Amazing facts about your body
So many of us (even in the natural health world) have a negative view of our bodies.

We aren't happy with their shape, size, or weight. Or even if we are, we complain about aches and pains, treating injuries as if they were a betrayal by our bodies, rather than a response to mistreatment. Or we bemoan the signs of aging we see, like wrinkles, or thinning hair, or loss of muscle tone.

It is as if we view our bodies as an enemy - or at best, a reluctant ally that we just have to put up with throughout our lives.

But your body (yes, even YOUR body) is amazing!

If we were to actually take the time to learn how our amazing bodies work, we might understand them better, and be more forgiving. We might also take a lot better care of them, meaning they might stay healthier - and help us stick around on this planet for a little while longer. 

Below are 5 amazing facts about your body. When you read this, take the time to really think about how awesome each of these facts is, and give your body some love and appreciation for all of the wonderful things it can do!

Fake meat
Plant-based diets have become all the rage in the past decade or so - with more and more people moving towards vegan or vegetarian eating plans.

However, while eating less meat is certainly an admirable goal - both for health and environmental reasons, it is also important that we take a good look at what is replacing meat in our diets.

If you are going to stop eating meat completely, what are you eating in its place?

I ask this because I have known vegans who rave all day about how wonderful it is to be vegan, and how everyone else should be as well, and how eating vegan has made them so much healthier, etc., yet when you take a look at what they eat, it consists in large part of highly processed vegetable oils and grains (along with artificial colorings, thickeners, preservatives, flavorings, etc.) - none of which are AT ALL healthy. (In fact, cleanly sourced meats are, in my opinion, MUCH better for you than these "Franken-foods.")

In particular, one type of processed foods that has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years due to the "plant-based" eating movement is fake meats or meat substitutes. Fake meats are touted as being healthier, more sustainable, and more ethical than real meat - but are they really?

Today we take a closer look at the world of fake meats to find out...

How your mind can heal your body
I've got something a bit different for you this month for your "February Freebie..."  But it's really cool and I can't wait to share it with you!

I wrote about this last year, but this year I'm even more excited because I've had a chance to learn more about this amazing technique and how it can help improve your health dramatically - and it's so simple and easy to do! I have actually been using it myself for a few years, but I have practiced it a lot more over the past few months, and done a lot more research on it as well.

Most recently, I used it to help kick a cold before I even got sick, and am now working on my chronic heartburn... I will have to let you know how it goes, but there is an entire event surrounding this amazing health technique starting this week, and I wanted to make sure you don't miss it!

The pre-event starts Monday, and you can register to watch the entire thing for FREE through this link:

Below is a link to the first video, which I thought you would find very interesting. It is about how much influence your mind actually has over your body and your physical health. Check it out below...

Bone Broth
Bone broth has become incredibly trendy in recent years, but humans have been consuming this nutritious "super food" for literally thousands of years!

It has only been over the past couple of generations that bone broth has started to disappear from the American diet, and its recent resurgence in popularity is more due to the natural health foods movement of the past few years than to any familiarity with the subject. In fact, most people my age think of bone broth as nothing but a strange health fad, though it is certainly nothing new to me!

Growing up on the farm, we were schooled in the importance of using the whole animal, not wasting precious food, and extracting as many nutrients as possible out of the food we raised and grew. You could call these ancient "traditions" of sorts, but they stem from times when food was more scarce, and resources were much harder to come by than they are for many Americans today. Those who may have grown up in households of very modest means may be familiar with these philosophies, but otherwise, making your own bone broth may sound rather strange to you.

If it does, I encourage you to learn a bit more about why bone broth might be a healthy addition to your diet, as well as a sustainable food source. Below are some facts about bone broth, plus an easy and nutritious recipe to try.

Holistic living tips
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about the terms "holistic health" or "holistic living." As a practitioner and proponent of holistic living, myself, I sometimes forget that not everyone in the world understands what it means!

I stumbled across an article the other day that got me thinking about this, and I thought I'd try to clear up some of the confusion here on the blog today. The article (linked below) explained how most people think that holistic living isn't realistic for them. They assume it will be too difficult, or that it will mean giving up the things they enjoy.

First of all, let me just say that holistic living is not some sort of diet! In fact, it's not a specific prescription for anything; rather, it is simply a way of living that recognizes the connections between yourself, others, and the world, respects these natural connections, and attempts to maintain a healthy balance between all aspects of life.

Living holistically doesn't mean you have to buy only organic foods, use only 100% natural products, avoid all Western medicine doctors and prescription drugs, go vegan, or move "off the grid" and live in a yurt! It also doesn't mean you have to spend hours every day meditating, never get angry, or live in some sort of Zen-like bubble untouched by the world.

After all, you're still a human being, and as messed up as this world is sometimes, you still have to live in it - and holistic living can actually help you do just that - in a healthier and happier way.

Keto & Paleo diets
If you've been reading this blog for a while, you may have noticed that my dietary philosophy is, well, "sorta Paleo." You probably already know that I'm not a huge fan of fad diets. In general, I think they do more harm than good, though I do acknowledge the benefits of following certain strict diets (i.e. vegan, grain-free, etc.) for a specified period of time for cleansing or elimination purposes. And of course, for those with certain health issues, completely eliminating certain foods may be advisable or necessary.

But I'm always interested to hear what others in the health community have to say about different diets, so I was curious when I saw a recent blog post by author, blogger, and natural health expert, Robyn Openshaw about "Why Ketosis (and Paleo) Diets Will Fail." I have been following Robyn for several years, and I respect her opinions and her work, so I thoroughly read her post, and it was interesting enough to me that I actually wrote a response, which I don't often do on other blogs.

Below are some of Robyn's assertions about the ketogenic and Paleo diets - as well as my response...

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...

New Year's Resolutions
Well, I'm back from vacation, and though well-rested, for some reason I just don't feel quite ready for the start of a New Year just yet...

Typically, I spend the last few weeks of the year thinking about what I've accomplished this year, and what I wish to accomplish for the next, but somehow 2017 ended in a whirlwind of activity that left me no time (or energy) for planning, so I had to force myself to plan out my goals and tasks for the first quarter of 2018 earlier today...  Fortunately, the act of sitting down to plan actually got me moving, and I do have my first 12-week plan of the year sketched out.

Below are some of my goals and resolutions for 2018, as well as some of the tools I have used to help ensure I will accomplish them, but I'd love to hear some of yours as well! Drop me an email, or chime in on our Facebook page and share your plans for 2018! The simple act of sharing itself is proven to greatly increase your odds of achieving them.  :-)

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: