Monday, December 8, 2014

Do I Need to Take Supplements and if so, How Can I Tell if a Supplement is any good?

Many people ask me if I think supplements are necessary and the answer is yes.  While I do think that food is the best way to get the nutrients that we need, there are a few basics that I think everyone needs even if they are diligent and very careful about what they eat.  The reason behind this is, we live in a sea of toxins, our soil has been depleted of vital minerals and nutrients, many of us are stressed and sleep deprived and many have digestive problems making it difficult to absorb nutrients.  All of these factors add up to needing some additional help.  

I recommend these basics: Omega 3's, B-complex, and Minerals. I think probiotics can also be very beneficial.

Below is a quick checklist that will help you to choose quality supplements.  I hope this is helpful!!

Nutritional Supplement Checklist

q    Natural Vitamin E in an esterified form  (d-alpha tocopherol, natural vitamin E succinate, non-GMO)

q    Vitamin B6 in the form of pyridoxal-5-phosphate or P5P

q    Vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamine

q     Folate or 5 methyl-tetrahydrofolic acid (NOT Folic Acid which is difficult for many to utilize)

q    Inclusion of organic whole super foods like organic nettle leaves, wheatgrass juice, barley grass juice,
     chlorella, or camu camu berries, etc

q    Amino Acid chelated minerals-preferably from a reputable manufacturer like Albion.

q    Avoid all products that include corn, wheat, soy, hydrogenated oil, aspartamine, maltodextrin, sucralose, and artificial colors like Blue#1, Blue #2, Green #3, Red #40, Red #3, yellow #6, etc. (check out Centrum and One a Day!!)

q    Choose products in capsule form over tablet

q    Ensure that manufacturer is certified for Good Manufacturing Practices, (GMP)

The more of the above factors that are included in a supplement the higher the quality and usually a little more costly but well worth it and much more effective.

Brands I recommend: 
Xymogen**
New Chapter
Douglas Labs*
Twin Labs
Jarrow
Metagenics*
Ortho Molecular **
Thorne Research*
Pure*
VRP.com*
Meal replacement Shake –Living Fuel, Jay Robb, Shakeology

* These can be found online.
**I carry both the Xymogen and Orthomolecular lines.  If you’d like to place an order for either one of these brands, please e-mail me cindy@alivingblance.net

 If it is more convenient for you, I can set up a direct online account for you with Xymogen, to receive 10% off and no shipping costs or sales tax.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Are you toxic? A 10 Question Quiz



WARNING: There could be a "toxic cocktail" brewing inside of you as you read this!
How? You ask?

Think about it...

Most of us have had years of exposure to GMO’s, pesticide sprayed foods, processed sugar laden food and drinks, air and water pollution, chemicals in cosmetics, and more.

All of these ingredients have conspired together to create a toxic wasteland inside your body.  That's why you probably don't feel as energetic or healthy as you might like and probably have more aches and pains than you think you should.

Yes, I know it sounds bleak but I need to lay down the truth for you.

But I do have good news for you because this quick Body Toxin Assessment can instantly show you how toxic you really are…and how to reverse the damage.

For just a few moments of your time, you can get an "under the hood" at what's going on inside your body and get an action plan to lose that holiday pounds and purge your body of toxic junk.

  1.  Are you overweight or obese?

     
     
  2.  Do you have hormonal imbalances or symptoms of such (difficulty losing weight, extreme fatigue, low sex drive, blood sugar/insulin problems, etc...)?

     
     
  3.  Over the past 10 years, has the majority of your food intake been from non-organic foods?

     
     
  4. Do you live in an urban area or big city?

     
     
  5. Have you taken antibiotics more than 4 times in your life?

     
     
  6.  Do you have eczema, acne, skin rashes?

     
     
  7. Are you constipated or have trouble passing normal and regular (at least 2 per day) bowel movements?

     
     
  8.  Do you have (or have you had) mercury/silver fillings?

     
     
  9. Do you use commercial household cleaners, cosmetics, hair dyes, or antiperspirants?

     
     
  10.  Do you eat processed or fast food more than once per week?

     
     
If you answered yes to 4 or more of these questions, you might benefit from a gentle, safe, 30 Day whole body detox.

Lose weight, feel energized again, sleep like a baby, get rid of cravings for just $97.
Join me for a 30 day detox that I will be hosting beginning January 15th.  Please click here to find out all the details and to Register.  Read more →

Register by December 12th for only $67 and save 30%!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Save the Date!!!


Join me, January 15, 2015 to begin a 
Life Changing
30 DAY DETOX

WHAT YOU WILL GET:

1. An opportunity to get rid of:
  • Bloating
  • Weight gain
  • Belly Fat
  • Low energy
  • Food addictions and cravings
  • Skin eruptions
  • Chronic constipation
  • Pain/migraines
  • Even depression and anxiety

2. An Opportunity to learn about your body, how it works and what it needs in order to serve you well.

3. Downloadable Notebook which includes: ( $125 value)
  • Eating plan/menu for 30 days that will turn your body around
  • Amazing gluten and dairy free recipes
  • Self assessment quizzes
  • Sections teaching about body systems and how they relate to chronic disease: including hormones/adranals, your digestion, detoxification systems.
  • How to use food as medicine
  • Discussion about supplements
  • How lifestyle changes can support you

4. Five Weekly webinars to help you understand your body with Q & A time ($500 value)

5. One on one support (free private 50 minute consult with me-( $100 value)

6. Group support accessed via a private Facebook account

7. 30% off cooking class

8. Learn how we become toxic.
 
10. Learn how to protect your unborn child from toxins

11. Easy steps to lighten our toxic load.

12. An opportunity to understand the importance of detoxification and how it relates to your overall health, energy, and weight management. (priceless)

13. Easy Access at anytime from anywhere with recorded webinars and Facebook.

What previous participants have said:

"Cindy really knows her stuff. I just finished, for the third time, her detox class (first webinar format–liked it). Each time, another piece becomes clearer thanks to her personal way of teaching. Lost 15lbs and a LOT of fat over 60 days, also started running again (20yrs since last time), made some necessary dietary changes. I'm wearing clothes that haven’t fit in years, feeling lighter and better by the day. I appreciate Cindy’s way of teaching nutrition very much!"  Vicki R

"There were so many firsts for me… This was the first time I could function off of my anti-depressant. The first time I’ve studied the effects of nutrition on my brain. The first time someone has listened to my particulars and had suggestions that actually worked. You are so fun and I enjoyed our class so much. Thank you for leading us.”  Shannon S

"I have been struggling with food allergies for years with stomach distension and cramping as a result, and have tried many different remedies with little to no result. Then I had the opportunity to participate in your Detox Program and for the first time in my life, experienced relief and healing of my stomach and intestinal tract. I would highly encourage anyone to take the opportunity to go through the program and heal their system and gain an incredible amount of knowledge in the process. Thank you Cindy for putting together such an in-depth educational program you made a huge difference in my life."  Michael B


Have access to this life changing program for just $67 by signing up now! That’s a 30% savings off the regular price of $97.  After December 12th the price will increase to $97.  Bring a friend and get and additional $20 off.

January 15th, 6:00 PM, PST is the start date and time of 
This Complete 30 Day DETOX Program

To Register: email cindy@alivingbalance.net or call 949-370-9843











Gluten Free Sweet Potato Brownies


Makes 15 brownies



While everyone else is posting pumpkin pie and stuffing recipes, I'm posting chocolate recipes!! This might seem strange at first, but when you understand the benefits of raw cacao and organic chocolate, you might change your mind.  Chocolate is one of the highest food sources of Magnesium, which many have called the magnificent mineral.  Magnesium has over 300 mechanisms in our bodies and has powerful natural relaxing properties and who doesn't need more of that as we step into the holiday season!

 3 small sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2  cups)
 20 medjool dates-pitted
 1 cup of almonds (ground until a course flour consistency)
 3/4 cup of buckwheat or brown rice flour 
 1/4 cup succanat or coconut sugar (brown sugar if you're in a pinch)
 ½  tsp Real Salt
 1/3 cup of raw cacao/or organic coco powder
 2 tsp vanilla extract
 ¼ cup of pure maple syrup
 20 drops Liquid Stevia
 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
 2-4 tablespoons lite coconut milk 

Start by pre-heating the oven to 350, then peel the sweet potatoes. Cut them into small chunks and place into oven for about twenty minutes.  Once they are perfectly soft and beginning to fall apart, remove them and put them a food processor with the pitted dates – process until it forms a nice creamy mix.  Add all the remaining liquid ingredients (use just 2 T. of the coconut milk) and process.

Put the dry ingredients into a bowl, mix to blend.  Add the sweet potato mix and stir well. If the batter is too dry and the dry ingredients will not hold together, then add an additional 1-2 T. of coconut milk.

Pat mixture into a baking dish lined w/parchment paper and cook for about twenty minutes, until you can pierce with a fork and bring it out clean. Remove the tray and allow it to cool for about ten minutes – this is really important for time to stick together! Remove the brownies from the tray, wait another few minutes before cutting them into squares – then dig in and enjoy!

Aloha, a healthy lifestyle inspired brand has some more great healthy recipes over here https://aloha.com/mag/recipes

Something else to nurture yourself with during this season is a once a week nice hot epsom salt bath with lavender oil.  The epsom salts are full of magnesium that will help relax those aching muscles, sulfur to detox, and the lavender oil will sooth your mind. I hope you will gift yourself with a little bit of time to experience and enjoy this little slice of heaven.






Friday, November 14, 2014

Unbelievably Easy Raw Chocolate Macaroons

Raw Chocolate Macaroons


Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups raw, organic cacao or cocoa powder
1/3-1/2 cup raw organic honey
20 drops liquid stevia
1/3 cup raw, organic coconut oil/butter (liquid)
1 TB. vanilla extract
¾ tsp. Real Salt
3 ½ cups dried, unsweetened coconut flakes, chopped

Instructions:
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients well. Then use a spoon to scoop rounded mounds onto parchment paper.  Freeze overnight or at least a few hours.  Keep them in the freezer until a few minutes before serving.

These little goodies are so good and rich that it takes only one or two to satisfy your cravings.

Cacao is one of the best food sources of magnesium, that mag-nificent mineral that relaxes and calms us.

Coconut oil is a wonderful source of a fat that helps to soothe the digestive tract

Monday, October 6, 2014

Gluten and Dairy Free Holiday Cooking Class



The holidays are not far away and if you're like me, my favorite part of this season is preparing wonderful food that I know my family and guests will love.  Nothing makes me happier than making a beautiful table and filling it with mouth watering dishes that do not put our bodies into a stupor afterwards; dishes with a little something different, that will have guests raving and satisfied but not feeling like they need to be wheeled out when it's time to leave.  Last year, my tables were laden with a gluten and dairy free fare that left us all feeling very satiated and happy.

I want to share these dishes with you so you can create your own gluten and dairy free holiday dinner without feeling intimidated.  On Sunday, November 16th at 5:30 PM I will be doing just that with a cooking class. I will be demonstrating how these dishes are prepared and then, of course, you will enjoy eating them.   Bring your spouse or a friend, it's more fun!  The menu and the particulars are below.

Menu


Tarragon Shrimp Salad
Orange Glazed Cornish Game Hens
Savory Quinoa Stuffing
 Rosemary Sweet Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts
Gluten and Dairy Free Pumpkin Pie
Coconut Whipped Cream


Date & Time: Sunday, November 16th 5:30-8:00 PM
Location:  The beautiful Blue Heron Studio in Laguna Canyon
Cost: $60 per person/$110 per couple


Ingredients are organic whenever possible and carefully hand picked.  Although you will experience some hands on, my classes are more in the format of a cooking demo.

 Notes:
  • Space is limited to 12 Guests so please register early to ensure your place at the table.  Payment received reserves your spot.
  • Because of the nature of the class, the fee is nonrefundable but is transferable.
  • Classes are casual and always lots of fun!
Menu is subject to change depending on availability of ingredients.

    Blue Heron Portal Studio, 3337 Laguna Canyon Rd. A, Laguna Beach, 92651: www.blueheronportal.com






    The United States of Sickness




    We are rated in the top 10 of the sickest nations in the world with the highest medical costs.
    Toxins, Sugary Foods, Stress, Lack of Exercise, (The Unknown X Factor)
    Underlying factors such as toxins, over consumption of highly processed sugary foods, increased stress, little to no exercise are all contributing factors but there is something perhaps more insidious that most of us are unaware of.

    What I’m Seeing in My Functional Medicine Practice
    I'm seeing more clients with digestive problems combined with arthritis and hypothyrodism which are both autoimmune diseases.  An autoimmune disease is when the immune system gets hyper-vigilant due to its desire to cool inflammation somewhere in the body. Our immune system which is supposed to protect us, over does it and starts to attack a gland, organ, or joints in the process. The inflammation that it's trying to cool, most often originates in a compromised digestive tract and/or detoxification system (liver).  Other autoimmune diseases including, MS, lupus, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Diabetes, Psorisis have increased causing both physical and emotional pain and are often debilitating.
    Autism, ADHD and mood disorders which include bi-polardepression and anxiety, are not considered autoimmune disorders but are also on the rise in astounding numbers which is disheartening and can be extremely costly.

    Inflammation and Links to Genetically Modified Foods (GMO’s)
     There is a common link that is beginning to appear between disorders of the brain and the autoimmune system. The link is inflammation, which is actually nothing new but we have not done a very good job getting to the source of the inflammation. The biggest source may actually be from our food.  Food that has been genetically modified may be damaging our digestive systems, increasing the toxic load on our livers, and disrupting our hormonal systems, all of which influences brain function and overall health.  
    Knowledge is Power

    There are 7 GMO crops that are abundant in the American food supply either directly or indirectly: Corn, Sugar Beets, Soy, Alfalfa, Canola oil, Cottonseed, Papaya. For starters, avoid soy,canola and cottonseed oils and eat only organic sources of corn, soy and papaya. Unless specified, sugar is from the sugar beet.
    See the movie Genetic Roulette and go to http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com to find out more. 

    To your health and well-being!

     Cindy

    Wednesday, October 1, 2014

    Making a difference for those on the Autistic Spectrum

    There are multiple etiologies for autism.  It is important to cast a wide net to discover as many areas of abnormality as possible to determine which treatments are best. 

    The three Ps of Autism:
    • Predisposing factors - genetic, nutritional, environmental, etc.
    • Precipitating factors - vaccines, illness, etc.
    • Propagating factors - oxidative stress, nutrient deficiencies, etc.
    Common imbalances that are seen in autism include: 
    ·                                 derangement of the immune system via gut imbalances
    ·                                 compromised methylation ability
    ·                                 compromised sulfation (lowered glutathione)
    Potential Treatments:
    1. Restore intestinal Health and Balance
    2. Treat Food Sensitivities (gluten, casein and soy) to rid of opiate –like peptides
    3. Eliminate sources of toxins & support body’s own detox process (methylation & sulfation)
    4. Restore balance between excitatory and inhibitory transmitters in the brain (use of GABA-L-theanine)
    Removing potential toxins:

    • Dietary changes-remove gluten and possibly casein
    • Eating organic, especially animal products
    • Eating GMO free
    • Filtered water is a must
    • Assess environment

    Repair the Gut:
      Remove irritants-allergenic foods-mainly gluten-possibly Casein
    •   Test for and get rid of yeast and bad bacteria overgrowth
    •   Test for and remove pathogens and parasites
     Heal the Gut with:

    •   IgG, 
    •   Glutamine
    •   Re-innoculate with Probiotics
    •   Use Enzymes and HCL to aid in digestion
    •   Vit D

    Adequate Sleep-Ca/Mg, valarian root, melatonin, L-theanine

    Helpful Testing Options:
    Blood/Serum: Homocysteine levels-measure of compromised methylation (liver & brain)
    Test for celiac disease and/or gluten and casein intolerance, Vit D status, folic acid levels RBC magnesium and folate.
    Genova Labs-Organix Testing   
    Genova Labs--Gut permeability, pathogens, and function
    Genova Labs: Gene testing

    To help you implement the 3 P's of Autism, please call me  @949-370-9843.  

    www.alivingbalance.net



    Saturday, September 27, 2014

    Gluten Free Cookie Cups

    PREP TIME: 10 MINUTES
    COOK TIME: 10 MINUTES
    TOTAL TIME: 35 MINUTES
    YIELD: 12 OATMEAL COOKIE CUPS
    INGREDIENTS
    2 1/2 cups gluten free oats
    3 tablespoons ground flax-meal
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/3 cup real maple syrup 
    2 tablespoons tahini or almond butter
    1/4 cup coconut oil
    3 pitted dates finely chopped
    1 very ripe banana, mashed well
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    For Serving: Coconut milk or yogurt*             
    Small handful toasted or raw nuts, cocao nibs**, and fresh berries 

    INSTRUCTIONS:
    1. In a large mixing bowl mix together the oats, ground flax and salt.
    2. In a small saucepan, heat the maple syrup until it begins to bubble.  Stir the nut butter in with the maple syrup. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix the wet mixture with the dry oats until completely combined and all the oats are moistened. Cover the mixing bowl and place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to chill.
    3. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with butter or oil .
    4. Remove the dough from the freezer. Divide the dough evenly among the 12 muffin cups. Starting in the middle, press down lightly with your fingers to form a bowl. Press from the bottom up to form the dough around the sides of the cups. If the dough is sticking to your hands try wetting them lightly, but just using messy hands worked best. :-)
    5. Bake the cups for 10-15 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden around the top. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes, then run a butter knife around the edges and carefully dump the cups out.
    6.  Allow the cups to cool or eat warm (this is the best way!). Serve the cups IN A BOWL and pour in some coconut yogurt, coconut milk or goat’s milk.  Garnish with fresh berries, cocao nibs(you can substitute with very dark chocolate chocolate chunks in a pinch) and nuts. EAT!
    * Link for a very easy coconut yogurt recipe:  http://alivingbalance.blogspot.com/2014/08/coconut-yogurt-recipe.html

    *Cacao Nibs: is chocolate in its purest form, yielding all of its antioxidant benefits. They are the cacao beans that have been roasted but not processed with alkali and are probably the best dietary source of magnesium, which is a wonderful little mineral that naturally relaxes us.  The cacao bean is also a great source of tryptophan which helps with moods. No wonder you crave chocolate when you're PMSing.

    Monday, August 4, 2014

    What Makes Food Sensuous?



    Every time I watch a foreign French film portraying the heroine as a chef, I feel as if I've  been watching a love affair.  A love affair with food. The affair is not only expressed by the care and passion in the preparation of the dishes (that would be a one sided affair) but also with the actual experience of tasting and eating in a truly present way with great appreciation and pleasure.

    After raptly watching the passion, love, and appreciation being exchanged between the chef and her patrons, I always feel inspired to make incredibly complex dishes, with the best ingredients for all those I care about. Unfortunately, this inspiration lasts about 48 hours max. After I've spent copious amounts of time finding the perfect ingredients, cleaned boat loads of pots and pans and have made a complete mess of my kitchen and I'm exhausted,  I realize that while I love making wonderful food, I am really best at the appreciation aspect of the love affair.

     I do love to create.  I do receive great satisfaction serving food that looks beautiful, tastes wonderful and will nourish the body, but I do not come close to the real chefs who seek the best ingredients and will spend hours in the kitchen to perfect a sauce or a dish.

     Even though I do think of food as medicine and such an important aspect to feeling good and keeping our bodies whole, I find myself spending less and less time in my kitchen!  I'm there less, mainly because I'm putting more time into what I'm even more passionate about, learning as much as I can about how the body heals itself given the right tools and then teaching it to you and helping the people who come to me truly heal.  With my time being spent here, I'm finding that I'm having to leave recipe development up to others.  

    One site that I love to check out often, not only because this young lady is a wonderful writer, but because she also knows her flavors, and textures and has a love affair with food is www.sproutedkitchen.com. Her husband has a love affair with his camera so there are delicious photos to compliment the recipes.  Sara Forte is a new mama, so her postings are not as frequent as they used to be, but there is a plenty of content already there to make it very inspiring.  

    On August 20th, I will be presenting a cooking class for a little summer romance: making a 
    Summer Squash Pasta with Green Goddess Dressing, Coconut Yogurt, Raw Chocolate
     Macaroons, a Whole Food Protein Shake and more.  Click below to find out more.
     http://alivingbalance.blogspot.com/2014/08/a-special-summer-cooking-class.html

    What makes food sensuous is attention to detail, a love to create and an immense appreciation of wonderful flavors, textures, and a touch of fat.  Yes, I said fat-good fat which includes fresh butter, coconut oil and olive oil.  Bon Appetit!

    A Special Summer Cooking Class!

       
     Good Wholesome Fresh Food Made With Love 

    Presented by: Cindy Dupuie

    Menu

    Whole Food Shake

    Figs and Goat Cheese

    Summer Squash Pasta w/Green Goddess Dressing

    Coconut Yogurt
    (we’ll start this in class, you will finish fermentation at home)
    Raw Coconut Macaroons

    We’ll be making and tasting dishes that are quick, delicious that support your Thyroid and Digestive system.

    Class will be held on Wednesday, August 20th 10:30 AM to 12:30 at the Blue Heron Portal Studio in Laguna Beach.
       To make a reservation please call (949) 370-9843 or e-mail cindy@alivingbalance.net . Receipt of payment reserves your place at the table.  Credit cards are accepted.  Deadline to register is Sat. August 16th.
    Cost: $45/person (includes mason jar for yogurt)

    Notes: Space is limited to 12 guests.  Please register early to ensure you a place at the table.  Payment received reserves your spot. Because of the nature of the class, the fee is nonrefundable but is transferable

    Coconut Yogurt Recipe




    For those of you who have an intolerance to dairy but love ice cream and yogurt, then I have a treat for you!  This easy, peasy recipe for coconut yogurt will knock your socks off!  If I had known it would be this easy and tasty, I would have made it years ago.

    All you need is a clean Mason jar, a 14 oz. can of coconut milk (the full fat kind-no skimping here) (I like using either Trader Joe's or Native Forest brands as their cans are BPA free), and 1 tsp of your favorite probiotic powder or capsule equivalent.  

    Put the coconut milk with the probiotic in the mason jar, hand seal the jar, shake and place in your oven, next to the oven light for 24 hours. Remove and keep in the refrigerator until it disappears.  That's it!

    The yogurt will be runny at room temperature, more like a kefir, but sets up very nicely in the refrigerator. I think there's a natural sweetness to this yogurt and it feels decadent in my mouth.  I love this over any fresh fruit.

    For those of you that are interested in the nutritional benefits of coconut milk, here are some fun things to know.

    Coconut milk does have a fairly high fat content, mainly in the form of MCT or Medium Chain Triglycerides.  Many fats can actually cause inflammation but the fat in coconut milk is easily digested and absorbed. It soothes as well as heals.   Coconut milk, with its MCTs, has antimicrobial properties which help prevent herpes, H-pylori, yeast, and giardia. It does all of this, while putting little strain on the digestive system and providing a quick source of energy as well.

    Even if you can tolerate milk, I hope you will try out this little treat that is so good for you!


    1. Thampan, P.K. 1994. Facts and Fallacies About Coconut Oil. Asian and Pacific Coconut Community, p.8
    2. Kiyasu G.Y., et al. 1952. The portal transport of absorbed fatty acids. Journal of Biological Chemistry 199:415

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