that we now live in an information economy. We are bombarded with information from all directions all day long - is it any wonder we often suffer from what is now called "information overload"?

However, rather than feeling overwhelmed, I think all of this information can be a good thing - provided we use it wisely and for  good...

For example, one thing that all of us now have instant access to - which even our parents' generation didn't - is information on how to live healthier. We no longer have to entrust our health to corporations or the medical industry.

While it is of course always wise to consult with a qualified medical professional for any serious illness, there are many ways that we can improve our health naturally and take preventative measures to reduce our odds of needing medical treatment in the first place. And with the growth of the internet, we now have access to loads of information on how to care for our health in this manner. The trick is knowing how to separate the good and useful info from the less helpful stuff. (By the way, that's what I aim to do on this blog, so please check out our archives to get the facts on important health and holistic living issues!)

But besides just reducing your risk of disease or living longer, there are a number of other reasons to consider taking more of an interest in your health. Below we explore 5 reasons why it is a good idea to learn more about how to live healthy and embrace a more holistic lifestyle - not just for yourself, but for the community around you, and for the planet!



 
 
Fire Cider recipe
'Tis the season - not just for jolly holiday fun and gifts -  but also for colds and flu. That's why this is a great time of year to brew up some natural home remedies to help keep you healthy all winter long!

This ancient recipe was said to be used to keep people healthy during the time of the plague - hence one of its common names - "Four Thieves Tonic." The legend is that a band of thieves used this recipe (or one like it) to avoid the plague when stealing from plague victims - understandably a rather infectious task.

There are many versions of this recipe, which is sometimes called by different names. But I love the name "Fire Cider" - it sounds so warm and invigorating! :-)

The tonic includes a number of health-boosting ingredients traditionally known to fight disease, kill bacteria, and strengthen the immune system. If you cannot find all of these in your area, you may be able to get them online - or omit any that are too difficult to find.

Below are two different versions of this immune-boosting home remedy - pick whichever sounds best to you:


 
 
Free expert health tips
It's time for your monthly free gift, and for December, in honor of the holidays and the New Year ahead, I've got a really special one for you!

With this month's free gift, you can start 2018 off on the right foot by learning the top tips from 20 of the best natural health experts on how to
detox, reset and transform your mind and body for a healthier, happier, more energetic you - and it's all 100% FREE!

Yes, it’s a FREE holiday gift...and you can open it NOW! :-)

Not only are these information-packed recordings free for you to access, they won't expire in 24 hours like with some of the online health summits you may have attended - you can listen to them whenever you want.

You'll learn little-known tips for detoxifying both your body AND your mind for better health, both physical and mental. You'll discover how to use herbs for natural healing, how to sleep better, how to lose weight almost effortlessly by eating real foods, and exercising the right way. You'll learn how to manage depression using functional nutrition, how to raise healthier, happier kids with the practice of mindfulness, how to balance your health and mental well-being for more energy and increased enjoyment of life. And much more!

Head on over to this page to grab your "FREE 2018 Expert Health Kit" now, or read more below for more details...



 
 
Relieve holiday stress naturally
Yes, hard as it is to believe, the holidays are just around the corner...

While children feel a sense of excitement during this time of year, it seems as adults, we tend to lose the magic and instead focus on the stress the holidays brings. This is unfortunate since we all experience way too much stress in our modern world already - and it's killing us...

Search for the term "stress and disease" on Google, and you'll find nearly 600,000,000 results - and with good reason. Nearly every type of disease you can think of can be either caused or exacerbated by stress.

Stress puts your body in "fight or flight" mode, taking valuable resources away from the healing and detoxifying activities that your body needs to engage in on a continual basis to avoid disease. Chronic and ongoing stress causes inflammation, which, as you probably already know, is a major cause of many of our modern diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

So what's the good news?

Well, the good news, of course, is that there is something you can do about it!

While it may not be totally possible to avoid all stress (and you probably wouldn't want to anyway), there are plenty of things you can do to help lower your stress levels and cope with stress in healthier ways, which will improve both your mental and your physical health.

Best of all, they are safe, natural, and (for the most part) totally free!
  So read on to find out how you can improve your mental health and keep stress at bay, and save your money for those important holiday gifts...


 
 
Gut health tips
I've been talking about the importance of gut health and a healthy and balanced microbiome for years, and it seems the mainstream medical community is finally getting on board! There have been more and more recent studies coming out about how much those tiny little bacteria that make up your microbiome really impact all areas of your health - from your digestive system and your immune system all the way to your brain.

In fact, mental issues from depression, to Alzheimer's disease, to autism and even addiction have now been found to have links to the health of your gut bacteria.

So it almost goes without saying that ensuring those little "critters" are healthy is imperative if you want to be healthy as well!

The good news is, taking care of your gut bacteria isn't really all that difficult. The 7 simple tips below will help you to rebuild and rebalance your gut bacteria if you haven't paid much attention to it before, and to maintain a healthy balance from now on.


 
 
Truth About Cancer - Natural Cures
Ask just about anybody what their biggest health fear is, and you will most likely hear "cancer" at the top of the list - which is not surprising, considering that statistics show 1 out of 2 people will experience some type of cancer in their lifetime.

There is so much fear surrounding cancer because we still don't fully understand it. Cancer is a complex disease. It can be caused by literally thousands of different factors, and it can impact any part of the body individually, and can also spread throughout the body.

Millions of dollars are thrown towards "cancer research" every year, but still, we remain without a "cure." The truth is, a "cure" for cancer may be a long time coming, simply because of the complexity I just mentioned.

However, there are numerous natural substances that are already known to fight and even reverse cancer in various stages. Most of these work, of course, by strengthening the immune system. Your body is already naturally an amazing cancer fighter! It is when our bodies become toxic (through consistent exposure to hundreds of different chemicals in our environment), or weakened due to chronic stress, lack of sleep, improper nutrition, etc. that they become unable to perform their natural cancer-fighting functions.

The truth is, there is a chronic health problem in our country today that most people - including doctors - aren't talking about, and this a big part of the reason why cancer is so misunderstood - and so prevalent in today's modern world...


 
 
Natural health tips for kids
School is back in session for the fall, and for parents with small children, that means germs, germs, germs!

Having dozens of small children trapped in a classroom together all day, sharing books, toys, and who knows what else is a recipe for colds and other illnesses. Growing up, it seemed like whenever I was in school, I was sick straight through from the start of fall to the end of the school year in May!

While it may be impossible to avoid all the bugs going around during the fall and winter months, you can take steps to reduce your child's risk of illness, and hopefully shorten any illnesses he or she might come down with anyway.

The quick infographic below explains 5 tips for helping strengthen you and your child's immune system this winter, so that hopefully you all can avoid the worst of cold and flu season!


 
 
Real Health With Whole Foods Class
For this month's free gift, I'm sharing an awesome video "Masterclass" on achieving real health with whole foods. It's presented by one of my favorite natural health authors, Robyn Openshaw, also known online as "The Green Smoothie Girl."

In this eye-opening free class, Robyn explains some of the major health issues facing us today (inflammation, gut health, and more), and how you can combat these issues naturally via your diet.

Read more below to find out more about this special online class, and how you can attend for FREE for a limited time...


 
 
Elderberries
Growing up on the farm, we had a huge elderberry bush in the front yard. My sisters and I would climb it in the late summer and pick giant purple bouquets of elderberries for my parents, who would somehow turn the tiny, bitter and unpalatable berries into quarts of delicious, dark purple sticky sweet syrup which was our favorite pancake topping year-round. 

This was long before elderberry syrup became one of the hottest natural health aids around. Touted for helping to prevent and fight off colds and influenza, reduce inflammation, and soothe coughs and respiratory illnesses, humble elderberry syrup has recently reached "superfood" status. 

Driving down the road the other day, I spied some big elderberry heads beginning to turn purple. It reminded me of the purple-handed late-summer task of my childhood, and it inspired me to share this recipe with you, so you can see just how easy it is to make your very own delicious and immune-boosting elderberry syrup - and you'll save a ton of money on those pricey commercial versions!