Inspire Health Magazine Issue 23

Page 1


Mind, Body & Spirit for Women


Balance Your Hormones Naturally



FOOD BABE Thinks Before Eating ยง #inspirehealthmag






AD ยง #inspirehealthmag




ON OUR COVER VANI HARI - Revolutionary Food Babe Thinks Before Eating


5 SUPER FOOD Beer Greens


What Is BPA and Is It Really Harmful?

8 NATURAL BEAUTY The Many Uses of Baking Soda


Breathing that Purifies and Energizes





Clear Your Mind Practice Balance Are Fad Diets Making You Fat?



Conscious Connected Breathing Purifies and Energizes

From the first cry exiting the womb to the last dying breath as the body shuts down, the life cycle begins and ends with breathing.



Balancing Your Hormones Naturally Aromatherapy for Stress Relief


Omega 3: An Essential Fat

The Art of Living Retreat Center



Fire Up Your Palate with Colorful Fresh Peppers


Cover Photo: Kwaku Alston


Hollins’ Success Fueled by Motivation and Determination


Vacationing with Pets Or Not?

30 FASHION Straight Outta Cuba! 32 MIGHTY KIDS

Helping Kids Develop Physical Balance

Off to the Adventure Races!


Fire Up Your Palate with Colorful Fresh Peppers

super food

Beet Greens By Alexis Weilbaecher, RD


hen you cook beets, do you usually cut off the greens on the end? Although you may know about all the health benefits of dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach, did you know that beet greens are also considered a superfood? Beet greens, which resemble Swiss chard, are packed with essential nutrients that support your body’s immune system and help strengthen your bones. An excellent source of potassium, which is vital to your heart and digestive tract, beet greens also contain magnesium to maintain normal nerve and muscle functions. Beet greens, combined with other dark green leafy vegetables also lower your risk for chronic diseases. They can help prevent type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and strokes. An excellent source of fiber and fat soluble vitamins A & K, just 1 cup of cooked beet greens provides 220 percent of vitamin A and 870 percent of vitamin K.That’s a lot of benefits in one cup of greens! Beet greens are also a major dietary source of the carotenoids, lutein and beta-carotene which play an important role in eye health, including the health of the retina.

Incorporate beet greens into your daily meal plan with these tips:

Instead of making a salad with romaine lettuce, substitute it with half spinach and half beet greens. This not only increases the fiber, it also adds tons of beneficial nutrients.

Chop up and add beet greens to your omelet along with other vegetables.

beet greens Add chopped beet greens or other dark green leafy vegetables to any soup. Just make sure you add them towards the end of cooking so the heat won’t destroy the valuable nutrients.

For children or picky eaters, use a spaghetti sauces or chili to “hide” your beet greens. § #inspirehealthmag





Help us inspire others! We want to know what inspires you to live healthy. You could be published in the next issue of Inspire Health magazine. Email us at

Find us online! INSPIRE


Executive Publishers HAL G. FOX & SUZANNE POLK FOX Section Editors Cover PATRICIA DANFLOUS Health & Fitness TAMI CHARBONNET Fashion & Beauty WHITNEY ALEXANDRA Kids & Family MICHELE ROBERT POCHE Destinations SUZANNE POLK FOX Creative Team Creative Director JENNIFER CABALLERO Art Director TRA PHAM Digital & Marketing NEAL BOYD Print Production DEBBIE WELDON Sales National Sales CHARLOTTE V. MORRIS National Sales VIVIAN DUGAS National Sales KELLY SMITH National Sales LAUREN CALVE'

© 2016 Jumpstart Publishing, LLC, New Orleans, LA, All rights reserved Printed in the USA by Fox Print Services ( The information contained in Inspire Health is intended for educational purposes only. A reader should never substitute information contained in Inspire Health for the advice of a health care professional. Jumpstart Publishing, LLC and publishers of Inspire Health, do not endorse or promote any of the products or services described in the pages of Inspire Health and the publishers do not verify the accuracy of any claims made in the editorial or advertisements contained in Inspire Health. Readers should not use the information in Inspire Health for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. Readers should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or have or suspect they have a health problem.


feature A study at the University of Texas found that out of

455 common plastic products,

tested 70% positive for EA.

What Is BPA and Is It Really Harmful?


Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical component present in polycarbonate plastic. Used in plastics manufacturing, BPA is usually found in beverage containers and in the inside lining of canned goods. Although the lining is supposed to protect the can from corrosion and keep the metal from migrating into the food, small amounts of chemicals can leach from the plastic lining creating potential health issues. According to The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the agency that regulates all food packaging materials, the amount of BPA that migrates into our food is safe. Referred to as indirect food additives, the FDA determined that the small amount of BPA can be reasonably expected. But

By Suzanne Fox just because the FDA allows something, it doesn’t mean you want to feed it to your family. Cautions about the safety of BPA have caused some manufacturers to find alternatives to polycarbonate, such as hard and clear, reusable, plastic products. These products do not leach BPA and are referred to as BPA-free. But just when we started to believe the problem was rectified, a study in The Environmental Health Journal, noted that estrogenic chemicals were leaching from BPA-free plastic products. Because chemicals with estrogenic activity (EA), have potential adverse health effects in humans, especially in fetal and infant stages, this created a new problem. The bottom line is BPA-free does not mean EA FREE, which

does not mean SAFE. In a study of all commercially available plastic resins and products, including baby bottles and other products advertised as BPA-free, researchers found that independent of the type of resin, product or retail source, leached chemicals showed reliably detectable EA. Led by Dr. George Bittner, a neurobiologist at the University of Texas, this study found that out of 455 common plastic products, 70% tested positive for EA. Even worse, when subject to real-world conditions, such as microwaving or dishwashing, that proportion rose to 95%. Dr. Bittner’s research concluded that “in some cases, BPA-free products released chemicals having more EA than did BPA-containing products”. This finding should

inspire families to eat fresh food whenever possible. You can cut your exposure to BPA and EA but using real utensils instead of plastic, using glass containers to store food instead of plastic, eating more fresh instead of canned foods and using glass water bottles instead of plastic. Dr. George Bittner has written several reports on the environmental concerns of chemicals with BPA and EA.To read more information go to http://ehjournal. Dr. George Bittner has written several reports on the environmental concerns of chemicals with BPA and EA. To read more information go to http://ehjournal. § #inspirehealthmag



natural beauty

a d o S g Bakin The Many Uses of

By Whitney Alexandra


f you are like most people, you keep a box of baking soda in your refrigerator to keep your food fresh and another in case you want to bake cookies. Rarely do we even think about this household staple much less remember to replace the little orange box in the refrigerator. But once you learn of the surprising benefits and unusual uses of sodium hydrogen carbonate or baking soda, you may just want to stock up.

First used as cleaning agent by the ancient Egyptians in 3500 BC, baking soda grew in popularity when used as a leavening agent for baking. But today, baking soda is much more than an ingredient in a cookie recipe or a cleaning agent – it is also a great natural alternative to beauty products and offers health remedies as well. HERE ARE 6 NEW WAYS TO USE BAKING SODA:

WHITEN YOUR TEETH – Need to freshen up in between dentist visits? Baking soda is great for removing stains and the yellow tint from your teeth. First, mix the baking soda and water to form a paste. Then apply with your toothbrush and then let it sit for about a minute before rinsing. SOAK AND EXFOLIATE YOUR FEET –After a long day, add 3 tablespoons of baking soda

to a tub of warm water and soak your feet. To exfoliate your feet, face or body, make a paste from three parts baking soda and one part water and gently scrub off the dead cells. Baking soda is a natural, inexpensive and gentle exfoliator that you can use daily. DRY SHAMPOO YOUR HAIR – Most hair stylists agree that washing your hair every day is not a good idea. So if you do decide to skip a day and find yourself with an oily, unflattering scalp, just use baking soda as you would a store-bought dry shampoo. After sprinkling some into your hand or directly onto your scalp, rub it into your roots, let it sit a few minutes and then brush it through. REMOVE BLACKHEADS AND FIGHT ACNE– When blackheads appear, don’t you want to find the quickest way



to get rid of them? To loosen and remove dirt, cleanse your skin and apply baking soda with 1 teaspoon of water to the problem area. Repeat this three to four times a week until the area is clear. You can also prevent acne by mixing baking soda with coconut oil to create your own natural face wash. REMOVE SPLINTERS – Splinters can be painful and irritating. Next time you

get one, add a tablespoon of baking soda to a glass of water, then soak the affected area twice a day. Most splinters will come out easily by the second day! BRIGHTEN YOUR SKIN – If you want your skin to glow? Try mixing baking soda, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and a few drops of olive oil to form a paste. Apply the paste to skin for 1012 minutes and then rinse.


healthy mind




he life cycle begins and ends with breathing, from the first cry exiting the womb to the last dying breath as the body shuts down. In between, the life-sustaining act of taking in oxygen and expelling carbon dioxide is an unconscious, instinctive action. For example, holding your breath during a gruesome scene in a horror movie or in a severe stressful situation is equally instinctive. Jack Fontana, a Breathwork Specialist believes that oxygenating the body is something we should not take for granted. He explained that “when we focus on our breathing, we have the opportunity to reduce and release the


Jack Fontana is a Level III Professional Breathworker and a member of the International Breathwork Training Alliance. For further information, visit his website at www.

anxiety and stress built up in our lives, without the need for medication.” We want to take in as much oxygen as possible and by utilizing the Conscious Connected Breathing technique, we can learn to maintain the flow of inhaling and exhaling and breathe in a natural unbroken rhythm. WHAT IS CONSCIOUS CONNECTED BREATHING? Recognized by all types of medical practitioners, Conscious Connected Breathing is a safe and effective natural healing technique that opens a path to self-awareness, self-acceptance and self-love. Based on thousands of years of yogic and related teachings, this type of breathing improves your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. HOW DOES IT WORK? Under the guidance of a

specialist, you learn focused breathwork, a method that brings up stored suppressions, fears or past experiences to the surface. Fontana tells us that “as subconscious physical, emotional and spiritual experiences enter the conscious awareness, we can relax into and accept whatever, wherever and however it is happening.” If we take the time to become aware of our sensations, bring our fears to the surface and allow ourselves to be free in those moments, we can become truly present. By doing this, Fontana says, “we find acceptance as we move through fear and find more love for ourselves.” Fontana believes the power is right under our noses. “Each of us is capable of the Conscious Connected Breathing process, allowing us to use the energy of our cellular memory for letting go and finding the joy of life,” he said.

Conscious Connected Breathing helps people: • Take responsibility for their lives • Accepting themselves and their past experiences • Finding a real connection to their breath • Letting go of past hurts • Increasing their willingness to go through fear • Enhancing their sense of peace and relaxation § #inspirehealthmag



By: Tami Charbonnet | Photos: Milestone Photography | Model: Raquel Gros



1. EAGLE POSE • Stand tall. Bend both knees and lift left foot over right thigh or shin, touching toe to floor if balance is compromised.


• Bring arms forward, crossing right arm over left.

Staying in a balanced frame of mind is often difficult in the midst of our fast-paced daily lives. It is important to connect deeply with your body to gain a sense of how you are feeling both internally and externally. Some days, the most effective way to build strength is through acceptance of exactly where you are in the moment. The union of breath and movement allows us to experience the concept of balance. Take a few days a week to just “be.” Explore these poses to create a sense of balance in your busy life.

• Ensure palms of hands are touching. • Focus eye gaze to one spot.


• Release tension in shoulders. • Lift fingertips upward and hold for a few deep breaths. • Gently unwind, relax and switch sides.

2. STANDING HIP OPENER WITH ARM EXTENSION • From standing, bend right knee and bring outside of left ankle on top of right thigh. • Flex left foot. • Balance and actively press left knee toward floor to deeply stretch hips. • Lift hands forward and reach to give the spine a great stretch. • Hold for 5 deep breaths, release and switch sides.




3. WARRIOR III • Stand tall, feet hip distance apart with arms resting along sides of body. • Bend right knee over right ankle so shin is perpendicular to floor.


• Raise arms over head. • Press weight into right foot. • Lift left leg as you lower the torso. • Hinge at hips as you bring body parallel to ground. • With arms extended, reach forward, brace core and tighten gluteus and legs, creating a long, straight spine. • Hold for 5 deep breaths.


5. TREE POSE • Fix eye gaze on a stationary object to maintain focus. • Raise left leg, slowly lift left toes off the ground and bend knee to 90 degrees. • Open left hip so left knee is pointing towards the left wall. • Place sole of left foot on upper right thigh. • Bring hands to the heart, press into palms and lift overhead. If struggle with balance, keep hands pressed to heart and left toe to the floor. • Gradually try lifting toes higher until you achieve full tree pose. • Hold for a few breaths and try on opposite side.

4. TRIANGLE POSE • Stand with legs 3 feet apart and turn right toes to right wall and left toes slightly inward. • Press left hips out and to left as you slide arms to right, parallel to floor. • Lift left arm upward and rest right hand against right leg. Palms face upward.


• Hold for 3 to 5 deep breaths and release. § #inspirehealthmag





• Stand tall with soles of feet grounded to the floor.


• Bend knees deeply, keeping knees firmly pressed together. • Lift arms overhead and sink lower into pose. • Actively brace core, reach as high as you can and squeeze thighs together. • Hold this move for 1 to 5 minutes. Breathe deeply and focus.

Apparel provided by Basics Swim & Gym: Alo Yoga Westerly Bra Top in Black Glossy, $52; Desigual print Capri, $80; Simbi Clay bracelets, handmade in Haiti by a clean water cooperative, $29 each

AD 12


AD ยง #inspirehealthmag



weight loss


YOU FAT? I By Tami Charbonnet

n 2015, research by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that over one-third of adults in the United States are obese. While the fad diets have grown to a multi-billion dollar industry, statistics show that Americans are gaining weight at a rapidly increasing speed each year. So why are 78 million Americans obese? With all the exponential diet options, magic pills, powders, supplements, recipes, advice and theories out there, perhaps we just have too many options. We are so confused about what to eat, why we eat it and how much we should be eating that we take advice from unreliable sources and try fad diets for a quick fix. Allen Knehans, PhD, department chair of nutri-



tional services at Oklahoma University, tells us there is no standard definition of a fad diet. He advised that “the reality of weight loss is that, in the long run, a slow and steady approach brings more lasting results than any quick weight-loss fad.” Whether you are suffering from obesity or just want to lose a few pounds,



consider meeting with a registered dietitian (RD) to discuss a diet plan. RDsare master’s level experts who are trained to guide you to a healthy, long-term weight loss. But before you accept a diet plan, make sure your RD has the proper credentials. You can find a list of RD’s for your area at

Helpful red flags to identify and avoid dangerous fad diets:  The fad diet involves crash dieting, or intense reductions in eating and drinking.  The diet promises that you will lose weight fast or at an unrealistic pace.  Statements made about the diet are refuted by reputable scientific organizations.  The diet refers to foods as “good” or “bad.”  Personal testimonials are used to “sell” the diet.  The diet’s recommendations are based on a single study or are without research.

AD ยง #inspirehealthmag



wellness We need from 500 to 1,000 mg of omega-3 daily.

For optimal health and wellness, add these omega-3 rich foods to your diet:

PLANTBASED SOURCES FOR OMEGA-3: Flaxseed Peanut butter Pumpkin seeds Walnuts Oatmeal Brussels sprouts Kale Mint Parsley Spinach Seaweed


your nutritional plan: • Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found mainly in fish, are sometimes referred to as marine omega-3s. • Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the most common omega-3 fatty acid in most Western diets, is found in vegetable oils, nuts (especially prevent cystic fibrosis, cogwalnuts), flaxseeds and flaxnitive decline, rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers, pul- seed oil, leafy vegetables, and monary hypertension, heart animal fat (especially grassfed animals). The human disease and strokes. Researchers at Harvard body generally uses ALA for energy and its conversion T.H. Chan School of Public Health have identified three into EPA and DHA is very ways to include omega-3 in limited.

An Essential


By Tami Charbonnet


mega-3 fatty acids are essential fats. Although not produced by the human body, essential fats are required for your optimal health. Omega-3 helps to



FISH-BASED SOURCES FOR OMEGA-3: Halibut Mackerel Salmon Tuna (fresh) Herring Oysters

FORTIFIED DAIRY AND JUICES WITH OMEGA-3: Eggs Soy milk Green super food juices Yogurt


AD ยง #inspirehealthmag



eat fresh

FIRE UP YOUR PALATE with Colorful Fresh Peppers By Tami Charbonnet

Peppers are nutrient dense and grown in a wide variety of colors, sizes, textures and levels of heat.




ccording to registered dietitian Kathleen M. Zelman, “all varieties of peppers are excellent sources of vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid, and fiber.” The most common peppers, the bell pepper or sweet pepper variety, have a mild taste and are native to Central and South America. Harvested early, the green bell pepper has the strongest flavor but the least amount of nutritional value. The highest amounts

Add some zip to your recipes. Combine fresh or dried peppers with your preferred vinegar and store in the refrigerator for zesty-infused salad dressings, marinades. etc.

of beta-carotene and vitamin C are found in the vine-ripened red variety. Keep this in mind when shopping for fresh vegetables or creating a salad or salsa. It is best to use red, orange, yellow and green bell peppers for optimum nutritional value and to add beautiful color to your plate. Although the bell pepper is most common in the United States, all peppers are nutrient dense. They are found in almost every tropical climate worldwide and are used in traditional Mexican, African and Thai recipes. Peppers are harvested in various sizes and scales of heat, giving each a different and distinctive flavor. Be careful when working with the hot pepper varieties as they can burn the skin and eyes, causing much discomfort. Use gloves to protect your skin and make sure you don’t touch your eyes.

COLD SUMMER VEGETABLE GAZPACHO INGREDIENTS:  1 large yellow bell pepper, diced  1 large green bell pepper, diced  1 large cucumber (preferably hothouse), seeded, cored and diced  5 large fresh sweet tomatoes, diced  1 medium red onion, diced  ½ cup chopped green onion

 4 garlic cloves, minced  1 Tbsp. sea salt  ¼ cup good white wine vinegar  ¼ cup first cold pressed extra virgin olive oil  4 cups organic tomato juice  Optional: 1 tsp. chopped fresh jalapeño or ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS: 1. Combine vegetables in a large bowl. Add salt, vinegar, olive oil and tomato juice. If you want to add heat, add jalapeños or cayenne pepper. 2. Stir gazpacho well, cover and chill in a refrigerator overnight.

Add these fresh, colorful ingredients loaded with nutrients to your menu!



Bell Pepper or Sweet Pepper

Poblano or Ancho Pepper

Taste: mild Color: green, yellow, orange or red Use: great for stirfries or as a snack with hummus

Taste: medium heat, zesty, not too harsh Color: best when young and dark green Use: great for grilling









Taste: very hot Color: bright red when fresh Use: gives a kick to your favorite sauces, dressings and even juices

Taste: very hot Color: harvested in both green and red stages Use: spicy addition to salsas and beans

Taste: extremely hot Color: red, brown, orange or yellow when ripe Use: adds extra heat to salsas

Taste: extremely hot Color: orange or red when ripe Use: popular in fiery jerk sauces, hot sauces and salsa § #inspirehealthmag





This dip is exceptionally creamy and flavorful, and yet it contains no vegan cheese substitutes or oil. It will be a hit at any party! Makes 3-3½ cups

INGREDIENTS Use unsweetened ¾ cup raw cashews (unsoaked) almond or soy milk for best flavor. l 1-2 medium-large cloves garlic, sliced or quartered, to taste l ¾ tsp. sea salt l ½ teaspoon dry (ground) mustard Frozen artichokes l Freshly ground black pepper to taste are preferred, but you l ¾ cup plain unsweetened can substitute canned if needed. Just rinse nondairy milk (see note) well and drain l 2½-3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed before using. lemon juice l 2 cups frozen artichoke hearts, partially thawed (helps for pulsing in 3. Add the artiblender; see note) chokes and spinach l 2 loosely packed cups fresh spinach leaves and just pulse through; do not fulDIRECTIONS ly blend, in order to 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. keep some chunky 2. In a blender, add cashews, garlic, sea salt, texture! Transfer mustard, black pepper, milk and lemon juice to an ovenproof (use the full 3 tablespoons for tanginess). baking dish (a loaf Blend until very smooth. (If using a Blendpan or similar size), tec or other high-powered blender, this will and bake for 17-20 only take a minute or so. If using a standard minutes, until lightly golden on top. blender, keep blending until very smooth.) l

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: This is the perfect party dip, served with sliced baguette or warm pita breads. Sliced red bell peppers and the inner (small and crisp) leaves of romaine also make great dippers!

Recipe from Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes by Dreena Burton




women who inspire


Motivation and Determination By Patricia Danflous

Determination doesn’t pay the bills, but it makes getting to the bank a little easier.


sk Regina Hollins. Her internal drive and determination motivated by love and concern for her son changed her life. A former fast food shift manager who struggled from one paycheck to the next, she is now a refining industry process technician, living in her own home, traveling and, most importantly, ensuring a quality of life for her son – with a few extras now and then. The 31-year old Louisiana native does not hesitate to tell you she dropped out of high school, had a child and tried to make it in the fast food business. “There just wasn’t enough money for us to live,” she recalls. Her drive kicked in quickly, however, and she pursued her G.E.D., studying three hours a day until she was prepared to take the high school diploma test. She passed the first time. “You have to have fortitude to get it done, but I felt driven to do it. When I achieved the G.E.D. I realized that I did have a major drive and could move forward,” Hollins says. Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina displaced the young mother and her son to Texas for two years, but she remained motivated, graduating from hair styling school

“I knew how to balance my time. The hardest part was learning to enjoy a life that did not have every minute accounted for.” while continuing to work. Returning to Louisiana, she found that the hair business in her hometown was not profitable. She had to find another source of income, enrolling in bartending school for a quick certification. Soon she was doing hair during the day and tending bar on the weekends, juggling her schedule around her son’s needs and care. That’s not all. Hollins enrolled in a community college, later transferring to Southern University in

New Orleans, excelling in the pharmacy program. When a family situation triggered time away from her studies, Hollins decided to take a break. “I just didn’t want to continue if I couldn’t make the best grades,” she emphasizes. Attending a career workshop for women, Hollins was encouraged to obtain a process technology degree and pursue a career in the petrochemical industry. “Because I had completed sciences and other courses at Southern, I was

able to graduate in 38 weeks and was fortunate to get an internship, and later a full-time job at the Shell/Motiva Norco Manufacturing Complex.” “I don’t have to work three jobs at a time now,” she smiles. “I am no longer chasing money to pay the bills. Now I have free time to travel, to do things for my son and be more available to do

things with him.” Of course, a new job, especially one in a traditionally male-dominated field, comes with a few challenges. “I knew how to balance my time. That transition was easy; the hardest part was learning to enjoy a life that did not have every minute accounted for,” she said. Life is going well for Hollins and her 11-year-old son. She is particularly enjoying the benefits that come with her full-time employment. “Healthcare with dental coverage is the best,” she laughed. “I can remember the toothaches I used to get when I couldn’t afford to go to the dentist. I used to tell myself ‘one day I will have a job with dental benefits’.” Today, she has that job.  § #inspirehealthmag




CUTE CUMIN ROASTED CARROTS Serves 4 INGREDIENTS:  14 large carrots, halved lengthwise and ends removed  2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil  Large pinch ground cumin  Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste  2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish DIRECTIONS: ❶ Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. ❷ Toss carrots with coconut oil, ground cumin, sea salt and pepper in a large bowl. Coat carrots with coconut oil mixture then transfer carrots in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. ❸ Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and serve warm garnished with cilantro.



y clients overcome so much to change their lifestyles. The hardest part of their journey is finding a balance between feeling healthy and finding pleasure in the kitchen – but there is no need to choose. I spent the last



10 years living off a handful of whole foods (because my body reacted severely if I ate anything else) and I’ve learned firsthand how to create amazing flavor while using anti-inflammatory ingredients that help your body naturally detox and feel incredible. With all of the confusing marketing messages we’re

bombarded with from media and food manufacturers, there’s no wonder why our country is so confused on what to eat, what is healthy and how to live a healthy lifestyle. Focus on one-ingredient foods such as avocado, fresh fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, extra-virgin olive oil and coconut oil.

Amie Valpone, HHC, AADP,

is the editor-in-chief of She is a Manhattan celebrity chef, culinary nutritionist, professional recipe developer, food photographer, writer and motivational speaker specializing in simple glutenfree, soy-free and dairy-free clean eating recipes.

AD ยง #inspirehealthmag



cover story



Photo by: Kwaku Alston

Thinks Before Eating


By Patricia Danflous

As a management consultant, Vani Hari was recognized as a successful, motivated professional. She guided her clients to perform efficiently and effectively. She burned the midnight oil to ensure, she thought, her position at the top of the game. It wasn’t unusual to find her at her desk fueling a few extra hours with take-out dinners or on the road with three restaurant meals a day.


In the midst of planning a new Food Babe campaign from her home base of North Carolina, Hari took time out to share her experiences and passion with Inspire Health readers.  Your before and after photos are incredible. How long did it take for you to look and feel healthier when you made the commitment to eat healthier? When I started eating organically something dramatic happened — it took time, but all the issues I had as a child — asthma, eczema, allergies went away. I was on several different prescription drugs depending on the season and I’m on zero today. My weight normalized, and I actually lost another 5 pounds (on top of the other 30+ pounds I gained!) I began to have more energy. The way you treat yourself, the way you treat your body, what you put in it, can make a HUGE life changing difference.

for over a decade after losing the extra pounds I had been holding onto for years. For instance, I drink warm lemon water with cayenne pepper as soon as I get up in the morning. Starting my day with this simple habit sets me up for success for the rest of the day and is a reminder that my health comes first.

 Can you tell us about the first weeks of living a healthier life and the daily challenges you experienced? In The Food Babe Way, I methodically take someone through the healthy changes he or she can make to live a more energetic and vibrant life. I share the life-changing habits that have allowed me to maintain my weight

The way you treat yourself, the way you treat your body, what you put in it, can make a HUGE life changing difference.

 What do you do for yourself to maintain your physical wellness, or is it all in the food? Exercise for me is more about stress relief. It is easier for me to make healthy food choices during a day when I have been active too. I love taking classes with challenging instructors — Barre Class, Hot Yoga, Fly Wheel and Soul Cycle are my current favorites.

 How has your management experience transferred to your Food Babe success? I was trained to quickly help giant corporations shift their policies, develop new strategies and implement change within their organizations. This experience has allowed me to quickly understand how the food industry works and how to make it change for the better.  After you decide to investigate a specific ingredient or company, how do you begin your research? I talk to many experts, read scientific studies and consult with consumer advocacy organizations and farmers. Sometimes I’ll go to a specific restaurant and ask employees about the ingredients. That’s what happened with Chipotle. After visiting three different Chipotles, I finally got one of their employees to show me the boxes their food was shipped to the

Photo by: Murray Close/Netflix


he result: A highly successful professional was slowly becoming a very unhealthy female. “During the holiday season over ten years ago, I found myself in a hospital bed. I was sick, overweight, and I was ready to change!” she vividly recalls. “I made a personal promise from that point on to make health my number one priority in my life, above anyone else’s priorities - including my boss at work! Putting myself first was the key to finally stop short-changing my health.” The same energy and determination Hari put into project management was soon evidenced in her pursuit of healthy living. Feeling better, looking better and learning more about food, additives, and exercise, she transformed and grew a business changing lives. Today,Vani Hari, the Food Babe, is known throughout the world as a revolutionary food activist, creator of FoodBabe. com, author of the number one selling book The Food Babe Way and was named one of the Most Influential People On The Internet by Time Magazine. In her work, Hari has influenced how food giants like Kraft, Subway, Chipotle, Chickfil-A, and Starbucks create their products, steering them towards more healthful policies. She teaches people how to make the right purchasing decisions at the grocery store, how to live an organic lifestyle, and how to travel healthfully around the world. Her uncanny investigative ability to find the food truth is well documented by the response she generates from major industries.

Vani Hari has stirred up a horde of followers, over 1 million and counting on her Facebook page, with her blog and her best selling book, The Food Babe Way. She exposes the links between common diseases and chemical toxins found in everyday foods ingested by millions of unsuspecting consumers. Corporate America is taking note. Subway sandwich chain removed the “yoga mat chemical” azodicarbonamide from its bread formula as a result of Hari’s petition. She says, “If a third grader can’t pronounce it, don’t eat it!” § #inspirehealthmag



cover story

Photo by: Kwaku Alston

Kraft announced the removal of artificial food dyes due to our petition, so much awareness spread about the risks of artificial food dye. Other companies like General Mills, Kellogg’s, Hershey’s, and Mars had no other choice but to follow suit.

You just need to know your ingredients and where your food comes from.

store in. I took pictures and documented the ingredients. This is what eventually got Chipotle to post their ingredients online and also start to remove some controversial additives. Since then the company also became the first large restaurant chain to remove GMOs from their food.

 How long does it usually take and what does it take for companies to respond to you and actually make changes? It takes a really long time to enact regulation in the government, that’s why I ask people to vote with their dollars and petition companies directly for change. After

AD 26


 This issue of Inspire Health is all about balance. It can be easy to over-obsess about healthy eating and living. How do you maintain a balanced life while keeping yourself healthy? I truly believe living The Food Babe Way doesn’t mean you need to deprive yourself of your favorite foods — you just need to know your ingredients and where your food comes from.  For more information from the Food Babe, head to

AD ยง #inspirehealthmag



pet therapy

G N I N O I T A C VA H PETS WIT Not? Or By Dr. W. Mark Cousins, DVM, DABVP Want to go on vacation but don’t know what to do with your pets? Consider these options: IN-HOUSE PET SITTING You pay for someone to come to your house and take care of your pets in THEIR environment. This is a great advantage for pets that don’t board well. Also, it may be more economical instead of paying individual boarding fees for each pet. Usually, the sitter will negotiate a fee based on what services he or she will provide for your animals and how many visits per day will be included. But before you hire a pet sitter, ask for a list of personal references and make sure the business is bonded and insured. TRADITIONAL BOARDING FACILITY Veterinary hospitals and other pet related businesses do a great job providing this service. Make sure to visit the location before choosing a boarding facility. You will want to make sure cats are kept separate from dogs and that the area looks and smells clean, is relatively quiet and well lit. If your pet takes medications, make sure your veterinarian’s instructions will



be followed and if there is an additional charge to administer. Ask if you can bring special diet food, toys or blankets for your pet. Also, find out if your pet will get “play time” and if there is an extra charge for dog walking. TRAVEL WITH YOUR PET Most pets travel very well, however there are a few things to consider before taking a pet on vacation.. If you are flying, ask if your airline requires a pet health certificate (your veterinarian can provide this). Remember that there are two time limits on the health certificate, the date you obtain it prior to flying and its expiration date. International travel Ready to give your furry friend a bath? Make your own pet-friendly shampoo by combining 1 cup dish soap, 1 cup vinegar and 1 quart warm water.

with your pet can be a big deal. Make sure you get all the information you need from either the USDA or from the consulate for the country where you are travelling. Depending on the length of the trip, ask your veterinar-

ian whether you should give your pet sedatives. Remember planning ahead for pet, whether they are joining you on vacation or staying at home, will save future hassles when it comes time to leave. 



AD ยง #inspirehealthmag




CUBA! W hile driving in a 1955 Chevy down the narrow dirt streets of Cuba’s Old Havana, my senses were awakened by the vibrant colors, loud music, architecture, people socializing and distinctive styles. As we continued our journey into the downtown area, we rolled down the windows hoping to catch a cross breeze that would give relief to the hot, humid air. The local fashion styles became more defined and profound as we entered the city center. Cuba’s multicultural influences are prevalent within the spectrum of fashion styles. Women’s wardrobes are composed of bright colors and designs inspired from architectural and natural forms. Traditional costumes like the Rumba dress can be seen in the streets, along with a new attitude of time-infused fashions that showcase a more Western influence. Casual wear reflects a dominant Cuban style by meshing


vana. INSPIRE HEALTH e the streets of Ha 50's model cars lin hitney Alexandra. Photo courtesy of W

unique prints, bright colors and bold jewelry. Due to the warm climate, women often wear headwraps, braids or their hair pulled back to help keep cool in the humid weather. The beautiful thing about traveling to Cuba and observing the fashion style was the opportunity to bring a sense of it back to the USA. Following in-depth research, I found a socially responsible, Los Angeles-based fashion brand line called Della. Although Della works directly with a community in Ghana, their aesthetic is synchronistic with many of today’s Cuban fashions. Della is a brand well worth exploring to add unique pieces to your wardrobe. Each piece is handmade and hand-dyed in Ghana, featuring fabulous prints that add a pop to any outfit. Today’s Western fashions have become very minimalistic and sometimes monotonous. Add a touch of culture to your outfit, whether it is a timeless garment from Della or a bold accessory piece, and bring some color to your lifestyle this summer! 

By: Whitney Alexandra | Photos: Bri Johnson | Model: Kristy Parsons | Hair & Makeup: Carey Duprey


ABOUT WHITNEY From product development to personal shopping and wardrobe styling, Whitney has conquered several aspects of the fashion industry. Whitney is inspired by the busy streets of NYC ... and loves to incorporate street style into everything she wears!

AD ยง #inspirehealthmag



mighty kids

Help Develop


Balance By Michele Poche

Here are 6 ways to teach your child physical balance: Stand on a trampoline with one foot. The object is simple. Tell your child, don’t fall down! You can later increase the level of difficulty by walking or jumping on the trampoline alongside your child as he or she tries to maintain balance. Build your own obstacle course. Include hurdles to climb under, crawl through or jump over. Time each child and let each try to beat his own time. Once your children have mastered the course, raise the hurdles or widen the jumps to keep it challenging and interesting. Sit on an exercise ball. Have your child sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair while coloring, playing a board game, or eating (although eating may get a bit messy). Challenge your child to keep both feet from touching the floor unless absolutely necessary.

Sign up for a martial arts class. Your child will learn the coordination and precise timing of self-defense and slowly build physical strength through kicking, jumping, balancing and footwork.


n the world of physical fitness, there are six skill-related components: agility, coordination, power, reaction time, speed and balance. Defined as the ability to maintain one’s equilibrium, balance is essential for both static (stationary) and dynamic (moving) activities. But, as with any skill, the level of proficiency varies greatly from person to person.



Walk a “tightrope.” Create a tightrope with tape, string, or chalk. For beginners, place two lines a few inches apart. Once this is mastered, narrow the path to increase the level of difficulty. Later you can elevate the challenge by using a wooden plank raised slightly off the ground. Close your eyes while doing any of the above exercises. Vision and balance are tied together very closely in the body, thus the challenges increase exponentially. Invest in a pogo stick. The pogo stick has been around since 1918, almost 100 years. It remains popular because it provides an all-over body workout. Use it to strengthen your child’s back and core muscles while also toning his or her legs.  *Close your eyes while doing any of the above exercises. Vision and balance are tied together very closely in the body, thus the challenges increase exponentially.

Banana Pecan Ice Cream First, here are 4 things you should know about bananas: they're the only fruit that produces serotonin, which makes you feel happy, they are a good source of Vitamin C, B6 and potassium, they deliver messages (scratch a note on a banana skin with a toothpick and in an hour, it'll turn dark brown and be readable) and best of all, they make nutritious ice cream! INGREDIENTS • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and frozen • ¼ cup coconut milk • 1 tsp. vanilla extract • 2 Tbsp. pecans • Pinch salt

Serves 4 Freeze 1 hour Prep 1 minute Whirl 3-5 minutes

DIRECTIONS  IMPORTANT FIRST STEP: Peel the bananas, cut into 1-inch chunks, and place on a baking sheet in the freezer until frozen solid, about 1 hour. (Or, ya know, just keep a Ziploc baggie of banana chunks in the freezer for dessert emergencies.) ❷ Place the frozen bananas in the bowl of a food processor. ❸ Whirl until they reach a creamy consistency, about 3-5 minutes. Add the coconut milk, vanilla, pecans and salt to the processor, and spin until combined. Depending on the size of your processor, you might need to

Recipe from Well Fed 2: More Paleo Recipes For People Who Love To Eat by Melissa Joulwan Melissa Joulwan is a pioneer within the Paleo community, a bestselling cookbook author and food blogger. Her third cookbook is due this fall. You can visit Melissa’s blog at

scrape down the sides a few times to help the bananas along their journey from frozen fruit to ICE CREAM. ❹ Scoop into serving bowls and lick it up!

ADD MORE YUM! Make your banana ice cream decadent by drizzling with a teaspoon or two of warmed sunflower seed or almond butter or add a handful of frozen strawberries or raspberries. 

AD § #inspirehealthmag




Balancing Your Hormones Naturally By Michele Robert Poche Hormonal imbalance. We’ve all heard the term, but do we really know how hormones contribute to our daily wellness? Hormones regulate almost every function of the body. Therefore, when there is an imbalance in this delicate network, it brings this myriad of unappealing symptoms:

some im a l c u s? Can yo omplication se c of the

• acne/dryness • digestive issues • sleep disorders • headaches • hot flashes/night sweats • infection

• infertility • hair loss • memory fog • menstrual irregularities • mood swings • weight gain

Here’s how to keep your hormones balanced naturally:


Eat your greens and beans. According to award-winning author, physician and herbalist Aviva Romm, MD, the high fiber content of dark leafy greens and vegetables, helps the body eliminate excessive hormones from the intestine, particularly estrogen. When there is a deficiency, beans and legumes support the production of hormones.




Don’t overtrim the fat. Make sure you include healthy fats in your diet such as fish oil, olive oil, avocados and coconut oil. Dr. Romm advises that “adequate protein and fat at each meal will keep your blood sugar at a nice neutral hum – exactly where you want it to be to avoid the ups and downs of PMS and the roller coaster ride of imbalanced blood sugar”.


Avoid caffeine. Replace those daily cup(s) of coffee with herbal tea. Not only will you eliminate caffeine, you will also receive beneficial nutrients from the herbs. Raspberry leaf, known for its hormonal balancing properties, can be used in place of black tea to make a chai blend.


Go to sleep! It’s the most overlooked task of the day. If you’re not getting at least 8 hours a night, your hormone imbalance multiplies exponentially. Sleep is needed in order to restore, repair and rejuvenate your body. Cheating on sleep may result in long-term health issues. So brew some chamomile tea and make a regular date with your pillow.


Supplement judiciously. In your quest for internal balance, there are many vitamins and herbs available to assist you. Here are just a few to get you star ted: • Ashwagandha • Black Cohosh • Calcium • Chasteberry • Dong Quai • Fish Oil • Ginseng • Magnesium • Melatonin • Vitamin B, C, D & E 

AD ยง #inspirehealthmag




AROMATHERAPY for Stress Relief By Tami Charbonnet

Aromatherapy uses natural oils extracted from flowers and other plants to enhance wellness, ease pain, relieve stress, and increase mental awareness and cognitive function.


tress can affect immunity and cause the digestive, excretory, and reproductive systems to stop working normally. Even worse, chronic stress puts our bodies into survival mode, causing a run-down of our overall body systems.

Demetria Clark, author of Aromatherapy and Herbal Remedies for Pregnancy, Birth, and Breastfeeding, recommends aromatherapy for stress relief. “Aromatherapy is known to encourage deep breathing and we know that deep breathing is a tool widely used to reduce stress”, she explained. Because there are so many topical applications for aromatherapy, such as body sprays, compresses, creams, liniments and massage oils, it is easy to use at home and practical to use daily.

HOW DOES AROMATHERAPY WORK? The aroma from essential oils is believed to stimulate brain function by immediately penetrating cell membranes and crossing the brain-blood barriers to reach the emotional center of the brain at a rapid speed. “Essential oils have many constituents that promote relaxation, calm and feelings

of well-being,” Clark said. One of the simplest and most effective ways to benefit from essential oils is to first sample smelling them. “Just because an essential oil is listed as good for de-stressing, doesn’t mean it will work for you”, she said. Everyone is different so if you feel agitated or don’t like a particular aroma, listen to your own instincts. Once you find the right essential oils for you, you can use them anytime. Just put a few drops on a handkerchief so you can carry it with you. It is also important to know that not all essential oils are alike. Make sure you purchase the therapeutic grade oils as some oils may contain harmful chemicals. 

“Essential Oils promote relaxation, calm and feelings of well-being” - Demetria Clark

5 Essential Oils for Stress Relief: • Lavender • Patchouli • Citrus Oils (Sweet Orange/Mandarin/ Grapefruit/Lemon/Lime) • Clary Sage • Ylang-Ylang



AD ยง #inspirehealthmag



healthy destinations

THE ART OF LIVING Retreat Center By Suzanne Fox A natural haven perched atop the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Art of Living Retreat Center is the perfect place to breathe in the crisp air, rest and rejuvenate. Whether you want to relax while watching the sun rise over endless mountaintops, enjoy a luxurious massage at The Spa, or meditate on a quiet walk, the 380 acre sanctuary offers something for everyone.


he Art of Living Center features overnight retreats, a variety of healthy delicious food, invigorating yoga for all levels, guided meditation, and Ayurvedic

For information on daily rates to an all-inclusive 8 day package, contact The Art of Living Retreat Cener 911 Rock Cliff Rd Boone, NC 28607 828-264-8382



spa treatments. Home to a variety of personal development programs, The Center also combines the mystical and the modern to help you create a life of purpose, joy and confidence. Truly a place that nourishes your body, mind and spirit, the Shankara Ayruveda Spa blends ancient principles with contemporary wellness techniques to provide you with the care and comfort you deserve. Whether you want to

explore the centuries-old science of Ayurveda to bring balance to your life, experience a vibrant sense of energy through the Virechana Deep Cleanse Retreat or take the Detox & Restore Retreat to cleanse and start anew, there is a package for every lifestyle. So if you are looking to revel in relaxation at The Spa, enjoy a romantic weekend in the mountains with the Couple's Get Away or go with your friends for a Eat • Spa • Love Girlfriend Getaway, the Art of Living Center is the perfect place to get centered, creative and relaxed. 

Experience a vibrant sense of energy through the Virechana Deep Cleanse Retreat or take the Detox & Restore Retreat to cleanse and start anew.

AD ยง #inspirehealthmag




OFF TO THE ADVENTURE RACES by Michele Robert Poche

Do you want a new way to test your personal limits? Are you open to exploring all kinds of different activities? Want to take a unique natural adventure with your family or friends?


f you answered yes to any of these questions, adventure racing, also known as expedition racing, is perfect for you! Gaining popularity across the nation as the next big thing in fitness, adventure racing places a greater emphasis on team rather than individual achievement. It’s a great outlet for families and friends looking to take hold of their lives and get fit together.



WHAT IS ADVENTURE RACING? One of the most appealing aspects of adventure racing is its flexibility. While there are some solo competitions available, most of the racing involves groups. Teams can vary from two to five people and include all ages and mixed gender. The races run from two hours to two weeks with distance ranging from 10 to 100 miles. Physical activities include everything from trekking, mountain biking

and paddling to horseback riding, skiing and white water rafting. WHERE TO FIND ADVENTURE RACES To learn about adventure races, visit the United States Adventure Racing Association (USARA) website at Races are held year-round either locally, such as the Red River Gorge American Classic in Kentucky or regionally, like the The North American Adventure Racing Series. For the global racer, there is even The Adventure Racing

World Series. Whether you want to race a few hours or a few weeks, at a location 30 minutes away or across the globe, with your workout buddy or your entire family, you decide what works best for you. For more information about participating in a race or to coordinate your own event, visit 

at the “Life begins r end of you zone.” comfort onald Walsch – Neale D

media reviews

By Patricia Danflous.

THE RAW FOOD NUTRITION HANDBOOK AN ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO UNDERSTANDING RAW FOOD DIETS (Healthy Living Publications, 2015, paperback $14.95) By Karin Dina, DC with Rick Dina, DC


Doctors of chiropractic Karin and Rick Dina have been practicing raw food nutrition for more than 25 years. Their handbook is a respectable Bible of information that focuses on all aspects of raw foods. The authors celebrate the return to raw, noting that a whole plants diet contributes to improved “energy, focus, appearance, athletic performance and recovery time, sleep quality, and general sense of well-being.” You will find suggestions for raw food meals, desserts and snacks.



In her introduction to Turning Off Breast Cancer, medical nutrition therapist Daniella Chace explains, “Most cases of breast cancer result from changes caused by environmental and lifestyle factors. An imbalance in one area … can increase the risk of breast cancer, and a combination of two or more imbalances substantially increases risk.” Turning Off Breast Cancer highlights foods to combat breast cancer, identifies genetic tests to identify cancer risk and presents guidelines for flushing out toxins. You will learn how to restore your health through diet, supplementation and detoxifications.

(J. Murray Press, 2015, paperback $12.99) By Lisa Tillinger Johansen, MS, RD Which trend diet are you following today? How many have you tried in the past? If you are continually searching for the perfect diet to lose those extra pounds, you’ve probably tried them all. In her slightly humorous, infor-

mation-packed guide to healthy eating, dietitian Lisa Tillinger Johansen gives her take on fad diets. Johansen takes a common sense approach to food and guides the reader to ease into practices that will help lose weight and keep it off.  § #inspirehealthmag




Zucchini Gratin

Recipe courtesy of

Maya Sozer | Instagram: @thedreamyleaf

Serves 3 INGREDIENTS • 6 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced • 1 cup water • ¾ cup raw cashews (soaked overnight, drained and rinsed) • 2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice • 1 tsp. garlic powder • ½ tsp. onion powder



Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes

• ¼ tsp. black pepper • Salt, as needed • Optional toppings • 1 Tbsp. sesame seeds • 1 tsp. thyme

❶ Put all the ingredients in the blender, except the zucchinis and the toppings, and blend until you get a smooth batter.  In a bowl, soak the zucchini slices in the batter for a few minutes.  Tile the zucchinis in a baking pan (or an iron cast pan). Pour the remaining batter over the zucchinis.  Bake for 30 minutes in an oven preheated to 400 degrees F.  Add the toppings and enjoy.


RESOURCE DIRECTORY ยง #inspirehealthmag






Get Inspired! “My point is, life is about balance. The good and the bad. The highs and the lows. The piña and the colada.” –Ellen Degeneres § #inspirehealthmag






AD ยง #inspirehealthmag