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wise: (adj) informed, aware

Grass-fed Meats: Gold Standard Flaw? Holistic in Hollywood:

An Interview with Actors Alysia Reiner and David Alan Basche

Nourishing Every Part of Yourself

Copyright Š2014 holistic moms network

Š The Wise Mom, Holistic Moms Network. Issue 18, June 2014.

thewisemom 4

From The Editor


News & Announcements


HMN Recipes

10 Eat Local 12 Diet, Nutrition and Intuition 14 Grass-fed Meats: Gold Standard Flaw? 18 Holistic in Hollywood: An Interview with Actors Alysia Reiner and David Alan Basche 20 Food as Family Medicine: Gluten Free and Beyond 24 Genetically Engineered Foods 26 Raw Wild Edibles 28 Practice Homesteading 30 Nourishing Every Part of Yourself 32 Don’t Fear Fat, Eat More Fat! 34 Strawberries at Home 36 Benefits of Eating Coconut Oil 40 HMN National Team Profiles


Copyright Š2014 holistic moms network

thewisemom EDITOR


Aimee Wood

For more information about Sponsorship, please e-mail us at or call us at 877-HOL-




The Wise Mom is published four times per year and

Nancy Massotto

is available electronically to members of the Holistic Moms Network. For information about membership,

The Wise Mom is a quarterly publication of the Holistic

please visit us at

Moms Network (HMN), a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization for parents interested in holistic health


and green living. The Wise Mom is the voice of the

Interested in writing for The Wise Mom? We look for a

members of the Holistic Moms Network as well as an

variety of submissions, from personal stories and

informative publication offering views, perspectives,

experiences from members to informative research

and wisdom from our parents, wellness practitioners,

articles based upon our issue theme each quarter. Want

and experts in the broad field of holistic living and

to share your photos with us? By submitting a photo


to The Wise Mom, you agree that you have the right to distribute the image and maintain that all people

The information provided in The Wise Mom is not

depicted agree to have their image published.

intended to replace professional advice from a qualified healthcare professional and is not intended as medi-

Email for details on

cal advice. The articles and information presented

submitting articles or photos for an upcoming issue.

in these pages is intended as a sharing of knowledge, information, and experiences. We encourage all of

Š The Wise Mom, Holistic Moms Network. Issue 18, June 2014.

our readers to become informed about the many healthcare and parenting decisions they may face and to make the choice that works best for their unique family.

Nancy Massotto Founder & Executive Director

The Wise Mom is a publication of the Holistic Moms Network and supports the mission and purpose of our non-profit organization.

Copyright Š2014 holistic moms network


letterfromtheeditor Summer 2014 The summertime is a great time to expand food choices. The plethora of open-air markets and farm stands make trying new things easier. As a nutritionist, some people ask me what diet is the best. I don’t believe there is one diet that is THE best. People need to listen to their body to see what is appropriate for them. The theme for this issue is food choices. We have some great essays and articles discussing personal journeys as well as food items that have helped heal. We’ve included some great recipes from HMN’s cookbooks. I hope the issue inspires you to try something new this summer! We will be accepting submissions for the next issue until August 15th. The theme is “Holistic Parenting Through All Stages of Childhood: Babies to Teens”. Each stage of development seems to bring different challenges and we would love to hear from you! Share your advice on getting through these stages while being a holistic mama! If you’d like submission guidelines or if you have a specific topic you’d like to see covered, please email: Enjoy your summer and all of the foods available! Warmly, Aimee K. Wood


Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network

news&announcements HMN Welcomes New Sponsors The Holistic Moms Network is excited to welcome two Sponsors into our community, new sponsor Dolphin Organics and returning sponsor Green Kid Crafts! These two exciting mom-founded brands offer great resources and products that were designed by and for holistic moms. Here is a little more about each of them:

Dolphin Organics Dolphin Organics has developed a full line of certified organic and natural skin and hair care products for the entire family. The Dolphin Organicsline is pH balanced for delicate newborn skin, and the DO Naturals line includes gentle plant-based products for older children and their parents. All are dermatologist-tested hypoallergenic, vegan, GMO and gluten-free. Learn more at

Green Kid Crafts Green Kid Crafts is a popular, mom-loved resource for kids ages 3-10, saving tens of thousands of busy families time and money through fun Discovery Boxes full of educational, hands-on, and eco-friendly arts, crafts, and STEM science activities. We love that each Green Kid Discovery Box contains a themed set of crafty science projects and creativity kits (think Backyard Science, Around the World, Kitchen Science, and Nocturnal Animals) of 3 to 4 educational activities for kids, all designed to foster a child’s creativity and awareness of the world around them. Founded by a team of parents and teachers whose mission is to inspire the next generations of creative leaders, Green Kid Crafts is certified carbon neutral, Green America Approved, a member of 1% for the Planet, and has won numerous awards and designations for its awesome products and responsible business practices, including Dr. Toy’s Best Green Products Award and the “Best Subscription Service” by Red Tricycle. Have or know kids ages 3-8 that loves creating and learning cool things? Then head on over to Green Kid Crafts! You’ll love their award-winning Discovery Box subscription program, affordable and educational Creativity Kits and Science Kits, single Discovery Boxes, and Party Favors.

Check out special offers from these and many other HMN Sponsors in our Online Member Savings Book! 6

Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network

a R N is

Exciting Items for the HMN Auction!



news&announcements Our annual HMNRaising Auction donation period has begun! We’re calling on all of our friends and Sponsors to help make this year’s online auction fun and exciting for all! Already donated: a fabulous basket of gluten-free goodies from Glutenfreeda; a Daiya Foods prize pack, and an awesome stainless steel dish set from Life Without plastic, among the other great items coming in! If you have or know of a business who might want to donate, contact us at! The auction will get underway in October on eBay and will be sure to have something for everyone!

HMN Chapters Re-Launch! A bunch of HMN Chapters have re-launched, with new Chapter Leaders or re-opening. Come get involved! Warm welcomes to our re-launched Chapters, new Leaders and Members in: Chicago, IL Detroit, MI Loudoun County, VA Manhattan, NY Rockland/South Orange County, NY San Fernando Valley, CA

Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network


hmnrecipes The Holistic Moms Network has created two cookbooks that have been an invaluable resource to many. In 2008, Growing Healthy Families was released. The cookbook is sectioned into categories such as appetizers, main dishes, breads, desserts, cookies, etc. Also, the book contains recipes from guest chefs such as Chef Ann Cooper, Sally Fallon, Dr. Fuhrman, Cathy Lauer, and Organic Valley. In 2009, Many Paths, One Journey to Health: In the Kitchen with Holistic Moms was released. This cookbook is sectioned into particular diets such as gluten, casein, and egg free, macrobiotics, raw foods, traditional diets, vegetarian, and recipes for making remedies. To purchase these cookbooks you may go to: or contact your local leader.

From Many Paths, One Journey to Health

Wash and dry kale. Sprinkle sea salt over it and start

Massaged Kale Salad

massaging it until it reduces and becomes tender, about

From Marcy Sheldon (Mercer County, NJ)

five minutes. Whisk together the olive oil and vinegar. Add blue cheese and mix thoroughly. Add the currents, seeds,


and rice to kale and the vinaigrette. Toss gently. Serve

1 bunch kale


1 tsp. Celtic sea salt 2 T of olive oil

Note: If you use blue cheese

2 T raw apple cider vinegar

and it is crumbly, crumble on

3 oz creamy Gorgonzola or other blue cheese

top of the finished salad. From

1/2-1 chopped apple

Jennifer Adler, RD.

1/4 c. of currants or dried cranberries 1/3 c. roasted sunflower seeds 1 cup cooked brown rice or other grain 8

Copyright Š2014 holistic moms network

From Growing Healthy Families

Vegan Banana Oatmeal Cookies From Susan Endres (Warren/Western Morris and Sussex, NJ) Ingredients: 2 bananas, mashed 1/2 c. applesauce 3/4 c. dry sweetener 1 tsp. vanilla extract 2 c. flour 2 1/2 c. rolled oat flakes 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. baking soda 1 c. raisins 1/2 c. chocolate or carob chips In a food processor or small bowl, mix together the bananas, applesauce, sweetener, and vanilla. In a large bowl stir together the flour, oat flakes, cinnamon, and baking soda. Add the banana mixture and mix together well. Add the raisins and chips and mix together again, scoop spoon-sized portions onto a lightly oiled cookie sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 degrees. From How It All Vegan! By Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer Copyright Š2014 holistic moms network


Eat L As we are all becoming informed consumers, the choices

Eat Local Grown is a community collaboration of farmers’

of what foods to eat have increased. Local farmers’ markets,

market listings.

CSAs, and the increase of natural health food stores are making it easier to eat locally and healthy. Even the major

Local Harvest is a resource to find CSA’s, markets, road

national grocery store chains are carrying organic food

side stands, restaurants, and more.

sections. With all of the research, done by consumers and scientists, we’ve learned that there is not one perfect

VegGuide is listing of vegetarian and vegan restaurants all

diet, but there are many diets to suit each individual person.

over the world.

Some benefit from eating vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten free, etc and the list goes on. There are major differences

Eat Wild provides research-based information about “eating

in each particular diet, but what all of these diets have

on the wild side.” This means choosing present-day foods

in common, is that you can shop for them by eating as

that approach the nutritional content of wild plants and

locally as possible. There are many reasons for eating

game—our original diet.

locally; foods are fresher, more nutritious, easier on the environment, and they support the local economy to educates people on the benefits of organic

name a few. The Wise Mom team gathered resources to

agriculture, food and products.

help you on your quest to fill the nutritional needs of your particular diet.

Find Me Gluten Free connects people with gluten-free friendly businesses.


Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network

Local These recipes come directly from our members at the Holistic Moms Network. They are published in the “Farm to Table” section of Many Paths, One Journey to Health. We hope they will inspire some local summer cooking! Enjoy!

Salsa Verde By Rebekah Mingus Tacoma, WA Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds of fresh tomatillos 5 medium Serrano chiles 3 cloves of garlic 1/2 cup fresh cilantro 1 large onion 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt Preheat broiler. Remove husks from tomatillos, and rinse under warm water to remove stickiness. Broil chiles, garlic, and fresh tomatillos, turning once, until tomatillos are softened and slightly charred, about 7 minutes. Peel garlic and pull off tops of chiles. Purée all ingredients in a blender. Salsa is best served still warm. It can be kept in the fridge, or frozen for later use. Enjoy substituting whatever peppers are ripe in your garden (jalapeños, bell peppers, red sweet peppers, etc.) Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network

Slightly Baked Veggie Dinner Michelle Summers Sarasota, FL Ingredients: Leafy greens, chopped Veggies of your choice, chopped Onions, to taste Garlic, to taste Bragg’s Healthy Vinaigrette In a large pan, place a thin chopped layer of kale, greens, broccoli raab, and any other greens you may have. Add diced potatoes, turnips, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, carrots, squashes, and pretty much anything else you want. Flavor with some onions, scallions, fresh garlic, and spices you like. Drizzle with Bragg’s Healthy Vinaigrette or a mix of olive oil/raw apple cider vinegar/spices. Bake until desired tenderness. Note: Belonging to an organic farm co-op, my family goes weekly for our share. Also, we have a u-pick produce around the corner of our house. This recipe came out of ideas from others, what we brought home from our share, and what we like/want to eat! We eat this one evening a week and love it!


Diet, Nutrition and Intuition

by Cynthia Djengue


As a certified Holistic Health Coach since 2011, a Holistic

diet. Beyond that there is much to consider. The other

Moms Network member since 2006, and a woman with

variations, like vegan, paleo or raw, seem to have more

my own health concerns and ageing body, food has become

individualized preferences and may echo a person’s

more important to me. As I have studied hundreds of di-

chemical make-up, blood type, ancestral/cultural

ets, as well as tried several of them, I find that eating foods

influences as well as economics. These nutritional needs

which are organic and whole are the most important in the

of our population have changed based on the following Copyright Š2014 holistic moms network

trends: food and health advertising has become trickery,

FREE.) Robbins, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr.

food sources have become tainted and the body has been

T. Colin Campbell and many others have been leading the

hijacked, and, the health care industry has completely

research and literature on how to achieve better health

changed their treatment based on the high numbers of

with nutrition. Yet, in all of the interviews and research I

lifestyle diseases. These diseases are mostly due to poor

have studied it’s obvious: food itself is not the only healer

diet choices and lack of whole food nutrition and yet,

of the body, just as medicine and drugs are clearly failing.

the same institutions that apparently treat these diseases

Other factors such as less stress, increased sleep, a sense

know the least about diet and nutrition.

of community, spirituality, and intimacy are also what creates the perfect atmosphere for healing.

In a recent discussion in a Natural Mom’s group I asked participants about their diet, knowing that most of them

As we age, experience loss or transitions, events usually

were “natural” when it comes to lifestyle. Of about 25

out of our control, the body reacts. It might be seen as

responses, there was no single preferred diet. Some

weight gain, organ dysfunction, or deep depression. This

consider themselves vegan, vegetarian or paleo but many

is the opportunity to become internally focused, attend

were all over the place, combining parts of one diet with

to my body’s needs, and discern what is needed for

parts of another, mostly paying attention to their family’s

homeostasis to return. I call this the Intuitive Diet.

needs first. For instance, if allergies present themselves,

Perhaps a detox cleanse, or a slight alteration could

they try perhaps the GAPS or Gluten free diet. If digestion

support the Mind, Body and Soul to become more connected.

is an issue, maybe going dairy free will help. Many persons

It is at these moments when I no longer take my health

are starting to consider that diet and nutrition does

and happiness for granted and move towards what makes

indeed play a role in improved living. Being healthy

me feel WHOLE - friends, family, writing, laughter, and

or organic shouldn’t be “alternative” anymore, it

sexuality and intimacy. It could be a big shift that is

should really be the primary lifestyle for the majority of

needed. I need to listen within.

Americans as it has been proven to extend the length of one’s life. As former President Bill Clinton, now 67 years old, revealed in an interview about his vegan diet, “82% since 1986 who went on a plant based diet have healed themselves from heart disease.” So, we know whole foods work.

Cynthia Djengue is a Holistic Mom of a sassy, spirited 6 year old who shares her love for nature. Cynthia’s business, The Holistic Hummingbird, coaches clients to improved health and self love. She also loves her Young Living Oils for everyday first aid and family wellness. Intuitive Eating is part of my Transformational

More proof can be found here. Dr. John Robbins recently said that, “in 1950 in the United States, we spent 22% of our disposable income on food and 5% on health care. Now we spend 9% of our income on food and 18% on health care.” This was part of the recent Food Summit

and Alchemy Coaching that I provide clients. I just finished a Spring Detox Cleanse with a group of women and will be planning a Summer Balancing Cleanse for June. I am also getting Reiki certified in June to provide clients, locally and Nationwide, physical and emotional well-being restoration. I hope you can Join Us! And, I also want to thank you for being a Holistic Mom and providing you and your family with Earthy steps towards becoming more Whole.

Revolution which you can still listen to online through July 7th. (You will receive an invite to become a part of the Encore Summit and can learn from a large number of experts in the Food and Wellness Industries. It’s all Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network


Grass-fed Meats:

Gold Standard Flaw? by Nancy Peplinsky


Copyright Š2014 holistic moms network

Organic. Pastured. Grass-fed.

consumers are seeking out smaller scale farmers for the

Hormone-Free. The array of food labeling options avail-

new gold standard in meat, grass-fed or pastured.

able to consumers is dizzying. One of the most recent and popular among them is the “grass-fed” label. Is grass-

Nutritional quality is a primary reason for rising sales

fed just a hot trend or passing fad? Or is it here to stay?

in the grass-fed market, as grass-fed meats are higher in vitamins, E and C, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids

Let’s start with what it is: grass-fed refers to the primary

and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) and are lower in fat,

content of an animal’s diet. As opposed to “pastured”

saturated fat, and cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids are

which refers to where the animal eats, “grass-fed” refers

essential for normal growth and help to ward off coronary

to what the animal ingests. Grass-fed meats must be

artery disease, arthritis, and hypertension. Animals fed on

fed 99 percent of their diet from grass and/or forage, the

grass enjoy their natural diet and are less likely to be fed

natural diet for most ruminants.

antibiotics and hormones, compared to those raised on factory farms.

“Grass-fed” animal products are popping up everywhere - in restaurants, supermarkets, and kitchen tables across

But is there a dark side to grass-fed animal products? For

the country. More than just a passing fad, grass-fed meats

the health-conscious consumer or environmental activist,

seem to have true sticking power as a food trend since

there may be: the presence of GMOs (genetically modified

it is being driven by both “consumer trends” for more

organisms). Conventionally raised meats are fed grains,

healthful living and “culinary trends” which embrace

including soy and corn, of which a high percentage are

“new ingredients, flavor profiles, [and] cooking methods,”

genetically modified, 88 percent of corn and 94 percent of

according to QSR magazine. Farmers raising animals

soy. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that GMOs

on grass are grabbing a larger percentage of the industry,

may be connected to dramatically rising rates of corn

despite some of the drawbacks, including the higher cost

and soy allergies, digestive disorders, and reproductive

of production.

disorders, both in animals and in humans.

For chefs, restaurant owners, and consumers, grass-fed

Alexandra Zissu, co-author of The Butcher’s Guide to

meats are far more expensive than their conventional

Well-Raised Meat suggests that one of the concerns of

counterparts, averaging more than $10 per pound,

animals raised on GMO crops is that “contaminants

compared to $5 per pound. In addition, grass-fed can

bioaccumulate in animal flesh.” However, she also points

taste different than conventional meat products and

out that “an environmental health approach to a whole

may be a hard sell for the less adventurous consumer

foods diet embraces local and pastured animals, which

who is accustomed to the blander flavor of grain-fed

may or may not be organic.”

meats. On the flip side for chefs and fellow foodies, grass-fed products could open up a world of flavors for

Organizations such as the Institute for Responsible

meat lovers, with variation in pasture/grass contents and

Technology (IRT), founded by Jeffrey Smith, have been

feeding practices, and more prized fat-marbling. In spite

raising consumer awareness of GMOs in food products

of the drawbacks of higher cost and limited supply, both

since 2003, working to educate about the risks of GMO

chefs committed to sustainability and health-conscious

foods and to call for food labeling across the United

Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network


States. However, few consumers are aware that even

Smith indicates that there is not yet sufficient research to

grass-fed animal products may contain genetically modified

make a connection to GMO alfalfa and health consequences,

organisms. For example, animals being fed alfalfa may be

there is “anecdotal evidence showing problems with the

consuming genetically-modified alfalfa, with potentially


dangerous side effects. Alfalfa is the fourth-largest crop


grown in the United States and is a staple for feeding

There is good news to be had, though. In June of last

livestock. Sales of genetically modified alfalfa were first

year, the US Department of Agriculture approved a non-

deregulated in 2005 and organizations such as Center for

GMO label for use that “allows companies to demonstrate

Food Safety have since been fighting to protect consumers

on their labels that they meet a third-party certifying

and farmers from the genetically-modified plants. The

organization’s standards, provided that the third-party

presence of glyphosate in genetically-modified alfalfa is at

organization and the company can show that the claims

the heart of the protest against its use. Glyphosate is an

are truthful, accurate and not misleading,” according to

endocrine-disruptor that has the potential to damage DNA

the New York Times. The Non-GMO Project, the nation’s

and increase the incidence of cancer. While expert Jeffrey

largest non-GMO verification agency, upholds rigorous Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network

standards and will provide their certification for animals products raised with GMOs. Consumers looking for the highest quality of meats without genetically modified components can look for the non-GMO Project certification on various grass-fed meat cuts to avoid GMO inges-

Nancy Peplinsky, Ph.D., is Founder and Director of the Holistic Moms Network, a national non-profit community for parents interested in holistic health and green living.

tion. Beef industry experts agree that grass-fed products will continue to grow in popularity as a share of the market. For the educated consumer and foodie, non-GMO labeling and farming practices will dish up amazing flavor and health benefits. Richer flavors, higher quality, and local, sustainable options are here to stay.

Copyright Š2014 holistic moms network


Holistic in Hollywood: An Interview with Actors

Alysia Reiner David Alan Basche Holistic parents come in all shapes and sizes! We met

What are your top 3 natural/green passions?

with Hollywood couple Alysia Reiner (Orange is the New

1) Chemical free living, getting as much toxicity out of

Black) and David Alan Basche (The Exes) to learn more

our food, our water, and the world in general.

about their passion for sustainable, healthy living and

2) Encouraging others to build or remodel green.


3) CSA’s and local organic farmers markets.

What got you started on your green living journey? Alysia was always eco conscious and then David jumped

Tell us about your home. How did you get inspired to green your living space?

on the bandwagon. When our daughter Liv was born, that

We bought an abandoned 5 story crack house in Harlem.

really motivated us even more. We were always aware of

No really, we did! It had been boarded up and vacant for

things like recycling, conserving, and being conscious of

at least 5 years, and we found needles, crack vials, and

not only what we put into our bodies, but also what we

garbage on every floor. There were no windows, no doors,

put on them. And of course there’s nothing like becoming

and only half a roof. We were determined to rebuild it,

someone else’s food source to make you even more aware!

and because we had a clean slate so to speak, it just made sense to try to do it as green as we could. And again, the reason for buying the building in the first place was to


Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network

have room to start a family, so we were inspired by that

cloth diapers, choose earth friendly diapers (we loved

goal to make it green, clean, sustainable and comfortable.

Nature Baby Care). Then look at your personal care items and food and go as organic as you can. Then try

How has parenting changed your views on natural/holistic living?

to get your kid’s school to switch to natural soap, and

Parenting has increased our awareness and commitment

start a composting program in the local park, etc etc…

EXPONENTIALLY! When you are responsible for the

And remember, kids do what they see YOU do, so your

health and care of another small human being, it really

attitudes and actions around green living have a direct

wakes you up to the things you’ve ignored before, to

impact on them. Ghandi said “be the change you want

the things you know you must now do. And it’s all to be

to see in the world,” but he may as well have said “be the

able to look that kid in the eye and say “we are doing our

change you want to see in your kids!”

then try to get your whole parenting community to

best to take care of you and give you a good start.” Also, it saddens us to see how many parents still just don’t believe some proven facts: more sleep really does make for smarter, calmer, healthier kids; plastics and BPA and other contaminants can truly change a child’s estrogen levels

Alysia Reiner is an award winning actress, producer, mother, humanitarian, and outspoken environmentalist. As an actress her work is prolific, she’s appeared on screen and stage, has won awards and rave reviews, and has even been suggested on IMDB as one of top 3 picks for the next “Bond Girl.” She is still often recognized as Christine, Thomas Hayden Church’s fiancee and then bride in the Oscar-winning cult film favorite “Sideways,” for which she won a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance for an Ensemble

and affect their health in a hugely negative way; and too


much sugar most definitely is poison.

She is currently shooting her second season of ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK, playing FIG, the assistant warden in the new series by Jenji Kohan who created WEEDS, and she

Alysia – tell us about your involvement in your daughter’s school.

just wrapped the film LIFE ITSELF with Morgan Freeman and Diane Keaton. Reiner was

I’m on the Green Committee, and the whole school

playing opposite Juliette Lewis. THAT AKWARD MOMENT with Zac Efron that will hit

composts now! We’ve changed the snacks to be healthier

busy this summer, scoring roles in a slew of upcoming films including Martin Scorsese’s REVENGE OF THE GREEN DRAGONS, THE GIRL IN THE BOOK, and KELLY AND CAL, theaters soon.

and we’re now in the process of changing the soap

Alysia is a champion of all things eco-friendly, and she and her husband used their own

from that gross pink stuff to a clear, chemical free,

Harlem was featured on television’s “World’s Greenest Homes” ”HOME & FAMILY “ and

biodegradable brand instead!

home as a way to share information about building green. Their brownstone renovation in “Renovation Nation”; in various magazines like Dwell, Gotham, and The Nest; and they allowed the environmentally friendly construction process to be chronicled on Web sites such as and

David – tell us about your tattoo about perfection and its inspiration. I’ve always struggled with perfectionism all my life, so when Liv was born I got a tattoo on my left wrist that says “There Is No Perfect” and it’s in my own handwriting, which is…well…imperfect! As I get older I see more and more that I do not want perfectionism to be a debilitating loop in my life, rather I want to do things like raise a daughter, build a career, become more eco-conscious, and just strive for my best and be happy with that.

What advice do you have for other parents starting their green living journey?

David Alan Basche can be seen in the hit sitcom “The Exes” on TV Land. He stars as the lovably neurotic “Stuart Gardner,” roommate to Wayne Night and Donald Faison. Season 4 airs this Summer. And while David’s been a series regular on many TV comedies and dramas, he’s also worked in film for Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Paul Greengrass, Shawn Levy, Robert Zemeckis, Michael Patrick King, George Nolfi and more. He’s flirted with Julia Roberts, stolen Tom Cruise’s wife, berated Brooke Shields, married (and divorced) Debra Messing, chased Matt Damon all over New York, yelled at some boxing robots with Hugh Jackman, and snubbed Sarah Jessica and Mr. Big. David is also an outspoken environmentalist, and has been featured on TV’s “World’s Greenest Homes” and “Renovation Nation,” as well as in various magazines like Dwell, Gotham, and The Nest. He and his wife, actress Alysia Reiner (Orange Is The New Black), are involved with many charities including The Cancer Support Community, SAY (Stuttering Association for the Young), Actors for Autism, and Cycle For Survival.

Start small and work your way up! If you can’t go with Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network


Food as Family Medicine:

Gluten Free and Beyond

by Jessica Haney 20

Copyright Š2014 holistic moms network

If there is one thing I prioritize above all else, it’s food.

to have my children miss out on the sugar and artificial colors. I imagine it might be easier for a natural parent

After diet changes brought back my fertility and dramatically

in a mainstream community to have a food sensitivity or

improved mood issues and depression (not to mention

allergy, because it’s clear-cut and not about a judgment

a whole lot of other symptoms and issues, including a

call. I never ask anyone to accommodate us but I do ask

thyroid disorder), I am a huge believer in food being the

for a few minutes of their time to tell me what they are

most important medicine there is. We truly are what we

serving so I can make an appropriate substitute. I don’t

eat, and in the past six years, I’ve been trying to become

have the sense that this has ever come off as ungrateful,

something healthier than the body I built up for the

and I hope it hasn’t!

previous 34. The one time my son’s cousin fed him crackers at my And even so, I still am not doing everything I’d like to be

parents’ 50th anniversary party, he became a different

doing for my family, and for myself.

child. We see similar reactions with sugar, with chocolate, and certainly with any accidental ingestion of artificial

Off gluten, and then some

colors or flavors. Most of the time, he’s a healthy, happy kid, but he suffers from enough not-too-bad stuff even on

I’ve been gluten-free since 2004 and will keep both of my

a GF diet that I just do not make a whole lot of exceptions

kids gluten-free. For my older son, we did a gene test that

in the “treat” category.

showed a likelihood for celiac disease on one side and gluten sensitivity on the other. Several practitioners have

Other questionable habits

intuited that both kids should stay off both gluten and dairy, so I stick to the gluten thing without a budge or an

And yet, I do make exceptions. My son didn’t have any


dairy until age three, and then, when one practitioner recently said she felt — through applied kinesiology —

I want to build strong foundations in my children’s bodies

that he was weak to dairy, we stopped buying even farm

so that they can better tolerate whatever choices they

fresh milk and certainly cheese and yogurt. He was having

make later in life. We are not super hard-liners compared

such bad seasonal allergies for the second year in a row, I

to some great GAPS or Paleo families we know, but we

was determined to take out anything that might be taxing

have been by far the most strict healthy eaters at our

his system.

Expeditionary Learning magnet public school. I’m thrilled that we now have the parent at the helm of Feeding

When the allergies were better but not gone the third

Families Well at our school, and her reputation for a

year — after some detox protocols and acupuncture

mean massaged kale salad is already getting around!

and a whole bunch of stuff — I slacked on the dairy. We still don’t buy real cheese, but we do buy almond cheese

We always — always — bring our own cake/muffin/

that has casein in it and occasionally goat yogurt. We

snacks to birthday parties. I don’t always love the baking

sometimes let him have gluten-free pizza. I’ve never put

if it’s a busy weekend, and I don’t always involve my kids

him on the grain-free GAPS diet because, well, it’s just too

like I’d like to, but even if I bake in a rush, I am happy

hard, and there’s no smoking gun. It was tough for me

Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network


but such a necessity, my IBS was so bad after my second

children have a hot breakfast every morning and never eat

child was born. I had pain after eating any restaurant food

boxed cereal with extruded grains. But they eat plenty of

and eventually any starchy foods.

other things I’m not wild about.

My son has some congestion and some dry skin on his

There’s a lot of room for improvement. If I really had my

upper arms, but he’s a happy kid who enjoys school and

game on, I would be:

this year has better endurance and more of a roll-withthe-punches attitude than ever.

• making coconut yogurt and kefir (from coconut milk without guar gum, which I have got to order if I’m not

I do think it’s okay that I came off the grain-free GAPS

going to make coconut milk myself!)

diet a few months back (after two years), but I would like to ditch any prepared starches like rice crackers and

• making water kefir (which I hope will change soon) and

do more making of my own stuff with nuts and coconut

kombucha if I feel like I can do it safely without letting

flour, which I avoided until recently because I couldn’t

it get moldy, or at least getting it from MTO kombucha,

tolerate it. My children get at least some bone broth in

which really agreed with me when I tried it recently and is

them every day. They get cod liver oil sometimes, but

locally produced

not as regularly as I’d like, and not always the fermented Blue Ice cod liver oil if I don’t have time to mix it with

• cooking with coconut flour and almond flour almost

the more mainstream brands whose lemon flavor they

exclusively (instead of sometimes using GF flours and

currently prefer.


My son can be counted on to eat most any veggie besides

• making lots of fermented foods regularly (and not

squash (which he’ll eat in a muffin or pie without com-

buying them, or not often) and making sure both kids

plaint), but my daughter tends to get by on foods that are

actually eat them

white — gluten-free carbs, cauliflower, potato, apple. She has never met a dried fruit she didn’t like, and I’m pretty

• making beef bone broth and fish bone broth in addition

sure she would benefit from more things green, but peas

to chicken broth, which I make often using my crock pot

in broth is about all I can get, unless she’s starving and

a whole lot more!

takes a shine to green beans. I have a hunch that she’s just a lot more stubborn on all fronts and that once she

• gardening more effectively and using what we grow in

gets out of the preschooler phase and that someday, she

all our meals

really will eat more foods. • trying and finding ways to get more colorful veggies

My personal food scorecard

into my daughter other than putting skin-free zucchini in baked goods

I feel good about a lot of things I do, including regularly


making and using chicken stock/bone broth and soaking

• finding ways to get my daughter to eat more protein

and drying my nuts. We get most of our meat and eggs

that isn’t processed/prepared and green vegetables that

from local sources, though not as direct as we used to. My

are not in the form of baby food pouches Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network

• finding ways to involve my children in cooking more

I want them to understand why we do what we do and to stand by our beliefs without coming off as judgmental of

• making our own almond milk regularly rather than

others who make different choices. This is perhaps the

feeding my kids the stuff in tetra packs with synthetic

most difficult dance!

Vitamin D2 Jessica Claire Haney is a writer, editor and blogger living in Northern

• making my own marshmallows when activities with s’mores come up, and pairing those with homemade grain-free cookies, maybe like the Paleo Parents’ coconut flour non-sugar cookies with a little added ginger and

Virginia. She founded the Arlington/Alexandria chapter of Holistic Moms in 2009, and has two children, aged 8 and almost 4. This year she is celebrating 10 years of being gluten-free and dairy-free. Her personal blog is, and she has just launched a new business directory and resource site for DC-area families:

nutmeg • juicing most days • sprouting If I could do all these things, I would feel better about occasional cheats and treats. We do live in the real world, and I don’t want my kids to rebel later for a feeling of deprivation.

Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network



by Jeffrey Smith This blog is part of a series that explores the themes and issues raised in Farmed and Dangerous, a 4-part satirical web series exploring issues related to the food system and industrial agriculture. If you’re interested in joining the conversation, please contact us at

Why are thousands of physicians advising patients to avoid eating GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) [1] and how did these high-risk foods get onto the market in the first place? The answers are disturbing, even shocking, but may help you get healthy and stay healthy. Foods with added bacterial or viral genes were quietly slipped into your diet two decades ago. Using the excuse that GMOs weren’t that much different, the FDA didn’t require labels or even a single safety study from GMO makers like Monsanto. But a lawsuit forced the agency to release their files and the truth finally came out. FDA scientists repeatedly warned that GMOs could create allergies, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems, and that rigorous safety testing was needed. But the White House had instructed the FDA to promote biotechnology, and Michael Taylor, Monsanto’s former attorney, was put 24

in charge of FDA policy. (Taylor later became Monsanto’s chief lobbyist, and has returned to FDA as US Food Czar.) Can you trust Monsanto with your family’s health? That company that told us that Agent Orange, DDT and PCBs were safe. Now Monsanto’s “Roundup Ready” crops are engineered to withstand their Roundup herbicide, which gets absorbed into the food and can’t be washed off. A 2014 study found Roundup the most toxic of all herbicides and insecticides they tested. According to MIT scientist Stephanie Seneff, Roundup may be “the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions.” She co-authored a seminal paper linking it to including obesity, heart disease, inflammatory bowel, IBS, autism, allergies, MS, Parkinson’s, depression, infertility, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Some GMOs, e.g. corn, have built-in pesticides that break open holes in the stomach of insects. A 2012 laboratory study confirmed that the toxin opens holes in human cells. Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network

And a Canadian study found both the toxin and Roundup

In fact, countless GMO plants, animals, fish, insects and

in the blood of most pregnant women and their fetuses.

bacteria are being developed in labs around the world.

If you don’t trust GMOs, you’re not alone. According

Each could irreversibly contaminate the gene pool.

to a 2013 survey by Hartman Group, over 120 million Americans say they try to avoid them. That number has

Before we replace nature, let’s demand independent,

more than doubled since 2007.

comprehensive long-term safety studies. Until then,


stop feeding us the products produced by this immature When people eliminate GMOs, they (and their physicians) often report more energy, weight loss, better digestion, reduced allergies and skin conditions, and relief from numerous chronic conditions. [3] Veterinarians, farmers and pet owners describe similar improvements with animals taken off GMOs. According to a research review by the American Academy of Environmental Medicine, many of these disorders also afflict lab animals fed GMOs.

science. [1] At medical conferences where I spoke about the health risks of GMOs, I polled the audience asking practitioners to rate themselves how active they were, or planned to be, at prescribing non-GMO diets to patients. [2] Hartman Group Sustainability 2013 presentation on consumer eating preferences. Survey showed 39% of Americans polled “deliberately avoid/reduce” GMOs in daily diet. In 2010, it was 25%. In 2007, about 17%. [3] The Institute for Responsible Technology collects testimonials and case studies about health conditions that may be related to a GMO vs. non-GMO diet. Over many years we have interviewed doctors, nutritionists, and consumers, received numerous emails, and solicited comments from audiences at more 90 events. We also collect statement from farmers, pet owners, and veterinarians about impacts on animals

We believe it is not a coincidence that the rise of these types of health issues in the US population parallels the use of GMOs and Roundup.

The leading consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GMO choices, Jeffrey M. Smith, is the author of the world’s bestselling and #1 rated book on the health dangers of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). His meticulous research documents how

In addition to the health dangers, independent studies also show that GMOs don’t increase yields, don’t solve world hunger and massively increase herbicide use.

biotech companies continue to mislead legislators and safety officials to put the health of society at risk, and the environment in peril. He is the author of Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry

and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.

GMO advocates aggressively deny any evidence against

Mr. Smith has counseled leaders from every continent, campaigned to end the use of

them. According to Nature, a “large block of scientists

genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH or rbST), and influenced the first

[...] denigrate research by other legitimate scientists in

and has been quoted by world leaders and hundreds of media outlets including, The

a knee-jerk, partisan, emotional way.” Tactics include threats, gag orders and termination.

state laws in the United States regulating GMOs. Mr. Smith has lectured in 30 countries

New York Times, Washington Post, BBC World Service, Nature, The Independent, Daily Telegraph, New Scientist, The Times (London), Associated Press, Reuters News Service, LA Times, Time Magazine and Genetic Engineering News. Mr. Smith is also a popular guest on influential radio shows and television programs, such as the BBC, NPR, Fox News, Democracy

The industry’s own research, on the other hand, is widely criticized as “tobacco science,” carefully designed to cover up problems. And just as a Monsanto man guided

Now and the Dr. Oz Show. Mr. Smith was also a Keynote Speaker at the 2013 Natural Living Conference of the Holistic Moms Network. Mr. Smith lives with his wife in Iowa, surrounded by genetically modified soybeans and corn.

FDA policy, GMO review committees worldwide are often stacked with industry representatives who rubber stamp approvals or declare GMOs safe by ignoring data to the contrary. Now FDA is considering approval of GMO salmon, as well as allowing GMO mosquitoes loose in the Florida Keys. Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network


Raw Wild


by Carissa Leventis-Cox


Copyright Š2014 holistic moms network

Two weeks ago, I went on a Holistic Moms Network


nature walk with Matthew Kip, of the Community

Eat The Weeds – a great web resource, he also posts

Gardens at University of South Carolina, to learn

youtube videos on various wild edibles: chickweed,

about wild edibles. It was fascinating watching Matt

wood sorrel and bullbrier 1 and 2.

point out all the edible weeds around us. I couldn’t believe there was so much food along our local river

A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs: Of Eastern

walk. An abundance of food FREE for anyone to eat!

and Central North America (Peterson Field Guide) – a

Yet, we were the only ones enjoying them.

field guide

I have to admit that as I took my turn in trying a

NPR’s Foraging the Weeds for Wild, Healthy Greens – I

little bit of this and a little bit of that, I felt sort of

love that the Holistic Moms Network is so up to date

like a wild animal, all at once one with nature. It

with what is going on in other places! Thanks Toni

was an amazing experience to watch the children

for the link!

especially foraging for their own wild edibles, pointing to various green weeds and asking, “Mama,

The Forager’s Harvest – a guidebook

can I have some? Can I eat that?” and picking some more for later.

Carissa Leventis-Cox is a high raw food veganist and blogger. Discover a whole new world of delicious eats in Mama in

the Kitchen, where she shares helpful tips and delicious

I was very happy to be able to share this wild (yet most natural) experience with my son.

recipes. She is also co-author of Yoga For Cancer and a contributor for PETA Living. Carissa is also a homeschool mama to her son, runs a STEAM based homeschool coop School of the Minds, and serves as the international regional coordinator for Gifted Homeschoolers Forum. Read about

Here are our favorite tastes from the walk:

her musings on parenthood in The Cardinal House.

Chickweed: great as a salad green, tastes very mild. We made a green smoothie with a whole bunch when we got home. Yum. Wood Sorrel (looks like a 3 leaf clover): sour, tastes a little like lemon peel. I found some in my garden and ate it off the ground! Bullbrier: the best taste of the day! I never tasted anything like this. Absolutely delicious! Wish I grabbed a bunch before heading home. It would have made a great raw salad. Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network



Homesteading by Mary Evelyn Lewis Homesteading may seem like a simple and novel concept,

self-sustaining lifestyle, or as simply as “back to basics”

but it actually stems from the Homestead Act of 1862,

living. If you’ve ever canned fresh vegetables to preserve

signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20,

them for the winter months, or sewn your own clothes,

1862. The intent of this act was to encourage Americans to

you have practiced homesteading skills. More and more

move further west and populate more areas of the coun-

people are choosing homesteading as a way of life. But,

try; and to grow resources like timber and food to supply

if you ask a homesteader what it means to them, you will

the growing communities. To become a homesteader back

receive many different answers.

then, you had to be 21 years old, improve the land granted to you by the government, and then file for the deed of

Debbie McLaughlin, who appreciates the efforts of the

title. One other requirement was that you had never taken

original homesteaders, says “Homesteading gives me the

up arms against the U.S. government. Of course, improving

joy of understanding the hard work our forefathers went

the land usually included a lot of back-breaking work, as

through to carve out their own corner of this country.

it was typically virgin prairie or forest.

Also, a true appreciation of how our food is grown.” She isn’t alone, regarding food. Martha Gillis says “I like the


Today, homesteading can be defined as self-sufficient

idea of raising food to eat and knowing what was used

living, learning (and practicing) old-fashioned skills, a

to raise it, without wondering what preservatives and Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network

for growing a few veggies or herbs. If you own a home with a small yard, ditch the lawn and grow a garden instead. For an idea that is over 150 years old, homesteading has stood the test of time. If you are interested in homesteading, it is possible to begin with baby steps. Volunteer to work at a community garden in your city or town. Talk with your local librarian about resources near you. Search the word homesteading at You will find links to books, magazines, blogs and online communities

other additives are in it. Fresh and natural food.” Another prevailing theme for most homesteaders is satisfaction. Make no mistake, homesteaders tend to be determined, talented, creative folks. Martha also shares this, “There is a deep feeling of satisfaction as you enjoy fresh food that you’ve raised, or picked from someone’s harvest that they’ve shared with you.” Community is a large part of homesteading. Let’s face it, we all at some point grow more than we can possibly use ourselves. Many places are happy to reap the benefit of a healthy harvest. Our family donates our extra tomatoes and cucumbers to the local food shelf, and we share with our neighbors. It is amazing the goodwill that grows over a bowl of fresh cherry tomatoes. We don’t have to start from scratch to cook from scratch, unlike our ancestors. There are online communities for homesteaders to find and share information. Also,

focused entirely on homesteading. More and more people are embracing the hard work and time involved to know where their food comes from, and enjoying the smell of freshly turned black dirt and the flavor of a tomato still sun warm from the vine. Mary Evelyn Lewis is an aspiring homesteader and a freelance

homesteading no longer requires acres of land.

writer. She, along with her family, are learning to live sustainably,

Noel Napolitano shares, “I have met city apartment

baby step by baby step. Find out more about her at

dwellers who succeeded in growing almost all of their food, and trading food and work for other things needed.” An apartment with a patio or balcony can provide a space

Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network


©Sam Watson


Every Part of Yourself by Beth Bunchman

Have you ever wondered what your body really needs –

always amplified my depression, reduced my self-esteem,

not only to survive, but to really thrive? If you are anything

and lead to moderate weight loss followed by inevitable

like me, you probably spend countless hours each week

weight gain. Then, a few years ago, I was lead down

(whether you realize it or not) thinking about the foods

an unexpected path of exploration in my life. And after

you eat, as well as those you feed to your children…

months of seemingly random classes, open houses, odd

• What should I make for dinner that will be both

friendships, and uncharacteristic leaps of faith, I found

healthy and delicious?

myself enjoying my life, loving myself, and (coincidentally)

• Which is better for me - sugar or artificial sweetener?

at a healthy, sustainable weight.

• What toxic chemicals make my daughter’s sports drink neon-blue?

It was these other forms of nourishment that I found to

• Are these really words on my nutrition labels?

be the true source of complete wellness for me. Things

But have you ever thought about other forms of

like enjoyable fitness, art, meditation, nature, learning,

nourishment? The things that feed your soul and make

meaningful relationships, and real food have helped me

you feel full and joyous on a deeper level?

feel whole, complete. And when I choose to regularly incorporate these activities into my life, I feel happy and

I struggled with my weight for years, trying just about

vibrant, capable and confident, wise yet grounded.

every diet plan I could find. However, these schemes


Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network

A true sense of wellness comes from the choice to love

of community, meaningful relationships, and a place to

your self wholly. By integrating a host of life choices that

call home makes it easier to find peace in your daily life.

build you up through physical, emotional, spiritual,

Within the home, you can create an environment that

intellectual, and environmental nourishment…or what

soothes the body, mind, and spirit by using candles, essential

I like to call soul foods. However, the ideal variety and

oils, soft or natural lighting, and indoor plants. Rituals

depth of various soul foods varies between individuals.

and routines can also help us create control and consistency in an otherwise chaotic life.

So, what are the soul foods in your life? Grab a piece of paper and write down a few aspects of your life that you

We also thrive on intellectual stimulation. The openness

know you could not live without or activities you think

to learn, grow, and teach promotes intellectual wellbeing

would drastically improve your overall feeling of well be-

by contributing to a sense of passion and purpose in your

ing. What can you do to show your self-love? Here are a

life. This includes: education, career, hobbies, and sharing

few ideas to get you started:


Physically, we put our bodies through a lot each day, so to

All forms of nourishment are highly inter-related, but

really thrive we also need to give our bodies the best fuel

finding your spiritual center, helps bring everything else

and reduce the crud that prevents us from thriving. These

together. Spirituality comes in many forms and includes

fuels include:

everything from organized religion and personal prayer to

• restful sleep that leaves us feeling refreshed and

meditation, self-expression (art, movement, or writing),


spending time in nature, and community.

• nutritious foods that are high in micro- and macro- nutrients (such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds)

We can all survive on much less than we deserve, but why

• and fitness that is intense enough to provide physiological settle for that when we have all the tools we need to really benefit and yet enjoyable enough that it does not lead thrive? Leave your judgments and preconceived notions to negative self-talk

behind this summer and try a few new ways to express

It is also beneficial to remove things that aren’t serving

your love of self – for your own well being, as well as that

us, like: stress, drugs and alcohol, and inflammatory foods

of your family. After all, healthy moms raise healthy families.

(caffeine, sugar, dairy, and gluten).

And as you begin to discover your soul foods, remember to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

We also require a variety of consistent emotional nourishment to feel complete. Emotional nourishment comes from understanding ourselves, cultivating a positive mindset, developing a gratitude practice, coping with challenges, the ability to neutralize and reframe negative self-talk, and finding the joy in everyday life.

Beth Bunchman, MS is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and founder of Second Nature Health Coaching where she specializes in holistic mental health and the gut-brain connection. Beth is known for inspiring moms to own their life experience and make self-care a priority for the betterment of the whole family. Beth is also a wife, mother of three, artist, gardener, and hiker.

Intertwined with emotional nourishment, is the need for a safe and welcoming home and social environment. The security of knowing you have the love of family, support Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network


Don’t Fear Fat

Eat More Fat! by Claudia Pillow, PhD

What if low fat diets made you fat, eggs were good for you

version of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption,

and saturated fat didn’t cause heart disease? New research

and for a host of other biological processes. In addition,

published in the Journal Annals of Internal Medicine

fats provide building blocks for cell membranes and help

found that there’s no evidence to support the notion that

the brain function. They reduce production of the

saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease. In the

inflammatory chemical, cytokines. Fat gives flavor and

words of Mark Hyman, MD, “Fat does not make you fat or

texture making foods more satisfying. Eating enough

sick. Sugar makes you fat.”

healthy fats can also play an important role in women’s reproductive health. From getting pregnant to being

Recently bestselling cookbook author and New York

pregnant to the postpartum period, fats are pretty much

Times columnist, Mark Bittman, joined this small but

essential. According to Dr. Mercola, every person needs fat

growing influential crowd questioning conventional

in his or her diet but understanding what kinds of fat to

thinking about saturated fat. Not only is there no evidence

eat can significantly influence your health.

to support the notion that saturated fat increases heart disease, some research suggests that a lack of saturated fat

The best defense is a good offense- learn more about the

may be damaging. There is also research that concludes

importance of fat in your diet and read about the latest

coconut oil helps promote a reduction in abdominal fat.

research on saturated fats with the links below.

Why do women need fat?


Dietary fat is one of the three macronutrients, along with

5 great resources to learn more about the importance of fat in your diet:

protein and carbohydrates that provide energy for your

Beginner Plan Fats by Joseph Mercola, MD

body. Fat is required to transport vitamins A, D, E and K,

Time for an Oil Change by Mark Hyman, MD

produce hormones, store energy, maintain healthy skin,

Know Your Fats by Mary Enig, PhD

act as antimicrobial agents (caprylic and lauric acid), help

Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, by Udo Erasmus

lower cholesterol levels (palmitic and stearic acids) and

Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife, ND

protect organs. Dietary fats are also needed for the con-

Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network

Latest Research on Saturated Fats: Study Questions Fat and Heart Disease Link The Truth About Saturated Fat What is Bad Fat is Actually Good For You? Fat Doesn’t Make You Fat, Sugar Does A meta-analysis of prospective epidemiologic studies showed that there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.

1 Entertaining Video About Saturated Fat: Fat Head Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network

Claudia Pillow, PhD: Chief Nutrition Officer Hail Merry LLC-Claudia has been studying and working with food for her entire life. A classically trained chef, her food philosophy is grounded by the life sciences, nutrition, and health. In 2007, Dr. Pillo w received a PhD in Health, and as part of the dissertation, developed and tested a celiac disease school-screening tool available on the Hail Merry Blog. Her current research correlates low fat diets to an increased risk for autoimmune disease and Claudia passionately advocates the importance of eating unrefined fats, such as the ones found in nuts, seeds, olives, coconut oil and avocado as part of a healthy lifestyle. In 2010, she coauthored, Gluten-Free Good Health Cookbook: The Delicious Way to Strengthen Your Immune System and Neutralize Inflammation (Agate).  As a resource for the Gluten Intolerance Group, after serving on the Board of Directors, Dr. Pillow lectures about gluten intolerance and teaches gluten-free cooking and baking classes nationally.  Pre-PhD, Claudia worked in the corporate side of the food industry, where she was a product manager for Dorman Roth Foods (now Sargento Cheese) and Soho Natural Beverages, and managed Elizabeth Arden’s corporate dining room. When not busy with food, Claudia can usually be found enjoying time with her family, playing tennis or exploring the globe- just working up an appetite for the next meal! Hail Merry has always trumpeted the benefits of raw unrefined dietary oils. Each one of Merry’s desserts and snacks feature extra virgin coconut oil, raw nuts or raw seeds, or a combination of the three.



at Home By Kaitlin Walker

A member’s reflective essay on the choice to stay home, the pesticide and labor problems with buying strawberries, and the value of her daughter’s time in the garden.

A few years ago, when I was pregnant and working as a teaching assistant for a women’s studies course, a colleague told me, “Don’t eat strawberries.” She had worked with farm laborers and researched methyl bromide (as well as its substitute methyl iodide). “That stuff’s awful, you don’t want it,” she said. “Plus, the work is back-breaking — bending over to the ground all day? And the women I worked with, they wouldn’t talk about it, they never said it, but so many had been raped by a supervisor.” Much of this I knew already. I had been interested in farm labor since I learned about civil rights as a second-grader, and wondered, what are the injustices of my time? I had been concerned about pesticide use since I was in high school and my sister survived a life-threatening and rare form of cancer. And I knew that women in poverty are more vulnerable to violence. Yet having someone I knew tell me all of this again, to my face, made a difference. Strawberries — so often on the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” list of produce with pesticide residue — coalesce so many of the problems with our current food system. And I can do one thing about it: not eat them.


This isn’t to say that I never buy strawberries. As a consumer, I’m not perfect. And my daughter loves strawberries. I bought some really tempting, non-organic strawberries at a farmstand last summer, made popsicles with them, and my daughter even ate them. But then I avoided that last popsicle, knowing that it most likely contained too much pesticide residue. I buy organic strawberries at the store sometimes, but every time I guilt-trip myself, thinking about the people who picked them. When I think about the people who pick strawberries, the mostly Latino/a farmworkers who face so many challenges in our country, I also think about the women and their children. Their experiences with sexual violence, their children exposed to higher rates of pesticides, even at school. And I think about why I’m choosing to be a WAHM. I have enormous respect for my former colleague and the people I’ve met who follow her path. She both creates art and works as an activist. She goes into the fields, learns about what’s happening, and organizes to help. She does performances that reimagine what being a woman and a laborer means. I have enormous respect for other academics, but I’ve found that’s not what I want. I’ve always been too shy to organize as an activist, weeping the day I tried to

Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network

stand on a street corner and get other students to donate

I arrived late to a garden exchange and ended up with

to an environmental group. And I don’t want to work full

dried fava beans. They flourished in my container garden,

time and put my child in daycare for many reasons, one

more than any other plant. That led me to realize that all

of which is that I feel I can do so much more that matters

my strawberries had verticillium wilt, something that as

to me—grow strawberries, make bread, clean my house,

a novice gardener I’d never heard of. I couldn’t afford to

walk and bike more—with the time I have as a stay-at-

throw those pots away, but I could rotate in lettuce, beans,

home parent. It’s not for everyone, and I’m proud of the

calendula, or sunflowers, to name a few. And now I know

graduate student moms I know who are pursuing an

my daughter loves fava beans. Fresh, sweet, and tiny,

academic career. They are such important role models for

she’ll eat them straight out of the pod, doing an ecstatic

girls. I just know that staying at home is for me.

hand-clapping dance when we find another one. They’re the healthiest thing she eats, and I’ve realized that, for

Most of all, what I love about staying at home is being with

me, this is the healthiest way to make a difference.

my daughter every minute. We learn so much together. When she goes out on our patio, she says, “pick. . .eat!” She loves watering the plants and would do it for hours. She’s almost two, and when I call her a “super gardener” she marches in circles singing and dancing to “sup-er garden-er. . .sup-er garden-er.” Gardening and staying at home aren’t easy, but they can be magical. Just this year

Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network

Kaitlin Walker is a WAHM in Silicon Valley who is always learning more about parenting, cooking, gardening, and social justice. She will soon—soon!—finish a PhD in English from UC Davis on domestic labor in California literature. When she’s not waking up early or using nap times to work on her dissertation, you can find her blogging on feminism and alternative education at


Benefits of Eating

Coconut Oil

by Jennifer Saleem


Copyright Š2014 holistic moms network

Feeding your family is a tough balance.

monolaurin and other fatty acids in coconut oil are known to protect against infection from bacteria, viruses,

The one thing I have come to rely on when it comes to

yeast, fungi and parasites. While not having any negative

feeding my family is coconut oil!

effect on beneficial gut bacteria, coconut oil inactivates undesirable microbes.

Here are my top 7 reasons for including coconut oil in my family’s daily diet.

Coconut oil is a powerful antioxidant and protects against free-radical formation and damage.

(Please note that I am NOT making any hard and firm health claims. Coconut oil may or may not have these

Coconut oil is anti-bacterial. By consuming it daily, it kills

same benefits for you and your family.)

bacteria that cause ulcers, throat infections, urinary tract infections, gum diseases, and other bacterial infections.

Coconut oil improves digestion –The saturated fats in coconut oil help control parasites and fungi that cause

There is no right or wrong amount of coconut oil to

indigestion and other digestion related problems such as

consume. If you have not been using it to cook with or

irritable bowel syndrome. The fat in coconut oil also aids

bake with, you might want to start slowly while your body

in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and amino acids,

goes through an adjustment period. Some people have no

making you healthier all around.

issues and others experience “die off” which is basically when your body is ridding itself of toxins and making you

Coconut oil regulates bowel function – coconut oil is

feel kind of lousy. Coconut oil cleanses your system so if

very helpful in regulating your elimination patterns. It

you use too much, too soon, it can make you feel a little

can help address several intestinal ailments such as IBS,

blah. But once your body starts reaping the health benefits,

Colitis, and Crohn’s disease, all of which can foul up your

you will crave coconut oil! Like seriously crave it!

bowel function. Feeding your family is important. We need food to live. Coconut oil improves insulin secretion and utilization of blood

So why not boost your family’s health with a little bit of

glucose! Coconut oil is great for both diabetics and non-

coconut oil each day?

diabetics who want/need to get their blood sugar stabilized. Coconut oil provides a steady source of energy due to its medium-chain fatty acids content. Coconut oil is an anti-microbial known for fighting infections with gusto. The medium-chain fatty acids and monoglycerides found in coconut oil are the same as those in human mother’s milk, and they have extraordinary antimicrobial properties. By disrupting the lipid structures of microbes, they inactivate them. About half of coconut oil consists of lauric acid. Lauric acid, its metabolite Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network

Jennifer Saleem, author of Hybrid Rasta Mama, is a former government recruiter turned stay-at-home mama to a precious daughter (“Tiny”) brought earthside in early 2009. She is passionate about and writes about conscious parenting, natural living, holistic health/wellness, real foods, and more! Coconut oil and all its wonders is a main feature on her blog as well. Jennifer has authored three recipe books; Coconut Oil For Your Skin, Cooking With Coconut Oil, and Salve Made Simple. Additionally, Jennifer just released her first two illustrated print books. I Will Breastfeed Anywhere will empower mothers and their nurslings of all ages to breastfeed when and where they choose! Milkies In The Morning in a gentle night weaning book that Jennifer wrote to ease the transition for her then, four year old daughter. You can learn more about all these book at Jennifer Saleem Books. There are all kinds of creative ways to add more coconut oil into your diet. I outline a few of those in my post, How To Consume More Coconut Oil. Additionally, you can try out some of my recipes in Cooking With Coconut Oil! This recipe eBook is chalk full of simply, nourishing, and family friendly recipes to help you consume more coconut oil! The recipes are all gluten free, many are dairy free, and plenty are vegan friendly!


ŠSam Watson





Copyright Š2014 holistic moms network



Hillsborough County, NH Chapter

In what capacity do you volunteer for HMN?

Health Counselor and before having children I

Southeast Region Chapter Mentor - I provide

owned my own business helping others to improve

mentoring to the chapter leaders in the southeast

their health through individual counseling and

region of the US to help them grow their chapters,

group workshops.

build community within their chapters, and to assist them in bringing more awareness to holistic

Name your top 3 holistic passions:

living within their area.

Recycling/consignment, wholesome real foods, and montessori education

Tell us a little about yourself: I am married and have two children, a 6 year old

Favorite quote, if you have one:

boy and a 2.5 year old girl. My son is in his third

“My heart is in the work” — Andrew Carnegie

year attending a Montessori preschool, and we love it. I enjoy researching whatever topic is

Do you choose to eat a certain way for health reasons?

intriguing me at the moment, reading, organizing,

Or are you passionate about eating a certain way?

taking my kids on adventures, and spending time

I am passionate about eating whole, unprocessed

with my husband. I work part-time as a software

organic, foods, and providing them to my family.

engineer at a technology company. Working

I feel strongly that there is no ONE “right way”

part-time allows me to have me-time and family-

to eat - every person is individual, and you must

time, and to use my brain to solve challenging

listen to your body to determine the best foods

problems, which I enjoy. I am constantly

for you. What is a great food for one person’s

practicing my “work-family balance”, and most

body might be a terrible food for someone else’s

weeks it feels like I have the best of both worlds,

body. Eat wholesome, REAL foods and listen to

but some weeks all the balls I’m juggling end

what your body tells you!

up on the floor! I’m also certified as a Holistic Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network


Aimee Wood

Greater Hartford, CT Chapter In what capacity do you volunteer for HMN?

When my children are grown I hope to become a

I’m the managing editor for The Wise Mom and

full time holistic nutritionist.

Regional Chapter Mentor for New York State and Connecticut.

What are your top three holistic passions? Alternative education, nutrition, and birthing options

Tell us a little about yourself: I’m married to Ian and I have three children whom I homeschool. In addition

What’s your favorite quote?

to homeschooling and volunteering for HMN

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,

National, I am the co-leader of the Greater Hartford

people will forget what you did, but people will

HMN chapter and communication coordinator for

never forget how you made them feel.”

our local homeschool cooperative. Before starting

-Maya Angelou

a family, I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in psychology. I

Do you choose to eat a certain way for health reasons?

then moved to the Washington, DC area and worked

Or are you passionate about eating a certain way?

at a montessori school until my son was born.

When my son was small and having behavioral

When my children were small, I worked on and

problems I learned so much about how diet can

completed my master’s in holistic nutrition. After

influence moods. He wasn’t eating processed foods

living in DC, we moved to upstate NY to be closer to

with preservatives, he was allergic to gluten and

family. There I helped co-lead a chapter in Rochester,

dairy. Removing those items improved his well

NY and also edited and wrote for a local paper, New

being dramatically. Since then, I’ve been a true

Health Digest. We moved to CT in 2012 and I’m

believer in the fact that foods can be healing or they

happy to be relaunching a chapter here as well as

can be a poison.

being a part of the rich homeschooling community.


Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network



Middlesex & Somerset County Chapters / NJ

Name and position on the national team:

Name your top 3 holistic passions:

Technical Coordinator responsible for managing

Green Living, Holistic Healthcare, Healthy Eating

Online Member Community. Favorite quote, if you have one: Personal background (children, spouses, education,

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

careers, hobbies, etc):

Albert Einstein

2 children, BS in Imaging & Photographic Technology, MS in Instructional Design, PMI certified Project Manager. Have worked as a Corporate Trainer, an Adjunct College Professor, IT Project Manager. Have taken several year-long apprenticeships and courses in herbal & homeopathic medicine. Currently working on Applied Arts Program for Handwork Teacher Education.

Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network



Di Iorio

Bergen County Chapter, NJ In what capacity do you volunteer for HMN? As HMN Financial Coordinator I manage all aspects of HMN Chapter finances, including tracking of individual Chapter Quarterly Expense Allowances (QEA), expenses, fundraising, check advances and reimbursement checks. Tell us a little about yourself: I am married to the best guy out there! Steve and I have been married for almost 13 years and we are parents to Sophie and Steven. I am a forensic accountant by trade, but my favorite role in life is to be part of the Di Iorio Family as a wife & mom. My favorite hobby is to read great books aloud with my family while cuddling with the kiddos. Name your top 3 holistic passions: Organic Learning (I am a homeschool mom), acupuncture and essential oils. Favorite quote, if you have one: “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. ” Hebrews 12:11 Do you choose to eat a certain way for health reasons? Or are you passionate about eating a certain way? Or do you have a favorite recipe to share (This issue is all about Food Choices). My family eats mainly real foods and we follow a Paleo/ Weston Price approach in order to reduce inflammation, allergies and prevent auto immune diseases. My family loves this dessert:

Coconut Oil Fudge Ingredients: 1 cup extra virgin coconut oil 1/4 cup coconut milk 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4 cup raw honey 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract pinch of sea salt Instructions: I​ combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and beat on high speed until the mixture is creamy and smooth — about 5 minutes.​Then, I transfer the mixture to a loaf pan with waxed paper and place it in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Once it’s ready I just cut it into 1-inch pieces. These will keep just fine in the freezer for a few months, though it is doubtful they will last that long :) And this is my favorite breakfast recipe: Chia Pudding Ingredients 1 cup coconut milk 2 Tbsp pure raw honey 1 tsp vanilla ¼ cup chia seeds Fruit, fresh or frozen or dried (I love sun dried goji berries in it) Walnuts for topping Instructions Mix ​all the ingredients in a small container. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning top with fruit & nut and serve.


Copyright ©2014 holistic moms network

Copyright Š2014 holistic moms network


©Maegan Dougherty Photography





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The Wise Mom, June 2014  

Welcome to the June 2014 issue of The Wise Mom, the member magazine of the Holistic Moms Network! Enjoy this issue's theme about nutritiona...

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