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Stress Management

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departments 6 Editor’s Note 11 News Bites

Green tea for rheumatoid arthritis • Eggs boost vitamin D levels • Pomegranate juice aids athletes • More

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Enjoy an organic, gluten-free brunch!

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Don’t miss our annual buyorganic! special section—we’re serving up tasty strawberry recipes, exploring “living green,” and more! page 41

28 Smart Supplements

How to reduce inflammation.

31 Natural Picks 33 Natural Beauty

Omegas for glowing skin.

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EDITOR’S NOTE Stories of Connection—and Resolve This was an especially meaningful week at the office. I got to read the entries submitted for our annual Healthy Resolutions contest, which asks readers to submit their resolutions for the new year. Gift baskets filled with natural products (worth more than $500) were sent to Lauren T. of San Clemente, CA; Lorien C. of Pylesville, MD; Bonnie W. of Burnt Hills, NY; Julie M. of Anaheim, CA; and David D. of Garrett, IN. Lorien gave birth to her first child less than three weeks after her father died. He never got to meet the boy who would be his first grandchild. She named him Marshall after her dad. Lorien’s father was just 62 when he passed, due to “obesity, congestive heart failure, diabetes, asthma, the list of complications goes on,” wrote Lorien. “The worst part is that many of these run in our family. This experience, however devastating, has led me to make healthy resolutions in 2016

tasteforlife 2016

editor’s pick

so that I may live a long life with my son and live to see my own grandchildren. While the health problems run in our family, I refuse to accept them as a death sentence. I made a promise to my dad, my son, and myself to make the healthiest choices possible.” We’re all rooting for you and Marshall, Lorien! Julie, 58, submitted three photos of herself. One was taken pre-cancer in 2013, one was snapped during her battle with ovarian cancer in 2014, and the final one was taken last year. She looked incred-

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ible, with her hair grown back and a sparkle in her eyes. “Let me win, and I will shout it from the roof,” she wrote. “Lifestyle change to survive cancer is the

proof! Ovarian cancer is a highly reoccuring cancer. And I will be NO part of that!” she declared. Hats off to ALL of you warriors out there, doing your best to be healthy, both for yourselves and your loved ones! To your health,

Lynn Tryba



Chief Content Officer and Strategist Lynn Tryba ( Managing Editor Donna Moxley Contributing Editors Lisa Fabian, Rich Wallace Editorial Assistant Kelli Ann Wilson Director, Creative & Interactive Justin Rent Art Director Michelle Knapp Custom Graphics Manager Donna Sweeney Business Development Director Amy Pierce Customer Service: 800-677-8847 Client Services Director - Retail Judy Gagne (x128) Client Services Director Advertising & Digital Ashley Dunk (x190) Western Brand Promotions Director Shannon Dunn-Delgado 415-382-1665 Group Brand Promotions Director Bob Mucci 978-255-2062 Executive Director of Retail Sales and Marketing Anna Johnston ( National Sales Manager Diane Dale Retail Account Manager Kim Willard Founder and Chief Executive Officer T. James Connell

Editorial Advisory Board

Seth J. Baum, MD, author, Age Strong Live Long Hyla Cass, MD, author, Supplement Your Prescription James A. Duke, PhD, 2000 distinguished economic botanist; author, CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs and 30 other titles Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, author of The Fat Flush Plan and 29 other health and nutrition titles Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), is a registered clinical herbalist, health journalist, and author of Body into Balance Clare Hasler, PhD, MBA, advisor, Dietary Supplement Education Alliance; executive director, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science Tori Hudson, ND, professor, National College of Naturopathic Medicine and Bastyr University Christina Pirello, MS, chef/ host, Christina Cooks Sidney Sudberg, DC, LAc, herbalist (AHG) Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, author of best-selling books on integrative medicine Roy Upton, cofounder and vice president, American Herbalists Guild; executive director, American Herbal Pharmacopoeia Taste for Life® (ISSN 1521-2904) is published monthly by CCI, 222 West Street, Suite 49, Keene, NH 03431, 603-283-0034 (fax 603-283-0141); ©2016 Connell Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. Subscription rates: $29.95. This magazine is not intended to provide medical advice on personal health conditions, nor to replace recommendations made by health professionals. The opinions expressed by contributors and sources quoted in articles are not necessarily those of the editor or the publisher. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume liability for all content of advertising and for any claims arising therefrom. Information appearing in Taste for Life may not be reproduced in whole or in part without express permission of the publisher.

Creative and Sales Offices: 222 West Street, Suite 49, Keene, NH 03431 603-283-0034


A note on recipes Recipes are analyzed by Anna Kanianthra, MS, LD. Nutritional values vary depending on portion size, freshness of ingredients, storage, and cooking techniques. They should be used only as a guide. Star ratings are based on standard values (SVs) that are currently recommended: ★★★★★ Extraordinary (50 percent or better), ★★★★ Top source, ★★★ Excellent source, ★★ Good source, ★ Fair source

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Printed in the U.S. on partially recycled paper.

The inks used to print the body of this publication contain a minimum of 20%, by weight, renewable resources.

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Christie: “I Like Knowing it’s Collagen with My Own DNA Fingerprint!” BioSil is not “made out of collagen,” it “generates collagen” through your body’s own natural pathways.† That means the collagen you add is collagen with your own DNA fingerprint. That’s why BioSil helps you look beautiful, youthful, and healthy – naturally! Christie: “I Appreciate the Scientifically Valid Clinical Trials” BioSil employed the double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical protocol, the gold standard in clinical trials. The trials are conducted on the actual product, BioSil, not a “key ingredient.” The results are based on calibrated scientific measurements, not personal opinion. And the results reported are all statistically significant, meaning the results came from taking BioSil, not some outside factor. See Christie’s list of food choices and exercise routines

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news bites foods, supplements & prevention FUN IN THE SUN

New sunscreen PERMITS D PRODUCTION Sunscreen is important for limiting our exposure to ultraviolet radiation that can harm the skin both in the short term (sunburn) and long term (skin aging, skin cancer). But sunscreens with significant sun protection factor (SPF) also greatly limit the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D. Boston University Medical Center researchers have developed a sunscreen that allows for both benefits. The researchers removed certain ingredients from the new sunscreen—known as Solar D—and determined that it allowed for up to 50 percent more production of vitamin D while maintaining its sun protection. The product is available in Australia and is expected to be available in the US by the summer of 2016. Sun exposure is the major source of vitamin D for most children and adults worldwide. SOURCE “Researchers Develop Concept for New Sunscreen That Allows Body to Produce Vitamin D,” Boston University Medical Center, 2/1/16

EGGS IMPROVE D levels in Type 2 diabetes Eating more eggs could boost vitamin D levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. The vitamin is important for bone health and protection from cancer and other diseases, but people with diabetes have trouble retaining it. Laboratory rats with the disease saw significant blood glucose reductions when fed an egg-based diet, and researchers attribute that to the effects of vitamin D. They noted that eating the whole egg is essential, since vitamin D is found in the yolk. SOURCE “New Iowa State Research Holds Promise for Diabetics with Vitamin D Deficiency,” Iowa State

University, 2/9/16


GREEN TEA compound may block RA A chemical in green tea may prove to be effective in reducing the joint pain, inflammation, and tissue damage caused by rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The chemical— epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG)—is known to have antiinflammatory properties. A new study suggests that it also blocks effects of RA without blocking other cellular functions. RA is an autoimmune disease that primarily affects small joints in the hands and feet. It causes painful swelling that can progress to cartilage damage, bone erosion, and joint deformity. When researchers gave EGCG to animals with RA, they observed significant reductions in ankle swelling. Lead researcher Salah-uddin Ahmed, PhD, noted that existing drugs for RA “are expensive, immunosuppressive, and sometimes unsuitable for long-term use.” SOURCE “Compound in Green Tea Found to Block Rheumatoid Arthritis,” Washington State University, 2/16/16 www.tas teforl i

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news bites

foods, supplements & prevention PREVENTION

HIGH-FIBER FOODS may limit breast cancer risk Women who eat lots of fruit and vegetables during adolescence and young adulthood appear to have a much lower risk for breast cancer. Fiber-rich foods may lower the risk by reducing estrogen levels in the blood. Those levels are strongly associated with breast cancer development. Researchers looked at a group of more than 90,000 women and determined a substantial link between fiber intake and breast cancer incidence. For each additional 10 grams of fiber intake daily in early adulthood—such as one apple and two slices of whole-wheat bread, or about a halfcup each of cooked kidney beans and cooked cauliflower or squash—breast cancer risk dropped by 13 percent. The largest benefit came from fruit and vegetable fiber. Lead author Maryam Farvid, PhD, said the study identified “one of the very few potentially modifiable risk factors for premenopausal breast cancer.” SOURCE “Higher Dietary Fiber Intake in Young Women May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk,” Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 2/1/16

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ATHLETES: consider pomegranate juice Oxidative stress was reduced in a group of endurance athletes who drank pomegranate juice daily for three weeks. The fruit is rich in antioxidants. Several markers of oxidative stress were reduced in the athletes who drank the juice, compared to those who drank a placebo beverage. Participants drank a little more than six ounces of the juice per day. SOURCE “Effects of Pomegranate Juice in Circulating Parameters, Cytokines and Oxidative Stress Markers in Endurance-Based Athletes . . .” by E. Fuster-


Munoz et al., Nutrition, 12/7/15

MIX UP those nutrients Harvard Medical School offers this tip for more satisfying snacking. “Try to have more than one macronutrient (protein, fat, carbohydrate) at each snacking session.” In other words, eat a few nuts (which offer protein and fat) along with some grapes (carbohydrates). Or match whole-grain crackers (carbohydrates) with low-fat cheese (protein and fat). Striking that kind of balance leads to a higher rate of satisfaction. SOURCE “7 Ways to Snack Smarter,” Harvard Medical School Healthbeat, 1/21/16

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news bites

foods, supplements & prevention PRODUCE AISLE

Over the RAINBOW You’ve probably noticed that bell peppers come in a variety of colors. Are there any differences among them? “No matter the color of your pepper, the macronutrient (protein, fat, carbohydrate) and fiber content won’t differ much,” writes Elizabeth J. Johnson, PhD. “Red, yellow, and orange peppers are simply the ripe forms of different green peppers.” Dr. Johnson noted that micronutrients such as vitamins and carotenoids can vary significantly, however. “The bottom line is the more colorful your diet, the better off you may be. One should choose a variety of fruits and vegetables to get the individual benefits from each.” SOURCE “Comparing Bell Pepper Colors . . .,” Tufts University Health & Nutrition

Letter, 1/16


RETHINK that junk-food binge Eating well during the week might be for naught if you indulge in junk food over the weekend, according to a new study. Researchers found that intermittent exposure to junk food can shift the makeup of the gut’s microbiota—the trillions of microbial cells that influence metabolism, nutrition, and immune function. “A reduction in the diversity of the gut’s microbiota and a loss of some of the beneficial biota is clearly not a good thing for health,” said study leader Margaret Morris, PhD. “Those who are strict with their diet during the week may be undoing all their good work by hitting the junk food over the weekend.” The study was done with rats, which were fed junk food, a healthy diet, or a diet that included four days of healthier food and three of junk food. After 16 weeks, rats who switched back and forth from healthy food to junk were 18 percent heavier than those on the consistently healthy diet. They also had microbiota profiles that were nearly indistinguishable from those who ate only junk food. SOURCE “Weekend Binges Just as Bad for the Gut as a Regular Junk Food Diet, Study Suggests,” University of New South Wales, 1/19/16

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MEDITATION key revealed The benefits of meditation are well known, particularly for reducing stress. Scientists have now determined a physical basis for the change: Mindfulness meditation can reduce inflammation in the brain. Participants took part in “either a three-day intensive residential mindfulness meditation or relaxation training program,” according to the researchers. The relaxation sessions included stretching and “distractions” from worries and stress. The meditation group practiced “an open and receptive, nonjudgmental awareness of your present-moment experience,” said lead author J. David Creswell, PhD. Follow-up brain scans showed that the meditators had more communication among parts of the brain that process stress and relate to focus and calm. Four months later, the meditation group had much lower levels of a blood marker of inflammation compared to the relaxation group, even though most had not continued the meditation practice. SELECTED SOURCES “Alterations in Resting State Functional Connectivity Link Mindfulness Meditation with Reduced Interleukin-6 . . .” by J.D. Creswell et al., Biological Psychiatry, 1/29/16 ■ “How Meditation Changes the Brain and Body” by Gretchen Reynolds,, 2/18/16

Meditation and exercise EASE DEPRESSION Meditation paired with exercise brought about “meaningful improvement” in symptoms of depression in a new study. Participants began with a 30-minute session of focused attention meditation, followed by 30 minutes of aerobic exercise. The sessions took place twice a week for two months. Symptoms decreased in both clinically depressed and non-depressed participants. “Scientists have known for a while that both of these activities alone can help with depression,” said researcher Tracey Shors, PhD. “But this study suggests that when done together, there is a striking improvement.” SOURCE “Exercise and Meditation—Together—Help Beat Depression, Rutgers Study Finds,” Rutgers

University, 2/10/16

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Super Foods Every Day

Tiny and Full

by Sue Quinn ($14.99, Penguin Random House, 2015)

by Jorge Cruise ($26.95, BenBella Books, 2015)

Over the past decade, super foods have soared in popularity, and food manufacturers often use this descriptor to make their products seem more nutritious. Sometimes these foods do contain high levels of nutrients, but in other cases it’s nothing but marketing hype. In Super Foods Every Day, Sue Quinn wades through the confusion to give readers a definitive list of foods that have been proven to be associated with better health outcomes and reduced risk of chronic disease. Taking things a step further, Quinn has created 65 easy-to-follow super food recipes that will appeal to those just dipping their toes into the waters of health-conscious eating, as well as seasoned experts. Whether readers are searching for ways to improve ailments naturally or just looking to make healthier food choices, Super Foods Every Day offers whole-body health and nutrition on every page.

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“What if I told you that breakfast holds the power to total health . . .?” asks Jorge Cruise, author and celebrity fitness trainer. The theme of Cruise’s book Tiny and Full is that beginning the day with a vegan breakfast is the secret to achieving and maintaining “tiny.” For Cruise, being tiny is not simply about vanity—larger waist measurements have been linked to an increase in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer. There is evidence to suggest a vegan diet may boost immunity and prevent disease, and Cruise believes that adopting a “parttime” vegan diet is the way to go. He suggests that eating just one plant-based meal a day—breakfast—actually has more health benefits than eating vegan full-time. Brimming with meal plans, workouts, recipes, and testimonials, Tiny and Full offers a 12-week body transformation plan.

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The Micronutrient Miracle by Jayson Calton, PhD, and Mira Calton, CN ($26.99, Rodale, 2015) According to the authors, more than 90 percent of Americans are deficient in at least one of the vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health. These nutrient deficiencies can be responsible for everything from weight gain to chronic disease, and yet most of us who have gaps in our vitamin and mineral intake don’t know it. With their new book, nutritionists Mira and Jayson Calton aim to help readers get to the bottom of their health woes with a 28-day plan to reverse the effects of micronutrient deficiencies. Those who are suffering from insomnia, chronic pain, heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions may find relief in the Caltons’ plan that mixes science with personal experience—Mira was diagnosed with advanced osteoporosis at the age of 30 and was able to reverse the disease using the plan outlined in this book. The Micronutrient Miracle walks readers through each day of the Caltons’ customizable plan, and includes shopping tips and a discussion of supplements, as well as tasty and satisfying recipes.

Edible Paradise: A Coloring Book of Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables by Jessie Kanelos Weiner ($16.95, Universe Publishing, 2016) Coloring books for adults are skyrocketing in popularity. They’re fun, relaxing, and give busy adults a chance to be creative. Have no fear, food lovers—Edible Paradise is a coloring book made just for you! With stunning art by Jessie Kanelos Weiner (an illustrator, cookbook author, and food stylist), even the most serious among us will find it hard to resist putting colored pencil to paper. Weiner’s line drawings take readers on an edible journey through the seasons, offering up the fruits of the forest, field, and garden as a treat for the senses. Readers can meticulously color each tendril on a strawberry vine, or play it loose with a freeform watercolor wash—there’s no wrong way to add color. Gardeners, nature lovers, home cooks, and anyone with a love of food will be entranced by the details in Weiner’s creations. So grab your crayons, pens, or paints and enjoy the beauty of nature with this book. TFL

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COMBATING STRESS PUT SOME IDEAS INTO ACTION TODAY SOMEWHERE IN THE SOUTH PACIFIC LIES A STRESS-FREE, IDYLLIC ISLAND WHERE THE BIGGEST DECISION EACH MORNING IS WHETHER TO LIE OUT IN THE SUN OR SETTLE IN UNDER A SHADY PALM TREE. Unfortunately, you don’t live there. You live in the real world, with the rest of us. That means traffic, deadlines, finances, work, kids, spouses, parents, holidays, and every other modern-day stressor you can imagine. If the anxiety, tension, and frustration aren’t enough to convince you that stress isn’t good for you, then maybe knowing that long-term stress leads to heart attacks, strokes, and depression will do the trick. In today’s hyper-connected, gadget-filled world, stress may be unavoidable, but it can be manageable. Here are some strategies to keep stress at bay:

Share A problem shared is a problem halved. Letting someone in on what’s making you stressed can provide relief. Talking through a problem with a friend or close family member can ease the burden—and the anxiety.

Help Others Helping others can help you forget your own troubles. Consider volunteering in your community. If that’s not an option with your busy schedule, try doing someone a favor. Favors are free (usually), they help someone, and they make you feel better about yourself.

Banish Bad Habits Turning to smoking, booze, and caffeine are common responses to stressful situations. In a word: Don’t! Psychologists call this “avoidance behavior.” These habits seem like they are making things better, but in the long run they cause more problems and lead to more stress.

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Move! Exercise makes you feel better, and that’s an important tool in the fight against stress. Exercise helps you clear your mind enough so you can discover the source of your stress and find solutions, says Cary Cooper, a professor and occupational health expert at the University of Lancaster in England.

Change Happens How you deal with change can impact the level of stress you experience day to day. The difference between those who let stress control them and those who control their stress is preparation—being mentally prepared for change, says Tim Judge, a psychologist at the University of Florida. Anticipating change, even making a list of potential apple cart–upsetting changes every week or two, can help you react more quickly and favorably when changes do occur. “The first step in successful stress relief,” according to the experts at the Mayo Clinic, “is deciding to make stress management an ongoing goal, and to monitor your stress level.” (See sidebar: “Identify Your Stressors.”)

Half-full, Not Half-empty Attitude plays a significant role in how you perceive and deal with stress. Limit negative thinking. It’s an easy trough to fall into, identifying things that bring you down and then wallowing in those thoughts. But in many cases that’s all they are—thoughts. They’re not facts, they don’t predict what will happen, they just bring you down and stress you out. No one is suggesting you bury your head in the sand and pretend your problems don’t exist. But being a little Pollyannaish in your outlook (“It’ll be six more days until Sunday comes around again!”) can reduce stress.

Give Yourself a Break The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) suggests taking time to relax, maybe listening to music or getting a massage, to diminish stress levels. A Harvard Medical School study found that the human body responds well to yoga, t’ai chi, mindful meditation, breathing exercises, and repetitive prayer, initiating internal changes that counteract cellular damage from chronic stress.

The Best Medicine? That’s right, laugh it off. Humor can be an important tool in defeating stress, according to the ADAA. Watch a funny movie, TV show, or online video, spend a few minutes with the office cut-up, or call a funny relative. Any or all of these might give stress a run for its money. It’s not all in your head. Science shows that when people watch comedies, their blood vessels become more pliable and blood flow improves for up to 24 hours.

Sleep Tight

Identify Your Stressors Identifying how you deal with stressors is the first step to managing them. Do you dismiss stress as temporary (“It will pass”) but seem to be in a constant state of “temporary” stress? Do you think “That’s just who I am and how I deal with it” or “It comes with the territory” (parenting, work, life)? Do you believe all your stress is caused by circumstances beyond your control? If any of these thought patterns apply to you, you might be more stressed out than necessary. It’s time to take control.

Sleep restores calm and order to your body’s systems. When stress is beating you up, lie down for a few ZZZs. Even a 20-minute nap is enough to trigger beneficial hormones that can balance out excessive cortisol—the stress hormone that can pack on the pounds. Of course, there’s always theologian Reinhold Niebuhr’s oft-quoted maxim: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Amen. TFL

SELECTED SOURCES “How Successful People Beat Stress” by Travis Bradberry,, 7/30/15 ■ “Kiss Stress Goodbye: 7 Natural Ways to Beat Fear and Anxiety” by Jeff Csatari,, 9/19/11 ■ “Stress Management” by Lawrence Robinson et al.,, 2/16 ■ “Tips to Manage Anxiety and Stress,” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, www.tas teforl i

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WALKING FOR HEALTH YOU DON’T NEED TO RUN FOR BENEFITS THE SIMPLE EXERCISE OF WALKING CAN DO MORE TO IMPROVE OVERALL HEALTH AND REDUCE THE RISK OF DISEASE THAN ALMOST ANY OTHER EASILY ACCESSIBLE TREATMENT. IN THE OPINION OF THOMAS FRIEDEN, MD, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION, WALKING IS “THE CLOSEST THING WE HAVE TO A WONDER DRUG.” BEYOND THAT, WALKING COSTS NOTHING AND HAS PRACTICALLY NO NEGATIVE SIDE EFFECTS. A study conducted at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Life Science Division, Berkeley, California, shows that walking briskly can lower the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes, all of which are risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Walking can also help maintain healthy weight, strengthen bones, improve balance and coordination, and raise mood: A number of studies have found that walking is as effective as drugs for treating depression.

No Pain, No Gain? You don’t need to run to gain benefits! Researchers in the National Walkers’ Health Study and National Runners’ Health Study found that moderateintensity walking and vigorous-intensity running resulted in similar reductions in risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and possibly coronary heart disease. Walking for only two and a half hours a week—21 minutes a day—can cut the risk of heart disease by 30 percent, and reduce the risk of cancer and obesity. Best of all, getting outdoors for a walk is fun. If you’re not already enjoying the pleasures of walking, start now! TFL

For Beginners Check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise regimen. ■ Warm up slowly for five to 10 minutes. ■ If you haven’t been exercising regularly, increase your walks by five minutes a week until you reach at least 30 minutes per walk. ■ Keep your head up. Look straight ahead, not at the ground. ■ Keep your neck, shoulders, and back relaxed. ■ Swing your arms loosely, with elbows slightly bent. ■ After your walk, cool down by walking more slowly for five to 10 minutes.

Jaunts for the Joints Several studies show that walking five to six miles a week can prevent arthritis from forming. Walking protects hips and knees by lubricating them and strengthening supporting muscles. If you already have arthritis, walking can help reduce related pain.

SELECTED SOURCES “5 Surprising Benefits of Walking;” “Walking for Health,” Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School, ■ “American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults”; “Walking Can Lower Risk of Heart-Related Conditions as Much as Running,” ■ “Fitness,”, 4/18/13 ■ “Why a Brisk Walk Is Better” by Gretchen Reynolds, The New York Times,, 12/4/13

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D Dairy Free G Gluten Free N Nut Free V Vegan V Vegetarian For a guide to nutrition breakdowns, see page 6. © NICOLE MORRISSEY

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Some foods retain more pesticide residue than others. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) publishes a yearly review of the 12 most contaminated food crops, known as the Dirty Dozen. In 2015 apples, celery, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, imported snap peas, nectarines, peaches, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, and sweet bell peppers made the list. Two other foods known as the Dirty Dozen PLUS were found to be contaminated with insecticides toxic to the nervous system: hot peppers and leafy greens (collard greens and kale). The EWG recommends that consumers who eat a lot of these items buy the organic versions. Studies have found that those who eat a mostly organic diet have fewer toxins in their bodies. A Swedish study found that when a family began to eat all organic food, the occurrence and amount of pesticides

G OAT C HEESE, SP INACH, AND TO M ATO QUICHE From Prevention RD’s Everyday Healthy Cooking by Nicole Morrissey ($17.99, Skyhorse Publishing, 2015)

were lessened for every family member. A University of Washington study found that those who “often or always” consume organic produce had significantly less organophosphate insecticides in their urine samples. This was the case even though the subjects reported they ate 70 percent more fruits and veggies a day than those who “rarely or never” purchase organic produce. These recipes feature produce items that are best purchased organically. To celebrate the return of spring, a fresh herb-filled salad made with quinoa makes the perfect accompaniment to a quiche with a gluten-free crust made from potato slices. Here’s to a healthy and happy brunch! TFL SELECTED SOURCES “Estimating Pesticide Exposure From Dietary Intake and Organic Food Choices . . .” by C.L. Curl et al., Environmental Health Perspectives, 2/5/15 ■ “EWG’s 2015 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce,”, 2015

QU IN OA TA BBOU LEH From Gluten-Free Tips and Tricks for Vegans by Jo Stepaniak, MSEd ($12.95, Book Publishing Company, 2016)

40 minutes prep time ■ serves 6

55 minutes prep time ■ serves 8



1K 1 2 1 N 1 1 M 2 N

1 8 N 1 O K 2 3 1

large russet potato, sliced into very thin rounds large eggs c skim milk tsp Italian seasoning tsp salt tsp black pepper c fresh baby spinach, tightly packed oz goat cheese Roma tomato, sliced

1. Preheat oven to 375°. 2. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick spray. Layer potato rounds on bottom and sides of pan in a single layer. With remaining potato rounds, cover any holes in potato layer (if you don’t cover all holes, don’t worry). Bake potatoes in oven for approximately 15 minutes. 3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until smooth. Add seasonings, and whisk until wellcombined. When potatoes are done par-baking, layer spinach on top of potatoes and goat cheese on top of spinach in small chunks. Gently pour egg mixture over top. Layer tomato slices on top of egg mixture. Bake at 375° for 30 to 40 minutes. 4. If desired, broil quiche 1 to 2 minutes to brown top slightly. Remove from oven, and let sit 5 minutes before serving.

c water c quinoa, rinsed well and drained Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice clove garlic, minced or pressed c extra-virgin olive oil large English cucumber, diced pint cherry tomatoes, halved c chopped flat-leaf parsley, firmly packed green onions, thinly sliced c chopped fresh mint, firmly packed, or 1 Tbsp dried mint Sea salt Freshly ground black pepper

1. Put water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in quinoa, cover, and decrease heat to low. Cook until all water is absorbed and grain is tender, about 25 minutes. 2. Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and then transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature, fluffing it occasionally with a fork to speed the process. 3. To make dressing, put lemon juice and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil until mixture is emulsified. 4. When quinoa is cool, add cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, green onions, and mint and toss gently to combine. Whisk dressing again and pour over salad. Toss gently until evenly mixed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Kitchen Note: Sliced potatoes make for a wonderful quiche crust—just be sure to cut them nice and thin!

Variation: To make this salad a substantial main dish, add 1K cups of cooked or canned chickpeas, drained, along with 1 cup of halved and thinly sliced red radishes and/or 1 cup of shredded carrots.

Per serving: 135 Calories, 10 g Protein, 6 g Carbohydrates, 9 g Total fat (4 g sat, 3 g mono, 1 g poly), 135 mg Sodium, ★★ Vitamin A, B2 (riboflavin), Selenium, ★ Vitamin B3 (niacin), C, Folate, Phosphorus

Per serving: 226 Calories, 5 g Protein, 29 g Carbohydrates, 11 g Total fat (1 g sat, 7 g mono, 2 g poly), 19 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Vitamin C, ★★★★ Manganese, ★★ Iron, Magnesium, ★ Vitamin A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), E, Folate, Copper, Phosphorus, Potassium

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Start at the source. What’s causing the pain? If you’ve just walked into a door and there’s a throbbing bump on your knee, it’s obvious. But the pain that accompanies a condition linked to long-term inflammation—arthritis, cancer, and diabetes, for instance—may not be so easily sourced. Talk to your healthcare practitioner, who can discuss options for alleviating your pain. Those can include diet, physical therapy, and exercise, along with supplements. Once you know what you’re dealing with, you can think about supplements for the type of pain you are experiencing and check with your practitioner to see which ones are safe for you (some have side effects or may interact with other medications). Here are some options to consider.

Topical Creams For certain types of localized pain, topical creams applied to the skin can bring relief. Creams containing capsaicin, a substance found in cayenne peppers, work by decreasing the chemical (called substance P) that carries pain messages to your

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brain. They’ve been shown to be helpful in reducing pain from osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, joint or muscle pain due to fibromyalgia, nerve pain from skin conditions including shingles, post-surgery pain, foot and leg pain caused by diabetes, and lower back pain. Look for a cream that contains 0.075 percent or more capsaicin, and don’t apply it to cracked skin or open wounds. Salves made with comfrey, an herb whose leaves contain inflammation-reducing substances that keep skin healthy, along with allantoin, which boosts new skin cells, have been applied to the skin to treat wounds and to reduce swelling caused by sprains, broken bones, pulled muscles and ligaments, and osteoarthritis. Talk to your doctor before using it, use it sparingly, don’t use it on broken skin, and never take it orally or give it to children, pregnant or breastfeeding women, or elderly people: It contains toxins that can cause liver damage. Terry Naturally Traumaplant Comfrey Cream is one available product free of the worrisome pyrrolizidine alkaloids.

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Oral Supplements

■ SAM-e, a synthetic version of a chemical produced by the body, has shown promise in treating arthritis pain as well as some medications do. Take 600 to 1,200 milligrams per day, divided into three doses.

If you’re dealing with joint pain and stiffness, back pain, or menstrual pain, try omega 3s, the good fats that lower inflammation. Take up to three grams of fish oil a day in capsule form. ■ Probiotics, the healthy bacteria that keep your gut in balance, may reduce inflammation—and help treat the pain and bloating that come with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). In supplement form, consider taking 10 billion colony forming units (CFUs) daily. ■ Vitamins have anti-inflammatory properties too. Vitamin A supplements may be helpful for people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and lung disease. Try vitamin B6 for rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a number of inflammatory diseases, including lupus, IBD, rheumatoid arthritis, and Type 1 diabetes; supplements of the vitamin may also help with age-related conditions. Vitamins C, E, and K have also been studied for their anti-inflammatory properties.

■ If you’re dealing with moderate or severe osteoarthritis, ask your healthcare practitioner about taking glucosamine and chondroitin for pain, and if it’s OK for you, ask what dose you should take. ■ Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, reduces inflammation in painful conditions including recovery from surgery, arthritis, IBS, IBD, ulcers, diabetic nerve pain, lupus, and more. TFL SELECTED SOURCES “Can Supplements Help with Pain?” by Kara Mayer Robinson, 7/9/15; “Vitamins That Fight Inflammation,” 1/18/16, ■ “Cayenne,” 6/22/15; “Comfrey,” 3/23/15, University of Maryland Medical Center ■ “Inadequate Vitamin D Levels Linked to High Use of Narcotic Medication by Patients in Chronic Pain,” Mayo Clinic, 3/27/09 ■ “Inflammation” by V.J. Drake, Linus Pauling Institute, Oregon State University, 8/10 ■ “Regulation of Osteoarthritis by Omega-3 (n-3) Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Naturally Occurring Model of Disease,” Osteoarthritis and Cartilage, 2011 ■ “Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials” by S.C. Gupta et al., AAPS Journal, 1/13 ■ “Topical Capsaicin for Chronic Neuropathic Pain in Adults,” Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2009

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Solstice Medicine Company offers Zheng Gu Shui, a topical pain relief herbal liquid created by a Chinese herbalist over 500 years ago and still used today to treat injuries, sprains, and cramps. 888-221-3496,

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Rhodiola 500 mg from NOW Foods is an herbal supplement with adaptogenic benefits and may help to support the body’s capacity to adapt to stressful conditions. 888-669-3663,

Can’t find these products? Ask your store to contact the manufacturer directly. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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HOW FATS MAKE YOU BEAUTIFUL OMEGAS FOR SKIN DID YOU KNOW THAT THE SAME ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS (EFAS) YOU TAKE TO SUPPORT THE HEALTH OF YOUR HEART AND BRAIN CAN ALSO MAKE YOUR SKIN GLOW? When it comes to EFAs, most of us already get enough omega 6s through our diet thanks to our consumption of vegetable oils and prepared foods. Except for gamma linolenic acid (GLA), excess omega-6 fats lead to inflammation, which is a factor in skin conditions that involve redness, flaking skin, or pain. On the other hand, omega-3 fats including EPA and DHA help resolve inflammation. You can get omega-3 ALA from flax and walnut oils; EPA and DHA are found in fish oil and other marine sources.

Abolish Acne Acne is a combination of inflammation, Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria, and hormones. Although often associated with the teen years, adults can also be troubled by this condition. Laboratory research shows that EFAs, particularly EPA and GLA, have an antimicrobial effect against P. acnes bacteria and can help keep skin clear.

Eradicate Eczema Eczema has been linked with diets that favor omega-6 fats

at the expense of omega 3s. Correcting this imbalance could be the answer if you have eczema. In one study, participants receiving 5.4 grams (g) of DHA daily for eight weeks had significant clinical improvements in eczema symptoms versus the group that did not take DHA.

Wave Goodbye to Wrinkles Got three months? Research shows that within that time period, supplementation with 500 milligrams of evening primrose oil three times daily can improve skin moisture levels, elasticity, firmness, and smoothness. TFL Lisa Petty, ROHP, is a nutrition and healthy living expert for TV and radio, an award-nominated journalist, and an author who has shared her unique perspective with thousands of people through her workshops, lectures, coaching, and extensive writing. She is author of Living Beauty: Feel Great, Look Fabulous & Live Well, a modern guide to feeling younger at any age. Her website is

SELECTED SOURCES “Antibacterial Activity of Long-Chain Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Against Propionibacterium acnes . . .” by A.P. Desbois and K.C. Lawlor, Mar Drugs, 11/13/13 ■ “Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) Supplementation in Atopic Eczema . . .” by C. Koch et al., Br J Dermatol, 4/08 ■ “Healing Fats of the Skin: The Structural and Immunologic Roles of the Omega-6 and Omega-3 Fatty Acids” by M.M. McCusker and J.M. Grant-Kels, Clin Dermatol, 7-8/2010 ■ “The Opposing Effects of n-3 and n-6 Fatty Acids” by G. Schmitz and J. Ecker, Progress in Lipid Research, 3/08 ■ “Review of Evidence for Dietary Influences on Atopic Dermatitis” by S. Mohajeri and S.A. Newman, Skin Therapy Lett, 7-8/14 ■ “Systemic Evening Primrose Oil Improves the Biophysical Skin Parameters . . .” by R. Muggli, Int J Cosmet Sci, 8/05 www.tas teforl i

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GIANT HEARTED Working for Change Olowo-n’djo Tchala, 39, who now stands well over 6 feet, used to sleep with seven siblings and his mother, Abiba Agbanga Tchala, in a room measuring just 8 by 10 feet. Like many children in his village of Kaboli, in the African country of Togo, Tchala dropped out of school in the sixth grade and did farmwork to help his mother provide for the family. His father had several wives (polygamy is legal and widespread in Togo) and couldn’t support all of his children. This background may be part of the reason Tchala, one of the most inspiring stories in the natural industry, is not your average businessman. But it’s not the only reason. Tchala is the co-founder of Alaffia, a Fair Trade–certified company that makes personal care and beauty products from indigenous West African resources, including shea nuts, coconuts, neem, and baobab. Togo is a small, narrow nation bordered by Ghana to the west and Benin to the east. It is also the 11th poorest country in the world. Which is why Tchala chooses to pay the farming Alaffia founders Olowo-n’djo Tchala and Rose Hyde; 2014.

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Top Left: Maternal Health Project recipients; Kadambara, Togo, 2012. Top Right: Rose Hyde and Olowo-n’djo Tchala arrive at Alaffia Village; Sokodé, Togo, 2015. Bottom Left: Olowo-n’djo Tchala gives a bike to a student participating in the Bicycles for Education Project; Togo, 2010. Bottom Right: Students greet Alaffia founders Rose Hyde and Olowo-n’djo Tchala; Kaboli, Togo, 2015.

collectives there 15 to 25 percent more than market price on some materials, including shea nuts. The female workers in his Alaffia Shea Butter Cooperative handcraft the raw ingredients into shea butter using traditional methods used by the women of Togo for centuries. They, too, receive generous salaries— more than four times the average family income in Togo. After the ingredients are made into finished skin and hair products at Alaffia’s headquarters in Olympia, WA, Tchala keeps the prices affordable so that more Americans buy them. He figures that with the

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increased demand, more women in Togo can stay employed and help support their families. So far, his calculus has worked. Alaffia experiences double-digit growth each year, even while Tchala remains less concerned about profit than he is about human dignity, empowerment, and improving the lives of his people, the ones he left behind as a young man, the ones he can’t forget. “This is why we can’t have investors,” he explained. “At the end of the day, we have to compete in the market, but our priorities are different.” Not your average business-

man, indeed. “Making more money doesn’t matter to us,” said Tchala’s wife, Prairie Rose Hyde, who cofounded Alaffia. What the couple is most interested in, she said, is reaching a place of equilibrium within the business that will allow them to focus on figuring out ways to help others do similar things in other places.

Empowering Change Alaffia channels money back to Togolese villages to fund community empowerment and gender equality projects.

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The need is staggering. African women have a one in 32 chance of dying in pregnancy or childbirth due to extreme poverty and inadequate infrastructure. In Togo, many clinics don’t have electricity. Even hospitals can feel like abandoned buildings, said Tchala, without clean needles and gloves or proper material for stitches. With Alaffia’s help, more Togolese women and infants are surviving childbirth, fewer women are turning to prostitution for survival, and more children are able to finish their education.

Small World In 1996, when Tchala was in his late teens, he was told that a young Peace Corps volunteer with long hair had arrived to teach sustainable farming methods. Tchala was soon smitten with “Rose”—who had already traveled several continents—in part because she seemed to know just about everything. Hyde was raised on a small farm in rural Washington state. Despite her parents’ being very poor, they were “smart, intelligent people whose world view was very big,” she said. She had asked to be sent to Asia, but the Peace Corps apparently decided her agricultural and biology background as well as her physical strength would be most useful in Africa. Hyde, now 42, still remembers the day she stepped off the plane. “This feels like this is where people are supposed to be,” she said. She immediately felt comfortable there, a feeling that never left her. When she met Tchala, she knew right away that he possessed a drive that made him different from those around him, who were not thinking beyond survival. She called her parents and told them: “I met this guy, and I don’t think I can leave him here.”

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Shea butter cooperative member; Alaffia Village, Sokodé, Togo, 2015.

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A Family Affair The couple married in 1998, attended the University of California, Davis, and started a family. Tchala earned a bachelor of science degree in organizational studies with an emphasis on global economic systems. He wanted to understand what kept Togo so poor despite its resources. His studies reinforced what he’d experienced as a child: Colonization (Togo was a colony of France until 1960) creates hopelessness and helplessness among the poor. He believed the way out was for his people to realize they had something valuable to offer the West. Both he and Hyde believed that a female-centric business using indigenous resources sustainably harvested and processed in traditional, nontoxic ways might be an answer.

“We consider ourselves a political

organization fighting a war on poverty. We’re talking about fundamental human rights and making sure women don’t die.” —Olowo-n’djo Tchala

wouldn’t give him the loan without personal financial assets. Hyde’s older brother offered his house as collateral, allowing the young couple to launch their company in 2004. Hyde jokes that Alaffia is their “middle child,” as daughter Abi, 14, was born in 2002, and daughter Yemi is now 12. The company’s first focus was shea butter products. Shea trees grow wild in Togo, needing no fertilization or irrigation. Hyde’s botany background allowed her to formulate the company’s personal care products. They called the business Alaffia, a traditional Togolese greeting meaning a state of peace, health, and well-being.

Rock Star Status

Tchala talked about the idea so much with Hyde, who earned a master’s degree in international agricultural development and ethnobotany, that she told him to start a business. “My wife got tired of hearing me talk about it all the time,” Tchala said, with his easy laugh. He asked a bank for the $50,000 he needed to start the company but, unfamiliar with American banking practices, didn’t understand why the bank

Alaffia is now the largest employer in Central Togo aside from the government, helping to organize the country’s collectives into functional systems and working with 7,000 people in 300 collectives across 42 ethnic groups. In addition to the Alaffia Shea Butter Cooperative, the company runs the Alaffia Coconut Cooperative in Togo. Tchala is popular in his homeland, and is greeted in villages with singing, dancing, and celebrating. When he and Hyde return to Africa, the government sends armed guards— ostensibly to offer protection. Their presence also ensures that the government can keep tabs on Tchala as he meets with chiefs and religious leaders to discuss business. As a

respectful insider, Tchala works well with many of Togo’s ethnic groups. He professes no interest in political leadership but considers Alaffia to have a political mission. “We consider ourselves a political organization fighting a war on poverty,” he said. “We’re talking about fundamental human rights and making sure women don’t die.”

A Bright Future To date, Alaffia has funded more than 4,000 births through its Maternal Health Project, providing prenatal and post-delivery care. The Alaffia Women’s Clinic Project provides education on nutrition, family planning, and female genital mutilation, which, while outlawed, is still widely practiced in Togo, often in unsterile environments. The practice leads to lifelong reoccurring infections that endanger women’s lives as well as the lives of children during childbirth. Alaffia has built 10 schools and delivered more than 7,000 used bicycles so children no longer have to walk 10 miles to attend school. In rural Africa, fewer than 10 percent of high school–aged girls and only 16 percent of boys attend school, reports UNICEF. Of the Togolese children who have received bicycles, 95 percent have completed their education. Despite their many efforts, Tchala and Hyde often feel the unrelenting reality of unmet needs. Tchala’s mother recently told her son that she knows he carries a lot of weight on his shoulders, but that he can handle it. It is a duty, she said. It is no longer a job. That’s your path in this lifetime, she told him. And there’s not another choice. TFL For more on Alaffia, visit


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buy rganic! ORGANIC MEAT, MILK CLEARLY MORE NUTRITIOUS A comprehensive new study found substantial nutritional differences between organic and conventional milk and meat. In particular, the researchers said that a switch to these organic foods would increase our intake of essential fatty acids. The key findings included: ■ Organic milk and meat contain about 50 percent more omega-3 fatty acids than conventional products. ■ Organic meat has slightly lower concentrations of two saturated fats that are linked to cardiovascular disease risk. ■ Organic milk contains 40 percent more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA)—a healthful fatty acid and antioxidant. ■ Organic milk contains higher levels of iron, vitamin E, and some carotenoids. The higher levels of omega 3s are due to the requirement that animals raised organically graze on grass, while most conventional meat and milk comes from cows that are primarily fed grain. The omega-3 content of grass is much higher than that of grain. “Omega 3s are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, improved neurological development and function, and better immune function,” said researcher Chris Seal, PhD. SELECTED SOURCES “New Study Finds Clear Differences Between Organic and Non-organic Milk and Meat,” Newcastle University, 2/12/16 ■ “Organic Meat and Milk Higher in Healthful Fatty Acids” by Kenneth Chang, http://well.blogs., 2/15/16

PERCEPTION MAKES A DIFFERENCE An interesting new study highlighted some of the reasons why shoppers choose organic products. Researchers offered organic and nonorganic strawberries and chocolate cookies, and compared the reactions based on nutrition and taste preferences. “Organic strawberries had higher expected taste ratings than nonorganic strawberries, but cookie taste ratings did not differ,” said food economist Brenna Ellison, PhD. The reverse was true of nutrition expectations. “Organic cookies were rated as more nutritious—almost twice as healthy—as nonorganic cookies, but no difference was observed for strawberry ratings.” (Organic strawberries have been shown to be higher in antioxidants and vitamin C, and they are significantly lower in pesticide residue.) Dr. Ellison called for better education about the benefits of organic products. She noted that products carrying the USDA Organic label must contain at least 95 percent organic ingredients, but participants in the study believed the percentage was lower. SELECTED SOURCES “Consumer Perception of Organic Foods Affected by Food Type and Where They’re Sold,” University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, 1/11/16 ■ “Organic Strawberries Are Better—in Some Ways—Researchers Say” by Karen Kaplan, Los Angeles Times, 9/2/10

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Monsanto’s herbicide known as Roundup is the most widely used and heavily applied weed killer in the history of conventional chemical agriculture in both the US and globally. That is despite its classification as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the World Health Organization. Studies have linked exposure to the product to cancer, degeneration of the liver and kidneys, and other diseases. “Spraying has increased to multiple times a year recently on the majority of US cropland,” said Mary Ellen Kustin of the Environmental Working Group. “The sheer volume of this toxic weed killer is a clear indication that this chemical dependency is a case of farming gone wrong.” SOURCE “Study: Monsanto’s Glyphosate Now Most Heavily Used Weed-Killer in History,” Environmental Working Group, 2/2/16


A new study found high rates of end-stage kidney disease in people who are licensed pesticide applicators. Exposure to 39 different herbicides and insecticides was analyzed in participants from Iowa and North Carolina. “Our findings support an association between endstage renal disease and chronic exposure to specific pesticides,” wrote the authors of the study, known as the Agricultural Health Study. SELECTED SOURCES “Pesticide Use and Risk of End-Stage Renal Disease Among Licensed Pesticide Applicators . . .” by J.F. Lebov et al., Occup Environ Med, 2015 n “Renal Disease Linked to Chronic Pesticide Exposure in US Farmworkers,”, 1/20/16


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Your Green Kitchen Quick tips that help a lot Looking to “green up” your life and our world? You can start in your own kitchen! Here are a few tips for making one of our favorite rooms more efficient and eco-friendly. Buy in Bulk

Choosing oatmeal, nuts, rice, spices, and other items from bulk bins is usually cheaper than buying prepackaged items. It also cuts down on unnecessary packaging.

Ditch the Plastic

Choose resealable glass containers for storing leftovers, soups, and other foods. Reducing your use of plastic containers and wraps is healthier for you and better for the environment.

Don’t Get “Greenwashed”

Companies want to sell products, and linking items with consumers’ desire to promote sustainability, reduce pollution, and ensure health can boost sales. But don’t be misled. Does the label on a cleaning product include warnings such as “caution” or “use in a well-ventilated area”? Those are tip-offs that the product is not a healthy choice. Is the packaging easily recyclable? Does the label carry an independent, third-party verification of the product’s “green” claims? If an examination of the label raises red flags instead of green ones, then find a different product.

Make It Last

Opt for stainless steel and cast-iron cookware. Like most nonstick cookware, Teflon has a short life, and it’s been linked to health hazards. The production of nonstick cookware releases perfluorooctanoic acid (a likely human carcinogen) into the atmosphere.


Sturdy cloth shopping bags are reusable and a welcome alternative to throwaway plastic bags. You can also find reusable shopping bags made from recycled fabrics, or ones handcrafted under Fair Trade practices.

Opt for Efficiency

Energy-efficient appliances save energy and water. Look for the Energy Star rating when buying a new refrigerator, dishwasher, freezer, stove, or other appliance. —cameron hendrix SELECTED SOURCES “10 Ways to Make Your Kitchen More Green,”, 7/9/14 n “Avoiding Greenwashing,” NSF International,

Drink Smarter

Water-filtering pitchers or faucet-mounted systems can greatly reduce lead, chloroform, chlorine taste, and other contaminants. They also help cut down on bottled water and the plastic containers it comes in.

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Cure the Soil How reviving your garden can help your health Is your garden getting droopy? Has the harvest from your tomato plants diminished? Maybe you’ve been overusing pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Just as has happened with large-scale commercial agriculture, the soil in your garden may be depleted.

There are parallels between the health of our digestive tracts and the health of our soil. Modern medicine— through the overuse of antibiotics—and poor diet have reduced the amount of healthy bacteria in our guts, while conventional farming practices have stripped the soil of essential microbiota. Turning to organic agriculture and foods can replenish both systems.

W hy Organic?

Bacteria and fungi, which process nutrients into a form that plants can use, are often decimated by conventional farming practices. Organic agriculture, on the other hand, prohibits the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers while incorporating better soil management. Reintroducing the right microbes can help cure the soil. In your home garden, avoid using synthetic chemicals and plant a variety of crops. Plants use sunlight to turn carbon dioxide and water into carbohydrates that are essential for their growth. The plants’ roots release carbohydrates into the soil, feeding microbes in exchange for nutrients and water. The micro-organisms in the soil require a varied mix of carbohydrates, so crop diversity is essential. Those micro-organisms stimulate the plants’ immune systems to make phytonutrients. When we eat the plants, these very same phytonutrients help prevent certain diseases.

Diverse Dirt

“In one teaspoon of soil there are more organisms than there are humans on our planet,” pediatric neurologist Maya Shetreat-Klein, MD, told The New York Times. She added that exposure to those organisms can have multiple benefits for our health. “When children spend time in green environments— in natural playgrounds, for example, or in parks and forests—they perform better on standardized tests, they’re more creative, they’re happier, and their cortisol levels are lower, so they’re calmer and less stressed.” Research has shown that kids who spend more time in parks and other green spaces may lower their risks for allergies while boosting immune function and attention span. “Dirt means three things to me,” said Dr. ShetreatKlein, author of the new book The Dirt Cure: Growing Healthy Kids with Food Straight from the Soil ($26, Atria Books, 2016). “It’s eating nutrient-dense food from healthy soil. It’s being exposed to certain microbes. And it’s spending time outdoors in nature.” —alan siddal SELECTED SOURCES “Healthy Soil Microbes, Healthy People” by Mike Amaranthus and Bruce Allyn,, 6/11/13 n “How the ‘Dirt Cure’ Can Make for Healthier Families” by Anahad O’Connor, http://, 2/11/16 n “Soil Health Management,” USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service,


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The Sublime Strawberry

recipes for drinks and desserts A harbinger of warmer days, the delightful strawberry inspires with its vibrant color and luscious flavor. Adorning salads, drinks, desserts, and more, this popular fruit is a true favorite.

A note on recipes Recipes are analyzed by Anna Kanianthra, MS, LD. Nutritional values vary depending on portion size, freshness of ingredients, storage, and cooking techniques. They should be used only as a guide. Star ratings are based on standard values (SVs) that are currently recommended: ★★★★★ Extraordinary (50 percent or better), ★★★★ Top source, ★★★ Excellent source, ★★ Good source, ★ Fair source


D Dairy Free G Gluten Free N Nut Free V Vegan V Vegetarian

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But when grown conventionally, strawberries have more pesticides than almost any other crop. For those who pick them, strawberries are sometimes referred to as the devil’s fruit—not only for the backbreaking labor of their harvest, but also for the toxic environment they’re grown in. Almost 90 percent of US strawberries are grown in California, where millions of pounds of agricultural chemicals are used on conventionally grown berries. The best-tasting varieties (such as those that arrive in June) are more likely to be harvested by organic farmers. Not only will you be supporting a safer industry when buying organic strawberries, you’ll also be more likely to find a more flavorful fruit. When shopping for organic strawberries, look for those that appear fresh and bright with no molding or soft spots. Consume them as soon as possible after purchase. To freeze extra berries, slice them into chips, and place in a single layer on a baking sheet in the freezer. When frozen, transfer the chips to freezer bags. Since freezing changes the structure of strawberries, use thawed ones for baking and cooking, or in sauces and smoothies. To celebrate the organic strawberry, we’ve found some drink and dessert recipes that let this berry do what it does best—add a ripe sweetness that reminds us of the best summer day. SELECTED SOURCES The Organic Food Shopper’s Guide by Jeff Cox ($14.95, Wiley, 2008) n “Why You Should Only Buy Organic Strawberries” by Lydia O’Connor, www., 6/4/15

REFRESHING ICED TEA WITH BERRY ICE CUBES From The KetoDiet Cookbook by Martina Slajerova ($24.99, Fair Winds Press, an imprint of Quarto Publishing, 2016)

2 hours 5 minutes prep time n serves 4

DGNV 2 to 3 4 3 to 4 2 1

c hot water bags quality green, white, or black tea Tbsp chopped ginger c fresh mint leaves c organic berries, such as strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, or blueberries 1 qt water, plus more for ice K c fresh lemon juice Optional: 5 to 10 drops liquid stevia

1. Pour hot water over tea bags, steep for 3 to 5 minutes, and then remove bags and discard. Pour tea into a large jug and add ginger and mint. Save some mint for garnish. Let tea rest and infuse until cooled. 2. Meanwhile, make berry ice cubes. Wash berries and put 1 to 2 small berries in each of the cube molds in an ice cube tray. Cover with water and freeze for 2 hours or until solid. 3. When tea has cooled, strain it through a sieve, add lemon juice, and refrigerate for at least an hour or until cold. Serve with berry ice cubes and garnish with fresh mint or a slice of lemon. Add sweetener if needed. Per serving: 75 Calories, 2 g Protein, 18 g Carbohydrates, 5 g Fiber, 1 g Total fat, 25 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Vitamin C, Manganese

STRAWBERRY BASIL ICE CREAM WITH PECAN CRUNCH From The Whole Coconut Cookbook by Nathalie Fraise ($16.99, Ten Speed Press, 2016)

3 hours prep time n serves 8

DGV 2 3 1 K 1

lb organic strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped c canned coconut milk Tbsp vanilla extract c coconut palm sugar c fresh basil leaves

Pecan Crunch K c coarsely chopped pecans 1 Tbsp maple syrup K tsp vanilla extract Pinch of fleur de sel or other sea salt 1. Preheat oven to 375°. Put strawberries in a single layer in a baking dish and bake in oven until they have started to release their juices, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. 2. Combine two-thirds of the roasted strawberries and their juice, and the coconut milk, vanilla, sugar, and basil in a high speed blender (refrigerate remaining L of the roasted strawberries to use for garnish). Blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute. 3. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer ice cream to a glass container and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Before serving, leave ice cream at room temperature for 30 minutes until soft enough to scoop. 4. While ice cream is coming to room temperature, prepare Pecan Crunch. Preheat oven to 400°. In a small roasting pan, mix pecans with maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Roast in oven until fragrant and well browned but not at all burned, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely before using. 5. Serve ice cream topped with reserved strawberries and toasted pecans. Kitchen Note: Homemade coconut ice cream is healthier than store-bought ice cream, as it has no gums, chemicals, or other additives. This recipe creates a creamy (but not too creamy) ice cream, closer to a gelato or sorbet, which allows the mixture of basil and strawberry flavors to really shine through. Per serving: 361 Calories, 3 g Protein, 39 g Carbohydrates, 24 g Total fat (16 g sat, 4 g mono, 2 g poly), 54 mg Sodium, ★★★★★ Vitamin C, Manganese, ★★ Iron, Magnesium, ★ Vitamin B3 (niacin), Copper, Phosphorus, Potassium


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MY KID’S FAVORITE POPS From Eat Drink Shine by The Blissful Sisters (Jessica, Jill, & Jennifer Emich) ($29.95, Kyle Books, available May 2016)

20 minutes prep time + 6 hours freeze time ■ makes six 4-ounce pops

GNV 1K c fresh or frozen organic strawberries or blueberries or a combination 2 Tbsp raw honey, divided 1K c plain yogurt or full-fat canned coconut milk K Tbsp vanilla extract 1. Purée berries in a high-powered blender or food processor. Add 1 tablespoon of the honey to the berry purée and blend until combined. 2. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, vanilla extract, and remaining tablespoon of honey until combined thoroughly. 3. Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of berry purée into each pop mold. Spoon in 1 to 2 tablespoons of yogurt mixture on top. Alternate between berry purée and yogurt mixture for a layered effect until molds are full. 4. Freeze pops for at least 6 hours before serving. They will keep in the freezer for at least 2 months. Kitchen Note: Your ice pops should be completely frozen before serving. To help release the frozen pops from their molds, run the bottom of the molds under warm water for about 30 seconds. Per serving: 105 Calories, 4 g Protein, 21 g Carbohydrates, 4 g Fiber, 1 g Total fat, 66 mg Sodium, ★★★ Vitamin C, ★ Calcium, Phosphorus

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When you buy herbs, you take it for granted that the ingredients match what’s on the label and that they’re of good quality and potency. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. As a consumer, you should be aware of the potential pitfalls of the industry, and take a few simple steps to help ensure you’re getting what you pay for.


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Herbs and other dietary supplements have gotten a bad rap lately, and while there is some truth to the stories, they’re often blown out of proportion. For example, the New York Attorney General’s investigation of herbal products from GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart found that many of the products didn’t seem to contain any of the herbs listed on the label. However, the testing method utilized—DNA bar coding—is completely inappropriate for herbal extracts because the DNA of the plants generally does not exist after it has been processed. In spite of the party line that asserts otherwise, herbs and other dietary supplements are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Only herbs and ingredients with a history of safe use can be used in this country without additional proof of safety before entering the market. Per the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for dietary supplements, all products must undergo stringent identity testing, quality control, and testing for contaminants like heavy


metals, pesticide residues, and adulterants. However, these regulations are still relatively new, and the FDA is catching up on enforcing them. Some companies slip through the cracks, but this is neither condoned nor legal. In the past five years, the FDA has sent hundreds of warnings to supplement companies and notified the public via its website about products tainted with active pharmaceutical ingredients and harmful hidden ingredients. The worst offenders were weight-loss, sexual-enhancement, body-building, and energy products. Chinese imports also have a history of being illegally laced with pharmaceutical drugs or other unlabeled, unsafe, adulterated, and unapproved ingredients. For those of us who use and recommend herbs and dietary supplements, this kind of sleazy manufacturing is appalling. Fortunately, this is not the status quo for most of the herbal and dietary supplements on the market. Since you probably don’t have a fullfledged chemistry lab to test the identity and quality of your herbal products, here are steps you can take

to help ensure you’re buying the best quality herbal products possible.

M Buy Organic Herbs, and Read the Back Label. Organic herbs are grown sustainably without potentially toxic pesticides, and these crops generally have the best paper trails from seed to final product. Organic herbs are almost always cultivated, which also limits the likelihood of adulteration. Wild-harvested herbs whose populations don’t meet consumer demand are often adulterated (hoodia, muira puama, bilberry) as are plants that are dainty, slowgrowing, or difficult to harvest in quantity (eyebright, skullcap, ginseng). The fine print on the back label should tell you what is and isn’t organic. Watch for any weird-sounding ingredients such as artificial preservatives, colors, and synthetic vitamins and minerals that signal poor-quality products. Even though companies only have to list the common names, legally speaking, having the Latin name of each herb listed can help assure you that the company is committed to quality, identity, and transparency.


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M Buy US-Made Products. Be wary of products imported from countries with corrupt government standards, like China, where organic certification can be bought. Chinese companies have been known to purchase quality herbs (American black cohosh, Peruvian maca), cut them with cheaper adulterants, and then sell them back to the United States market. The product label will tell you where the product was made, but you may need to contact the company to find out where it sources raw materials.

M Seek Brands with Integrity. Gaia Herbs not only adheres to the GMPs but also specializes in organic herbs and grows many of its own herbs, sourcing what it can’t grow from farms that adhere to the same high standards. All herbs undergo rigorous identity and safety testing, and customers can access this information on the “Meet Your Herbs” section of Gaia’s website. MegaFood is another company that goes above and beyond the FDA’s standards and sources its ingredients in organic, whole-food forms—so

organic oranges come in the front door and food-based vitamin C bottles go out the back door and off to the stores. These companies are exceptional because they outsource very little and get their products in pure, whole forms, which makes it much easier to identify and control for quality. Always be wary of products with too-good-to-be-true health claims or that purport to treat or cure a disease—these kinds of statements are not allowed on dietary supplements. Companies that ignore label laws are probably also ignoring other quality and safety regulations.

M Buy from Stores with Integrity. Don’t buy the cheapest herb you can get. If you find a big bottle of “rose oil” in a discount bin at the dollar store and know that pure rose essential oil usually costs more than $500 for half an ounce, then you can be assured it is not rose essential oil. Natural food stores, food cooperatives, practitioner offices, and stores like the one where you got this magazine are more likely to scrutinize the products they carry

and stick to trustworthy brands. Herbal products purchased on the Internet, at mass market retail stores, and via multilevelmarketing companies can vary widely in their quality, integrity, and accuracy of label claims.

M Support Local Growers & Product Makers. High-quality, small-scale, locally grown herbs make safer, better quality herbal products. Vermont Herb Growers Cooperative and the Eastern Forest Chinese Herbal Medicine Consortium are part of a movement to cultivate excellent quality herbs in the United States, including traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicinal herbs. These herbs generally cost more than their imported counterparts. Let your favorite stores and companies know you’re willing to pay more for better quality herbs. Maria Noël Groves, RH (AHG), is a registered clinical herbalist and freelance health journalist nestled in the pine forests of New Hampshire. Her book, Body into Balance, hit bookstores in March. Learn about herbs, distance consults, online classes, and more at

SELECTED SOURCES “ABC Says New York Attorney General Misused DNA Testing for Herbal Supplements,” American Botanical Council, 2/4/15 ■ Body into Balance: An Herbal Guide to Holistic Self Care by Maria Noël Groves ($24.95, Storey Publishing, 2016) ■ “Chinese Herbs: Elixir of Health or Pesticide Cocktail?” Greenpeace East Asia, 2013 ■ “Chinese Medicinal Herbs Provide Niche Market for US Farmers” by Mary Esch, Associated Press, 12/27/15 ■ “Dietary Supplement Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) and Interim Final Rule (IFR) Facts,” US Food and Drug Administration,, 6/22/07 ■ “FDA & Dietary Supplements: By the Numbers,”, 2/8/16 ■ “New York Attorney General Targets Supplements at Major Retailers” by Anahad O’Connor, 2/3/15; “Study Asks if Tainted Chinese Herbs Are Harming, Not Healing” by Sue-Lin Wong, 6/25/13, The New York Times ■ “Skullcap Adulteration Still Plagues Industry,”, 2/21/12

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Ellyndale® Organics fused the delicious taste of coconut with enticing flavors to create Coconut Infusions™. These versatile oils are non-GMO, certified organic, gluten-free and vegan. Coconut Infusions™ are excellent as a cooking oil or non-dairy spread. With two tempting flavors to choose from, a pleasantly creamy non-dairy butter and a strikingly savory garlic, these coconut oils make a perfect pairing!

! W NE Available at your local health food store • To find the store nearest you visit

Organic Life Vitamins packs 24 organically-grown veggies, super fruits and fruits, organic quinoa plant protein and organic aloe vera. The vegetarian, gluten-free and non-GMO formula also contains key vitamins and nutrients, organic avors, organic stevia (no added sugar) and no artiďŹ cial preservatives.

Increase energy* Promote regularity* Soothe digestive*

AS SEEN IN January 11, 2016

“Fortunately there’s an easy way to banish bloat and prime the body for slimming in the new year: Take an enzyme supplement like Enzymedica Digest.”

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