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Successful Seasonal Immunity

The other night, I was walking down Pearl street here in downtown Boulder after a yummy birthday dinner  for my son (Happy Birthday Ari!!), and I found myself shivery cold as we walked back to our car. This week the weather really shifted here in Colorado.  There has been gusting wind, snow, and some super chilly nights.

I have heard of many lingering coughs, flus, and cold season symptoms sneaking up as we make the transition to colder days, and darker nights.


The seasonal transition towards winter is surely before us (if you are in the northern hemisphere that is) and with that comes a big shift for the body and our delicate (yet resilient) immune systems.


Synching up with the season is a safe status to secure.


With the holidays right around the corner AND the weather changing, a little extra self care could be just what you need to stay strong, vital and in good shape for the weeks to come.


We have the remarkable capability to heal ourselves. The winter dry climate presents us many challenges in keeping our immune system strong, therefore is important to make choices in the way of health to give ourselves the chance to thrive through every season especially winter.


The body is a wise immunity warrior.


Building our immunity or Protective Qi, wards off either diseases from viruses and weather influences. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine teachings, protective qi is derived from essential substances in food and inhaled air quality.


Here are a few tips for a successful immune system as the seasons change.


  1. Synch UP: Take the time to prepare whole foods seasonal foods, rich in all the essential nutrients to give yourself a strong foundation that will benefit you for every season.


Highly refined foods lack most minerals, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and much of the protein required for proper immune function. Avoid refined carbohydrates, hydrogenated oils, pasteurized dairy products, white sugar, and meats containing nitrates and replace with seasonal whole foods high in protein, natural fat, that are perfectly matched for the season’s health challenges.  


Stick to a diet high in whole foods such as organic veggies and fruits, natural meats and fish, whole grains, and nuts and seeds. Eating in tune with the seasons will naturally tune your body to the seasonal challenges and strengthen accordingly.


  1. Oil Up: Omega-3 oils are a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Omega three oils in the form of either DHA/EPA, which are available in cold- water fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardine; or alpha-linoliec acid, which is the fatty acid found in certain plants, such as flax seed, pumpkin seed, soy bean products and walnuts. They are some of the “good” fat that is necessary for healthy development and immunity. For many, a nutritional supplement may be the best option. Not only do we need omega-3 three oils, but also the essential vitamins and mineral for their absorption. Fresh vegetables, seafood, eggs, nuts and seeds come rich in these vitamins B6, A, E as well as minerals magnesium, zinc, copper, and selenium.


A Study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AUG 2002) recommends the use of Omega-3 oils therapeutically for activating immune response. . EFA’s also give the added insulation that keeps the tissues moist, the nervous system strong and the body full of energy and insulation.


  1. Herb UP: Another study published spring of 2004 in the Journal of Internal Medical Research indicating black Elderberry extract (sambucus nigra L.) reduces flu symptoms and shortens the duration by more than 50%. Due to the challenge of the increasing flu risk in that we have experienced nation wide, this may be one of the keys to staying healthy through the winter.


  1. Tune UP: The benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Chinese herbs are priceless when it comes to building immunity. They have the incredible ability to be adaptogenic, which will either tonify or strengthen the system. They treat the individual not just the symptom and have a very efficacious quality that works quickly and effectively.


This is similar with other ancient medicines such as homeopathic medicine and ayurvedic medicine. Find out who your local practitioners are and lean on them during these times when our immune systems are challenged.



  1. Warm UP: Lastly, remember the harsh weather conditions are a challenge to the system. The Chinese believe that all the major pathogens enter the body born on wind. The line of points across the back of the neck is the weak spot known as the wind gate. Covering this area in times of harsh weather, such as wind and cold will help to prevent illness. Wearing turtlenecks, scarves and many warm layers made of natural fibers is not just and old wives tale. “Dress for the season not the day” is a well-known approach to keeping your body warm, and strong.


We have at our fingertips so many of nature’s gifts that work well in our bodies to protect, and strengthen.

Nature’s pharmacy and menu is endless.

Connecting back to the basics, the simplicity, and the wisdom that our own planet has to offer is truly a beautiful path to overall health, vitality, and immunity.

Keep cozy and stay healthy.









The Science of Serenity

  Most of us are incredibly busy, some what overwhelmed or juggling to keep everything afloat in our personal and professional lives.  Life is full, rich, and more dynamic then ever.


These past few weeks, whether it’s the change of seasons or the interesting and intense astrology we have been experiencing, I have noticed day-to-day stress and overwhelm seem to have gotten more intense than usual.


My clients are showing up more frazzled, my friends are more overwhelmed, busy, and out of balance, and I feel like we rarely get a break from the challenges of day-to-day.

There is more runaway stress than usual. 




I, like most of us, oscillate on the stress spectrum regularly -  parenting 2 teenagers, running my business and intending to fit in enough personal and self care time.


My biggest lesson from my times of intense stress and overwhelm have helped me to realize that the only thing I really have control over is my response to the stress, and how well I take care of myself in the face of a colorful, emotionally rich life.


In the midst the stressful storms, I realize I spend A LOT of time working on creating my personal strategies for SERENITY.


I am so deeply committed to keeping my CALM that on some days; it is all I can focus on.


Serenity is not freedom from the storm, but peace within it..


So, in the name of finding our SERENITY SECRETS collectively, so we can live into the most balanced version of ourselves, I put together my favorite STRESS REDUCING, SERENITY INDUCING practices and tips for you to check out.


Your hormones will be happier (for sure), your eating will improve (hallelujah), and you will sleep more deeply (thank Goddess).

My favorite strategies to do (and not to do) to source my serenity.




As I mentioned, there is not always much we can do about a stressful situation.   The only thing we can control is our reaction to it. My favorite equation, courtesy of Jack Canfield – author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, goes like this:


Event + Response = Outcome

Most of us spend a lot of time trying to change the stressful events in our lives. This often leaves leads us in a futile effort that is not so effective.


Where we really have the power in our RESPONSE. The reason I consider this a mindfulness practice, is because to change our response takes awareness, intention, and discernment.





What you eat has a big impact on your serenity success. First, food supplies many of the precursors and building blocks to both our hormones and our neurotransmitters. Second, the state of our GUT (our second brain) has an even bigger impact on our mood, and serentiy.

Yes, if we eat stress-reducing foods, those precursors will boost stress reducing hormones and neurotransmitters, or vice versa. AND… our stomachs will also be happier – literally – because 90% of our serotonin is made in our digestive tract.


My favorite stress-reducing foods are:


Dark Chocolate – In one study, dark chocolate was shown to reduce cortisol levels in women


Avocado – Full of good fats, and known to regulate your blood sugar and your mood – keeping stress down!


Root Veggies – In food energetics, foods that grow down in to the earth, bring us down into the earth as well. This is good when it comes to stress. Downward energy is the opposite of being stuck “in our heads”, thinking too much, and especially, worrying too much.


Wild Salmon – full of omega 3 essential fatty acids, and you will find that eating a regular serving of wild salmon improves your mood, and decreases anxiety by up to 20% (Brain Behavior and Immunity)


Fermented Foods – As I mentioned, your GUT is your second brain. When you fill up on good probiotic rich fermented foods, you boost your serotonin producing gut flora, transmitting good stress and behavior regulating signals to the brain via the vagus nerve.


BEWARE of these food tricksters:


Sugar – Sugar depletes the good feeling minerals in your brain such as the natural mineral, lithium. Sugar also messes up your blood sugar levels making any anxious feelings much worse.


Stimulants – Stimulants are known to directly communicate with your adrenal glands to and boost up anxiety producing hormones to0 much, creating higher cortisol levels and more sensitive blood sugar over all. Be careful when you are going through a stressful period to keep your coffee intake down to 1  cup or less  per day.





Many supplements will boost up your calming neurotransmitters and simply make your RESPONSE (see #1) easier to manage.   Here are my favorites.


Omega 3’s – Omega 3 oils offer the most potent dosage of stress reducing oils to the body. Women who take up to 4000 mg per day have been shown to lower cortisol levels and increase lean body mass, and feel more calm and serene.


Lithium Oritate – Lithium, in its natural form, boosts up oxytocin (our feel good hormone) in the brain, calming anxiety and stress.   You can take the natural trace mineral supplement (without worrying about any of the side affects of the medication form). This is the salt, a trace mineral, and totally natural.


Vitamin C – high doses of C, up to 3000 mg/ day are shown to lower cortisol levels.


Phosphotidal Serine – PS is known to lower stress-related rises in cortisol.



  Seriously… Have an orgasm. When our bodies release the hormone oxytocin, (released during orgasm and other pleasurable activities) we CANNOT experience stress, the two cannot co-exist.


Oxytocin cancels out stress.


The lingering stress causing issue may still be there when the oxytocin wares off, but you will be feeling better, more calm, and better able to manage the situation.





I find that certain essential oils really help calm my nervous system, allow me to sleep better, and treat chronic stress and high cortisol levels.


Lavender – I put this in my bath or diffuse in my room before bed.

Vetiver – I put vetiver on my feet to promote a good night sleep.

Ylang Ylang – Ylang Ylang helps to release negative emotions like irritability and anger.

Chamomile – Used often as an herbal tea, the essential oil is similar in its effectiveness but a little stronger. Use for calming and relaxing effects.





Do you have a place you go when you just need to CHILL? It is time to consider creating your very own HAPPY place just for that. Whether it is your favorite trail, coffee shop, spot near the creek or ocean, or even your car, find and use your HAPPY place for time to sit, release stress, breath, and reset.


Next time you find yourself there (on purpose or by accident) take some time to savor a stress free moment and soak up your serenity.





Yoga is known for calming qualities, the connection of breath and body, and the interesting postures that address different imbalances in the body. My favorite stress reducing posture is called Viparita Karani, or feet up the wall pose (see picture below).

This pose has SOOOO many benefits and they can be achieved in just few minutes holding this restorative pose.

  • Your adrenals will love you - they get a chance to rest, restore, and they love the inversion factor of this pose.
  • Your blood pressure will drop (sweet!)
  • You will feel a sense of calm wash over you that creates serenity from the inside out.
  • Anxious feelings will diminish
  • Cortisol (your stress hormone) will decrease in the body.

(no need to worry if you don’t have a bolster for under your back, you can just lay flat.)

Get comfy, cozy and settled up to the wall, and enjoy.





FALL COZY Breakfast Breakthroughs


Good Morning Sunshine.


If you have been a Boulder Nutrition reader for a while, you probably already know how I feel about breakfast.


This summer I published a summertime breakfast blog called Breakfast Bliss and Blood Sugar that became the most read blog in the history of Boulder Nutrition. I am so glad you all liked it!


What I am really interested in is WHY? 


I have a good hypothesis as to WHY for you today, and an even more exciting breakfast menu for you to explore this fall.


Listen, I would be surprised if your mornings are totally serene, peaceful, and quiet.


I know some of you are the exception and have your morning routine down, but if you are like most of us, mornings can be hectic, scattered, and rushed .I have focused my attention on my morning routine for years.


As I have shared before, the mornings when I am on my game I am good at giving myself at least 30 minutes to rise and shine before my kids, to have some time to meditate, practice, and nourish myself well.

I have found mindful mornings tend to make ALL the difference.


The truth is, sometimes it just doesn't go that way.  Did you forget you were out of milk?  Push the alarm one extra time? Have a teenager whose hair just wasn't working out? Or forget about that extra stop  you have to make for gas on the way to work or school?  All it takes is something small to throw our mornings into a tail spin.


Can you relate?


These reasons (plus many more) might be why breakfast is the most challenging, rushed and stressful meal of the day.


So with the idea of giving you more of what you seem to really like reading, here are my 5 favorite FALL COZY breakfasts to settle into this fall.


Each of these breakfasts have a little flavor of the weather changing, fall seasonal energetics, and of course you can trust me to keep the glycemic index LOW and your blood sugar BALANCE and BLISS in mind.



Quinoa Apple Pie Bowl

Health Nugget:  What I love most about quinoa (pronounced KEEN WOA) is that it is a complete protein and the highest protein content of any grain.  It is also known to dry up dampness in the body according to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine).  What does that mean?  Well, dampness is like a code word for inflammation or phlegm.  The less we have of this during the fall season - the season with the most coughs and colds - the better.

1 Cup Cooked Quinoa (easiest if cooked ahead of time for morning efficiency)

1 Steamed apple warmed with cinnamon

1 Tsp butter or coconut oil

1/4 cup pecans

Pinch of sea salt

1 tsp maple syrup or raw honey (optional)

Toss all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy.




Chai Chia smoothie

Health Nugget: Smoothies are one of my favorite ways to pack your breakfast of all the food groups and super foods you want to add to your breakfast.  Smoothies are also easy to transport to your office.  My favorite feature in this smoothie is that it is not frozen but rather warming as the weather changes those brisker fall mornings.  The warm chai tea and warming spices are perfect to synch up with the fall season.

2-3 leaves of romaine lettuce

1 TBSP Chia seeds

1 fleshy fruit of choice (i.e. 1/2 banana)

6-8 cups Herbal Spice Chai tea (warm)

Vanilla protein powder or raw egg

1 T chopped ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom (optional)

1 T fresh grated ginger

Place ingredients in the blender and mix well.



Paleo Zucchini Muffins

Health Nugget:  These high protein muffins, disguised as a carb, are a quick and easy breakfast for on the go mornings.  Spread with some organic butter or almond butter for another boost in good protein and fat and you will notice that your energy is even keeled all day.  Pack all of that nutrient dense zucchini in there and get an extra couple servings of veggies.  Prepare them ahead of time, freeze if you like, and enjoy.

1 cup of garden fresh zucchini

3 organic eggs

1 1/2 cups almond flower

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 Tbsp ground cinnamon

1/2 organic chocolate chips (optional)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/3 cup raw honey or coconut sugar

Mix ingredients and bake at 375 for about 45 min or until golden brown.




Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Health Nugget: These pancakes are a great way to get a sweet breakfast without sacrificing your blood sugar in the process.  Adding in the scoop of protein powder is a trick I have been using with my kids for years to ensure pancake breakfasts still include a healthy dose of protein.  Along with the yummy seasonal pumpkin, a great source of vitamin A and beta carotene, full of fiber, and potent antioxidants, these make for a great fall breakfast.

2 cups gluten free pancake mix

2 scoops vanilla protein powder

2 organic eggs

1 cup pumpkin puree

2 Tbsp coconut oil

1 1/2 cups liquid (milk, almond milk, coconut milk or water)

pinch of salt

1 TBSP maple syrup (for top)

Mix together ingredients and fry up in your ideal pancake size in a cast iron pan until golden brown.  Top with organic butter and maple syrup.



Caprese Scramble

Health Nugget:  Organic eggs are chock full of the amino acid, tryptophan, which is a key player in a good mood and inner calm.  The protein in eggs is one that will not only satiate your blood sugar due to its delicate balance of protein and fat, but will also keep you feeling brighter and cheerier all day long.


1 small organic tomato

1 3-5 basil leaves chopped fine

3-4 slices of raw mozzarella cheese

2-3 organic eggs

Pinch of salt

Saute the tomato and basil in a pan in butter or olive oil.  Stir in the eggs to scramble.  Toss in raw mozzarella at the end until it begins to melt slightly.  Serve up.



Want to take your FALL practices a little deeper?

Check out the FALL COZY Cleanse Program (Local or Remote)

If you want to join our group, we start October 12th (introduction October 11th). If you are ready to begin, you can start anytime you are ready.

Check out the details HERE



Make Body Positive Your Practice

After a full week of working, parenting, and striving to keep balance in the business of life, I look forward to my BODY POSITIVE Friday ritual each week.
Living BODY POSITIVE is a practice I strive to engage in regularly. Fridays are one of my biggest days to focus on myself and my self care.


Each Friday, I wake up and head over to teach a morning yoga class filled with the amazing women whom I look forward to seeing each week. Friday then becomes my day to catch up on 'Sue self care' and some 'Sue self love'.

As women, many of us struggle with BODY NEGATIVE thoughts all day long.  We find ourselves in a battle with our bodies constantly seeing the negative and looking at ourselves through the eyes of the inner critic.

Hating our bodies has many repercussions.  Living this way can truly bring us down, distract us from our authentic selves, and keep us stuck in thought patterns that surely do not serve us or others in our lives.

It is a challenge.  I see it in myself as well. Staying in a BODY POSITIVE space takes commitment and focus.

Whether it is your thighs, your stomach, the number on the scale, how your skinny jeans fit, or how you see yourself in the mirror, this BODY NEGATIVE lifestyle is never going to feel good.

We all deserve to feel good in our bodies.  We deserve to be free to be who we are in all our expressions of the feminine, regardless of what our culture dictates.  Valuing ourselves in a way that goes beyond outer beauty and size is a mission worth pursuing.

If you are ready to LOVE your body no matter what you see in the mirror, check out the 5 BODY POSITIVE practices I have for you below.

Change may not happen overnight, but with these consistent practices, you will find you can overcome your old patterns and make living BODY POSITIVE your practice.


Observe How You Feel

Our bodies are wise.

How we feel after we eat, after we exercise, of even after spending time with a friend or family member is important to note.  Observing gives us information.  If we consistently eat something that sits in our stomach giving us digestive upset, bloating or pain we are not going to find it easy to be body positive.  If we over exercise or under exercise and feel tired, lethargic or stuck in our bodies it is hard to stay body positive.  If we are eating out of alignment from what we know to be healthy, ethical, and energy producing we are going to find it hard to be body positive.

Aligning your with your health and your body from the inside out creates BODY POSITIVE living.

Question:  What are the things you do in your day that leave you feeling GOOD?  What are the things you do in your day that leave you feeling less than GOOD?



Create an Intuitive Self Care Plan

Each of us has a unique personal recipe for success and self care.  Some of us need 9 hours of sleep, whereas some of us need only 7.  Many of us love to take long baths, whilst others would rather drink a cup of hot tea.  There is no need to conform to self care that is not right for you, but what is important is examining what would serve you as intuitive self care.

Are you a retreater, a spa gal, a nature forest fairy or a backyard babe?  Do you enjoy reading juicy novels, getting your nails done or taking spontaneous naps?

Question:  What is your personal recipe that leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and restored?



Let Go of What Does Not Serve

To let go of our old thoughts and habits surrounding body image and replacing them with a positive mind makes us ask, “Well, that’s easy to say, but how do I DO it?”

We are so emotionally attached to these negative thoughts that the best way around is to simply imagine letting them go; whether that is focusing on certain parts of ourselves or our bodies that we dislike, mirror-checking, overusing the scale, or using food to deal with stress, the list goes on.

Once we can observe our negative and harmful thoughts, we can work to replace them with self-love and positivity. Instead of looking at our thighs in disgust and calling them fat, we can appreciate the power and ability that our incredible legs give to us: the ability to walk, to run, to jump, to climb, to play.

We need to begin to thank our bodies for the amazing things they can do for us and look beyond what we dislike on the surface, instead focus on the parts of our bodies that we love, even if it’s something as small as our eyes, nose, hair, even pinky finger.

Be mindful of negative thoughts surfacing and counter them with loving thoughts, even if we need to say it out loud. (more on this below)

Quickly, we love ourselves more and more, while negative thoughts and habits become rarer and rarer. And now our beauty and confidence shines into the world for all to see.


Affirm your Positivity

Daily beauty and body positive affirmations are an important piece to get yourself replacing those old negative thoughts with positive ones.  As with any transformation, practice and consistency is where we are going to see sustainable lasting changes.  Trying to subtract a thought or habit with no substitution usually leaves a lot of room for old habits to creep back in.  Substitution is the secret.

Once you have decided on your positive affirmations, be sure to put them in very well viewed locations.  The bathroom mirror, the refrigerator, your meditation alter, your car dash board or your computer to name just a few.  Surround yourself with the positivity you so deserve.

Question:  What are your most common negative thoughts or internal dialogue?  How can you replace those negative thoughts with positive thoughts?  



Surround Yourself Intentionally

We all know that we feel better when we surround ourselves with positive people.  Even better when these folks understand what we are up to, and lend a bit of accountability or reflection.  It is helpful to feel safe, secure, supported and even boosted up by those in our lives.

Creating a community of women that align with you and your body positive intentions will drastically impact body positive practices more than you would think!

Question:  Who gives you the most support and security when it comes to body, health and lifestyle?  Who doesn't?



If you want to practice the art of BODY POSITIVE living and being...join us this August for the Eat.Pray.Yoga Colorado weekend retreat.  Give yourself a gift of self love and care that will rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit.



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Calling Aphrodite

5 Springtime Aphrodisiacs to Master your MOJO

Aphrodite, known as the Greek Goddess of love, pleasure, sensuality and beauty, is one of my favorite of the Goddesses to invoke. Can you see why?

In the stories of Aphrodite, she has the magical ability to compel anyone to desire her.




Aphrodite is said to be born from the foam of the sea. She is revered, cherished, and known for her sensual allure, her delicate beauty and her ability to activate the sensuality of her lovers. This spring you too can invoke her into your pleasure practices, and into the art of sensual eating so that you can explore a more mystical in your body and your bliss.

The sensual art of eating is a journey deep into your relationship with your own sensuality, pleasure stimuli through the senses, and a celebration of food and sensuality that has been present in cultures far and wide throughout history. Sensuality happens with cooking, preparing, presenting and opening are hearts through our meals, just as it does when we prepare, adorn ourselves and wake up our senses to make love to our beloved. This art is as delicate, smooth, succulent and artistic as a love poem or as crazy and free as an artist’s eccentric expression.

The sensual art of eating combines our love for ourselves and those we cook for along with our inseparable senses, especially smell and taste.

Let’s start with the olfactory orgasm…

It is said the olfactory sense, our sense of smell is our oldest sense from the viewpoint of evolution. Our sense of smell creates strong memories with its powerful, swift and precise presence. The sense of smell is more developed in a woman than it is in a man. Our sense of smell is deeply connected to our sensual relationship to food, to a woman's eroticism, and to our intuition. Just as we can be enticed by the smell of our lover, we can be excited by the lure of fresh prepared foods, conscious cooking and the throb of desire and erotism that food can evoke in us as woman and as Goddess. It is not unusual for a mouth watering dish to evoke nostalgia and pleasure waking up our emotions and creating a spiritual + sensual experience with our food.


On to our TANTALIZING taste buds…

It is said in the world of senses, taste is the QUEEN. It is a pleasure, but also a protection that can tell the difference between what's good to eat and what could be harmful. The taste buds activate relating to 5 different flavors, according to Chinese Medicine: Sweet, Salty, Bitter, Sour and Pungent. Each flavor represents a different quality of emotion and energy that we can use to balance ourselves out and heighten our experience around taste. UMAMI is the ultimate taste sensation that brings us the most tantalizing taste experience in just one bite. It is most like a food orgasm that activates all 5 tastes and increases pleasure exponentially. APHRODISIACS

An aphrodisiac is a substance known to increase sexual desire and sexual pleasure. The word APHRODISIAC throughout history has pertained to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, passion and pleasure. There have been many foods considered aphrodisiacs throughout time, and the thing that they all have in common is that they ALL fully engage the senses. Aphrodisiacs are sensual foods create a heightened pleasure experience related both to eating and to our own sensuality. We can make love to ourselves through our food, and we can use food as foreplay for ourselves or with our beloved, a practice written about for centuries in almost every culture known to humankind. 5 SPRINGTIME Aphrodisiacs For you to EXPLORE


This lily plant derivative is known to stir up lust for both woman and man. They are known to boost histamine production known to boost orgasm in both male and female.





Known as natures VIAGRA due to 2 compounds. First watermelon has high levels of citrulline (found in highest concentration in the white of the melon rind) has the power to dilate blood vessels and support erection in a man. Second, the high amounts of lycopene are known to balance and support a healthy prostate. This may be the perfect sensual fruit to entice your lover




This peruvian wonder has proven to have a number of health benefits. Some of these include increasing energy and stamina, balancing hormones for both PMS and menopause, repairing adrenal function and enhancing sexual function and libido. Ooh la la! Maca is available in a powdered form and can be added to smoothies or yogurt, or you can buy maca in a capsule to take a more concentrated dosage.




The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that artichokes had such a strong aphrodisiac effect that women were prohibited from eating them as they were said to make women more desirable.




The aphrodisiac quality of chocolate is nothing new…but rather something that is embedded in history of the western civilization. The great Aztec ruler Montezuma, one of the first red hot lovers to tap into chocolate’s strengths, was said to have consumed as much as fifty cups of chocolate elixir before heading off to his harem. In the late 20th century it was proven that the phenylethylamine (PEA) in chocolate releases the same hormone as does sexual intercourse. The compounds in chocolate are also known to raise dopamine and seratonin levels offering energy, mood enhancement and pleasure to the body.



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Eat for the SEASON not the DAY

Is WINTER faking you out? This morning I was driving my son to school on the icy roads and he said:

"Sheesh, really Boulder? "

These crazy weather patterns we experience here in Boulder are a little hard on the system and hard to predict at this time of year.

One day it is springy and warm and I feel my spring fever bubbling up, and the next we are shoveling 2 feet of snow off of our driveway and I am back in hibernation mode.

Even though my son was born and raised here in Colorado, it still boggles his mind to witness the Colorado weather patterns.  

It is a confusing time of year for the body and immune system and so many people have been struggling with cold and flu this year.


There is a saying in Chinese Medicine that says:

"Dress for the season, not the day."

I have adopted this moto and added my own little spin:

"Eat for the season, not the day."

It is still winter for most of us, and although I am excited about the upcoming spring season and enjoying the occasional warmer day, it is still helpful to stay warm and well nourished for the remaining days of winter.

February and March are often the months with the most irratic weather.  Our bodies are going through a lot to keep ourselves strong and healthy.

We have to be sure to stay AHEAD of the weather.

How you may ask?

When we stay in the season with our eating, our self care, body care, we will naturally be more attuned to the season, and strengthen our immune systems for this final push of winter.

Want a few immune boosting tips?

Keep reading...

Just tired of Winter?  

Come with us on a goddess journey to Bali.  We have a few spots left. Click here for details.

Winter Immunity Insights

1.  Stay warm.

Keep your kidneys and bladder warm (and the rest of your body as well).  You can use warming foods, teas, topical essential oils, sesame oil, and warm clothing to insulate and nourish the your core.  Scarves are a nice addition to protect the windgate – the space at the back of your neck – where pathogens can enter.

Even if the weather is warmer than an average winter day, which often happens in my home state COLORADO, be sure to “DRESS FOR THE SEASON, NOT THE DAY”.   Stay insulated to keep the immunity strong.


2.  Oil of Oregano

Are you fighting the common winter cold, or flu this winter?  Oil of Oregano is one of my favorite treatments for both immune boosting and anti-bacterial and anti-viral support.

Did you know just a few drops of Oregano Oil in the diffuser or vaporizer can give you some relief?

Even better – add a few drops to your cooking and enjoy the delicious flavor and immune boosting qualities with your dinner.

Because this potent oil is so strong, make sure you dilute it substantially or take it in a protective capsule.  With my big pot of homemade chicken soup I only use 2 drops…3 is too many, and too strong.  (See recipe below)

(avoid if you are pregnant, or breastfeeding or an infant)





3.  Ritual Baths

There are many many benefits to baths at this time of year.  Aside from the warming and relaxing qualities there are also deeper support from certain types of baths.  You can always resort to the simple Epson salts bath if you like, but here I am going to provide you with some specific and unique baths to use to synch up with winter – mind, body and soul.

  • Add a teaspoon of coconut oil for a warm and insulating
  • Add some chunks of fresh ginger.  Ginger is a natural immune booster and when you soak in a ginger tea bath you absorb the ginger and allow the body to purify and release the pathogens.  Stay warm and get right in bed after.
  • Feeling a little down in the cold days of winter?  Sweeten up your mood with a "sweet like honey" bath.  Add a cup of raw honey to your bath and watch your seasonal funk slip away.  Honey baths remind us of the sweetness of life.







Tips from a Travelling Yogini

Yoga mat in toe, organic plane snacks along side...uplift your health and happiness this summer while you hit the road for some final adventures before the back to school, fall routine, and change of weather creeps in.


Weather you are the classic ROAD TRIPPER or more of the INTERNATIONAL ADVENTURER you will find these tips help you fine tune your travel.

Personally, I get so full and inspired in my day-to-day life, that sometimes the thought of a vacation intimidates me.  Because I love my HOME life so much, infused with daily practice, good food, and SUE time each and every week, sometimes I forget about how great a vacation can be for the soul.

Loving life is a wonderful gift, but taking a break is still a great health prescription.  Walking away from the computer, the daily pulls of life and officially unplugging, and exploring my more adventurous side is one essential ingredient to my health plan.

I sent my retreat team a little bon voyage text this morning, my international travel buddies, as most often they sit next to me on these big trips to our annual women’s health + yoga retreat.  We have our routine down.  Who brings the avocado, the dark chocolate, the almond butter packets, green drinks, and the nori?


This time, it’s just me.   Some may think I go over board with the super food lunches I pack for ski trips, or the elaborate snacks I take on the plane, but I am always thankful I did.  The truth is, I enjoy the ability to make trips easeful, pleasurable and healthy.

Yes, I am bringing my yoga mat, my own personal stash of melatonin to help with the jet lag (it is a winner), some soothing essential oils, and some raw whey protein shakes incase I get hungry later.

What do you do when you travel? I have some great YOGINI travel tips for you below.  These TRAVEL EASY tips that will enhance the rest of your summer and beyond.

This is my personal variation of a famous John Kabat Zinn quote:

Wherever you go ...there you are, so make the WHERE YOU ARE part great.  It’s the only place you will ever be!! 

SUMMER'S Travel Easy tips for Health and Happiness


Fueling yourself in a satiating and grounding way when you travel will not only enhance your health, but it will also keep your energy good and keep the cranky traveler at bay.

  • Bring Food. Take a special trip to the store for travel snacks.  Stock up on easy, portable and nutrient dense foods that you enjoy.  Food such as nuts, dried fruit, avocado, nori, and Justin’s almond butter packs are foodie fuel and an asset for your travels.
  • Do a little research.  If you are travelling to a new city or a new country, there is plenty of info online.  Eating more locally and healthful in a new place can be very exciting!  Talk to the fisherman, the restaurant owners, and the local farmers and get the SCOOP.  Tantalize your taste buds with new combinations and ideas with what is available in the area.




 Worried about your digestion?  Many complain about their digestion when on the road, or traveling about.  Don’t despair.  Your digestion CAN adjust.  Try this:

  • Hydrating is the number 1 travel tip.   If there is anything that does not agree with you, drinking plenty of water will help flush it out, while also keeping your body hydrated.  Many airports now have purified water refill stations so you do not have to keep using the plastic bottles.  Bring an empty water bottle and fill it up after you cross security.
  • Try some flax seed, probiotics, or chia seeds .  Each of these supports your digestion in a different way.  The flax and chia keep you from being constipated, while the probiotics protect your from foreign flora and boost your immunity.  These can all be mixed with water, and taken easily on the road.
  • Many essential oils really help with indigestion, and IBS symptoms.  I use the DigestZen from DOTERRA.  DOTERRA makes therapeutic grade oil that is both safe for topical and internal use.  It is soothing and comforting for your traveling belly.




Many folks experience plenty of travel tension.  From planning logistics, to leaving home, to lifting off land for air travel, tension unfortunately can create some dis-ease in your travels.  Many of us are uncomfortable getting out of our comfort zones.  Here are a few of my favorite tension tamers for your travel.

  • Load up your IPOD with some good relaxing music, chanting, or even guided meditations.  Watch your nervous system unwind as you connect mind and body.
  • If you often get nervous or anxious on any particular leg of your trip, pick up some GABA at the local health food store.  GABA is a natural amino acid that feed the GABA neurotransmitter, turning down the stressful anxious part of your nervous system.  For faster relief, purchase the sublingual type.  GABA can be used to help with sleep, stress and even a panic or anxiety attack.  It works within about 20 minutes of taking and is totally safe with any medications.
  • Writing about your tension can offer a deeper relationship to “what it is really about”.  So often the first emotion we feel is disguising the deeper emotion.  Journaling can start to unravel the situation and support you in a more fulfilling inquiry into yourself and your stress.




 When in Rome…” Going somewhere brings adventure, new ways of being and doing.  Often we are pushed out of our comfort zone and into something that can open our minds into seeing new possibilities.  We may never be the same again.

  • Take time each day to pause and check in.  What are you learning from being in this new place.  How can you absorb your surrounding, culture, people through the witness mind?
  • Stay centered.  Being centered while on the move is not easy.  Set aside a few minutes a day to focus on your breath and body.  TUNE IN.  A simple practice can go a long way.
  • Remember to LET GO.  Travel adventures are unpredictable, spontaneous, and exciting.  The beauty is in the mystery.  The more you can LET GO of expectation, the more you can roll with the adventures completely and have a blast.




Sweet like HONEY

Ahhh, the sweetness of summer… The warm sun waking us up to frolic outside in the early morning warmth, the expansiveness we find in our hearts as we enjoy the outdoors, the community and fun in the sun.

 There are many ways to sweeten things up in both our lives and in our foods.  Sweet is the flavor of the heart and reminds us of the sweetness of life.

During the summer the sweeter fruits ripen, and the sweetness of summer is all around. Here are some tips to keep your sweetening in balance while still expanding into the flavor of summer.


 5 Health Tips to Sweetening Things Up:

 1.     Avoid Artificial Sweeteners

Due to the many health risks associated with too much sugar, many folks have tried to take short cuts using artificial sweeteners in place of the natural sweet.  The media has enforced this gives the taste buds and the body the message that we are enjoying the sweet flavor without the cost.  Unfortunately this is a short cut NOT worth taking.  Many artificial sweeteners create addictive patterns, cravings, and serious withdrawal symptoms.

Avoid artificial sweeteners like the plague. While the mechanisms of harm may differ, they’re ALL harmful in one way or another. This includes aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal), sucralose (Splenda) and any other artificial sweeteners.

  • Aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal) contains high amounts of phenylalanine and aspartic acid.  While these amino acids are found naturally in the body when they are combined out of there natural ratio they can cause many side effects such as headaches, mental confusion, dizziness and seizures.  As these amino acids break down in this out of balance combination, they can literally break down into a form of formaldehyde which is toxic to the body.
  • Splenda is the artificial sweetener other wise known as sucralose.  This sweetener has received a ton of press in the past few years, leading us down the road to discovering not only is this sweetener made up of a high percentage of chlorine, but now recent studies show that sucralose may raise bloods sugar insulin levels, kill of good bacteria in the GI tract, and in long term exposure damage DNA permanently.

2.     Get Back to Basics

Eat a whole food diet to reset your taste buds.  The body thrives when we eat our foods close to nature, whole, simple, clean and alive.  These ancient principles of eating are great guidelines to how to grocery shop, cook and feed our bodies nourishing foods.  The palate can transform back to its original and intended tasting organ as we purify our diets.

When we are competing with really strong enhanced flavors found in mainstream processed foods, such as super salty foods or overly sweet sodas, we become so over stimulated by our taste buds that something like an apple or a carrot looses it appeal.

Coming back to the basics with whole food eating will recalibrate your taste buds and a lot of those strong flavors (especially sugar) will vanish from your cravings.

3.     Use Natural Sweeteners

Sweetening your food is something many of us seek in our day-to-day meals, healthy deserts and snacks.  With the whole food eating in mind, you will notice that your palate adjusts and what used to taste pleasantly sweet (like a soda) may now be too sweet to drink.

Finding natural sweeteners to use in your baking, sauces and creations in the kitchen is a great option to enhance your flavors while still keeping your flavors in balance.  Here are some of my favorites.

  • Raw honey is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.  It is a pure source of sweet and even though it is fairly high on the glycemic index scale, a little goes a very long way.  The health benefits of local raw honey include naturally suppressing the common cough, aiding in a good nights sleep (by facilitating typtophan), and boosting immunity to name a few.
  • Coconut sugar, made from the sap of the coconut palm, doesn't put stress on your blood sugar levels the same way that white sugar does. Because coconut sugar is unrefined, it retains all of its natural minerals and vitamins so it has a higher nutrient density.  Coconut sugar is easy to cook with and can be substituted 1:1 in recipes.
  • Maple syrup, made by boiling sap from the maple tree, contains compounds that could help manage Type 2 diabetes, as well as acting as anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory agents.  Maple is full of many anti-oxidants, full of a wide range of vitamins and minerals especially zinc and manganese.  Many health experts are now calling pure maple syrup a champion food.
  • Xylitol is pure, natural with essentially no blood sugar response. Xylitol also comes with some benefits such as fighting tooth decay. Xylitol is safe, and a beneficial sweetener.

4.     Eat a Low Glycemic Diet.

If you an stick to a low glycemic diet you will not only see benefits in almost every area of your health, energy, sleep and metabolism, but you will also see your sugar cravings diminish before your eyes.    

The glycemic index of a particular food rates the food on how quickly it turns to sugar in your blood stream.  Processed carbohydrates and refined sugars are always going to rate very high on the spectrum where as proteins, fats, whole grains and some fruits will be low or moderate.

There are some added tricks to lowering the glycemic index of your meal.

  • First, you can add more protein – have some nuts with our dried fruit.
  • Second, you can add high quality fat – put a little olive oil on that piece of bread.
  • Third, you can add fiber or choose a high fiber version of the food – cook brown rice instead of white.

Eating a low glycemic diet is one of the quickest way to see your health and vitality turn around.  It is fairly simple and incredibly effective

5.     Sweeten Up Your Life

The sweet flavor has often been linked to love, pleasure, comfort and many other soothing qualities we all yearn for in our humanness.  Often, when we are not getting enough of these in our lives, we crave more sugar and overly self- soothe with the sweetness in food.

Try enhancing your life with the sweetness you can find in your daily down time, in the way that you exercise, the practices you do that activate your senses in a positive way, and especially the way you love yourself.  This is where the true sweetness is found.




  One of the most frustrating, confusing, and most common health situations is when we can't find evidence or cause for our imbalances, symptoms or health complaints. Have you ever been there before?

In the world of natural health and wellness, we are so often looking for root causes to understand the big WHY.

Many of us can even get a little obsessive or extreme with this intent. We want to understand whats up and feel better. I have surely been there. Have you?

Have you ever gone from one healer to another looking for answers no one seems to have?

Sometimes, we are even told after various testing, multiple opinions, and even our own research that it must be "in our heads".

We so often are robbed of our power in the understanding and trusting of our intuition that there really is something out of alignment, not working, or simply imbalanced.

How often are our unexplained ailments and health issues real, and how often are they figments of our imagination?

If the scientific testing fails to pick up the problem, does that mean it does not exist?

I know, so many questions...

The good news is that natural medicine, and specifically Metabolic Typing, is designed to understand the subtleties and nutritional status to effectively see where we are in balance and where we are out.

As most of you know, I love science, medicine, scientific testing and diagnostics AND I also love understanding the body's messages that are of a more subtle nature.

Sometimes, with the right diet, we can fix the imbalances without even knowing exactly where they lie.


"One of the fundamental benefits of metabolic typing is that it provides a context or frame of reference through which nutrient deficiencies or excesses can be accurately understood and identified." Dr. William Wolcott

Welcome to this profound and revolutionary approach to feeding your body EXACTLY what you need to be at your best.

Customized for the ONE AND ONLY YOU...



How to live a FUNK Free February

Last week I felt the February FUNK hit me like a ton of bricks. I was blah, bored, uninspired, and I would have chosen to lay in bed all day watching Netflix if I had had the choice.  Who is this person I thought to myself?  I usually hop out of bed and feel so fired up for the day.  Then I realized, it's February!! Until this week, it has been a remarkably cold winter here in Boulder.  I have to admit, I have been hibernating more than ever.  I enjoy quiet nights by the fire with my book, long tea dates, and early nights to bed most of the time.  It just started to get a bit BORING....ZZZZ.  Sound familiar?

After a particularly blah night, I went to bed with one of those uncomfortable pits in my stomach.  Am I burnt out?  Depressed? Will winter ever end?  Is my entire purpose a joke? How am I going to make it through the FUNK?

I woke up that night about 3 am.  I couldn't fall back to sleep with my mind racing and my body unsettled.  I finally I reached for my journal.  How do I turn this around?

It took a bit of soul searching, but eventually I made a breakthrough.  With my pen to paper and some other forces at play in the depths of the dark night, I wrote about so many different parts of my life that feed me.  My time outside, my relationship, my daily practices, laughter...  had they all just been forgotten?  How did this happen?

WIthin my witching hour moment of breakthrough something very simple happened...I REMEMBERED!

I made a promise to myself. I HAVE to do these simple practices EVERYDAY.

My inner fire began to return with just the recognition of my personal recipe.  Although your recipe for living FUNK FREE  is likely different than mine, they probably have something in common.

Here's a little glimpse into my FUNK FREE formula....


Especially when it is cold and yucky out, it can require some serious motivation to bundle up and go outside. Once I do, though, the fresh air will gets my blood moving and helps me gain some perspective. Whether it is taking a short walk or going on a run or a hike, everything counts! We’ve all heard it before, but it is true - being outside in the sun provides us with our healthy daily intake of vitamin D, which we need to maintain well-being, so I make sure I am taking care of myself. Exposure to the sun also helps our bodies regulate our sleep, our appetites, and our hormonal functions, which can get out of whack during these months.

Make an effort to be outside a little bit every day to soak up some sunshine, or some fresh air and to connect with the nature around you.  Find the winter activities that work in your area and for your passion.  Try more skiing, snowshoeing, dog walking, sitting on a sunny porch, or even shoveling the drive.



When I say empowered, what I mean is I call the shots.  I enjoy having all the information I need to make an informed decision about how to fuel my body.  It does take practice but with just a little trial and error (and as much support as you need) you can learn how to feel radiant in your own skin via the food you eat.

Think of the most vital foods on the planet.  Imagine the most potent foods that nature has to offer.  I consciously eat more of those.  I purify my body as a temple.  I eat super foods like they are going out of style (see a recent post:  Super foods for Super Heroes) and embody the energy that our planet has to offer.

I juice, blend, steam, chop and create the most colorful, fresh, vibrant meals I can imagine and then feel how grateful my body is for this foodie fuel.


Want a little UPLIFT?  This year (February 9th, 2015) we are joining in our seasonal whole food purification to honor the season and the self care this season loves for us to embody.  Check out all the details here.



One of most effective ways to connect with your body’s natural energy is through energizing movement.  How is your MOJO?  Practices such as YOGA, BRISK WALKING/HIKING and DANCE can move energy in big ways.  I get myself out of inertia and MOVE IT, SHAKE IT, GROOVE IT.  I enliven my spirit and up my MOJO with some juicy movement of my own.  I SWEAT out the FUNK!!

Have your own private dance party, take a walk in the woods, or inspire yourself with your favorite yoga teacher.  Learn to FEEL good in your body to reconnect with your RADIANCE.



If you are like many of us, the energy of winter might have slowed down your social life. Think about the people and places that make you the happiest. Could you incorporate more of those things into your life again? It is important for our health and vitality to stay connected to the people and communities we love.  When I put effort into my friendships and connections, I feel supported by them in return. By showing up authentically and with an open heart, I see my friends and community will be receptive to me.

This can be one of the most rewarding efforts in pulling ourselves out of a funk: remembering we are a part of something greater and that we are loved. Becoming more involved in community also helps to take the focus off of ourselves and can re-inspire us to consider issues and opportunities beyond our normal scope of thinking. "Giving is the new getting."  What you give is what you get, so give it up!




It can be difficult to get the juices flowing when we are beginning from a place that is stagnant, down, or stuck. This is just it: be where you are, and go from there. There is no wrong time or space to begin creative expression. Whatever your outlet, honor where you are NOW first, and begin gently. One way to begin that I find helpful is to practice silent sitting meditation for a few minutes – the longer I can sit, the quieter my mind becomes, and the freer I am to express myself. Making time for creativity is an incredible way to express yourself and to move your energy around. Whether it is singing, playing an instrument, chanting, dancing, drawing, painting, crafting, cooking, or anything else that brings you joy – make time in your life to be creative. It will do WONDERS for your mood and your heart!



When all else fails, I change my perspective.  It is AMAZING what a weekend road trip or a tropical yoga retreat can do for the soul.  Often when we take a break from the day-to-day, if we are so fortunate, we can gain a new view of things.  We go from the worms eye view to the eagle eye view.

Just a simple shift in my environment brings me so much clarity.  This is why we plan our ALL WOMEN's International yoga + health retreats each year!  They have a positive impact on my life, and on our participants lives that last.  This year I am off to Bali for some culture and some clarity.  Thank Goddess!!  Want to join us?  All the details are HERE.


Keep up with tweeking and fine tuning your personal recipe.  It will serve you in the long run.  Come next February, you may also forget, but you can always come back and REMEMBER.



GMO Roulette ~ With Expert Tips to GMO-Free Shopping

With the March against Monsanto going on world wide, and the day-to-day political, and health and wellness choices we continually face at this time in the world, I thought it was particularly important to share some facts, tips and check in with you about what is REALLY going on with GMOs. We spend our dollars on food for ourselves and our families each week, but do we know where we are putting our money, do we know what we are actually buying?     gmo-tomato

The GMO current situation may be one of the biggest challenges of our time and we are being called to become aware, to educate, and to act in what each of us consider a mindful way navigating this GMO roulette.

Today we are going to explore what is currently happening and what YOU (and I) can do to take action, protect and be wise navigating around this potential health disaster.

Stay tuned, as this information is critical to share! Also, to give you a little hand holding, we created a guide to the grocery store, our handy grocery store tips to avoid/bring awareness to GMO free food.  Hungry for Change ~ NON-GMO shopping guide

What is a GMO?

GMO foods are the product of a high tech cell invasion that uses bacteria and viruses to forcefully break a cell's natural defenses to allow genetic material to enter and create the genetically modified food.  Genetic mutations can permanently turn genes “on” or “off”.Virtually all commercial GMO foods are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.  Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.

What are the impacts of GMOs on the environment?

Over 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance. As a result, use of toxic herbicides like Roundup has increased 15 times since GMOs were introduced. GMO crops are also responsible for the emergence of “super weeds” and “super bugs" which can only be killed with ever more toxic poisons like 2-4-D (a major ingredient in Agent Orange).  GMOs are a direct extension of chemical agriculture, and are developed and sold by the world’s biggest chemical companies. The long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment these novel organisms cannot be recalled.

How do GMOs affect farmers?

Because GMOs are novel life forms, biotechnology companies have been able to obtain patents with which to restrict their use. As a result, the companies that make GMOs now have the power to sue farmers whose fields are contaminated with GMOs, even when it is the result of inevitable drift from neighboring fields. GMOs therefore pose a serious threat to farmer sovereignty and to the national food security of any country where they are grown, including the United States.


Monsanto is a global agricultural biotech company – mostly know for genetically engineered seeds.  Monsanto has become the center stage for the destruction of our seeds, our diversity, our food and our freedom.  Upheld by the supreme crt, Monsanto protection act making it immune from protecting diversity and contamination.

The only way consumers are going to win this crisis is if the mainstream demands to know what is in our food.  Labeling is important!!  That is the main goal of the march against Monsanto.

The non-GMO project

Thanks to the non-GMO project we are still (but maybe not for long) able to see which products are non-GMO.  The GMO free verification seal indicates that the product bearing the seal has gone through a strict verification process. The verification is an assurance that a product has been produced according to consensus-based best practices for GMO avoidance.

Hungry for Change ~ NON-GMO shopping guide

This is critical information of our time!  It is important to act, not just upon our health, but also upon our freedom. Our freedom to choose is something we often take for granted, and in the Monsanto Protection Act and the GMO movement in general, we are seeing this right slip away.  Making small changes in how you shop, what you eat, and where your dollars go is a great place to start.