The cost of being healthy.....

Written By: Chloe Wong

Being healthy has become somewhat of a trend in recent years from an increase in exercise to diet changes. This is especially obvious with the soaring popularity of organic and natural food against conventionally processed foods. But what is the difference between organic foods and natural foods? Well, first off, organic food are food items that are being produced and handled by means dictated by the Organic Food Products Act of 1990 and carried out by the United States Department of Agriculture. Natural food, however, are not processed chemically or synthesized in any way and derived from plants or animals.

So why do some people prefer organic food over natural food, or vice versa? One BIG reason is that organic food is certified by the government, which makes it more reliable, or rather more trusted by the majority. Natural food doesn’t have such acts like the Organic Food Products Act, or specific definitions to make it as trustworthy with a guarantee from government agencies. Since there are no legal regulations, manufacturers will sometimes put “all-natural” labels on foods that are heavily processed. So be careful while cruising through the supermarket!

Natural food fans have a reason to be against organic food too. They want their food to still maintain its original nutrients and beneficial properties, which organic food can’t always match up to par with.

In the end, the decision’s up to you if you want to try out organic food or natural food. The prices are a little steeper for both, but the health benefits are very obvious. Changing your diet a little can alter your overall health and allow you to live a healthier and happier life.

All about the almond (milk)- baby...

Written by: Brandi Preston-Mebane

STOP! Before you pick up that carton of almond milk, let’s a do a little research. While plant based “milk” is a lot more beneficial to the body than animal produced milk, store-bought brands might not be the healthiest route.

Many makers of almond milk claim to harness the nutrition of the almond, nature’s almost-perfect food, in their product. However, a lot of unhealthy ingredients and preservatives are added in that process. Take a quick glance at the label of your typical supermarket almond milk. You might find sugar, gellan gum, tricalcium phosphate, xanthan gum or a list of other additives that decrease nutritional value. Therefore it’s very important to read labels before throwing items into your shopping cart.  

If you want to drink Almond Milk, make your own instead.

Making your own food and ingredients can alleviate (to an extent) the foreign additives and additional preservatives your body consumes from packaged goods.  Have you ever noticed pure “home made” almond milk is barely thicker than water? Why, because almond milk is essentially the product of blended almonds and (yes you guessed it) water. Richly packed with protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, the almond is a great snack in and of itself. Here’s a recipe to try at home. Let us know what you think by emailing  

How to Make Almond Milk at Home                                                         

Makes about 2 cups

What You Need

1 cup raw almonds, preferably organic
2 cups water, plus more for soaking
Sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, to taste (optional)

Measuring cup
Blender or food processor
Fine-mesh nut bag or cheese cloth


  1. Soak the almonds overnight or up to 2 days. Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with about an inch of water. They will plump as they absorb water. Let stand, uncovered, overnight or up to 2 days. The longer the almonds soak, the creamier the almond milk.
  2. Drain and rinse the almonds. Drain the almonds from their soaking water and rinse them thoroughly under cool running water. At this point, the almonds should feel a little squishy if you pinch them.
  3. Combine the almonds and water in a blender. Place the almonds in the blender and cover with 2 cups of water.
  4. Blend at the highest speed for 2 minutes. Pulse the blender a few times to break up the almonds, then blend continuously for two minutes. The almonds should be broken down into a very fine meal and the water should be white and opaque. (If using a food processor, process for 4 minutes total, pausing to scrape down the sides halfway through.)
  5. Strain the almonds. Line the strainer with either the opened nut bag or cheese cloth, and place over a measuring cup. Pour the almond mixture into the strainer.
  6. Press all the almond milk from the almond meal. Gather the nut bag or cheese cloth around the almond meal and twist close. Squeeze and press with clean hands to extract as much almond milk as possible. You should get about 2 cups. (See Recipe Note for what to do with the leftover almond meal.)
  7. Sweeten to taste. Taste the almond milk, and if a sweeter drink is desired, add sweetener to taste.
  8. Refrigerate almond milk. Store the almond milk in sealed containers in the fridge for up to two days.

Recipe Notes

  • Using the Leftover Almond Meal: The leftover almond meal can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, and muffins as it is. You can also spread it out on a baking sheet and bake it in a low oven until completely dry (2-3 hours). Dry almond meal can be kept frozen for several months and used in baked goods.

Recipe from

How to get summertime no time!

Written by Brandi Preston-Mebane

Summer is upon us! Time to put away the turtle necks and pull out the shorts. Time to 

put away the snowboots and pull out the flip flops. You get the idea. 

Along with longer days comes warmer weather; so we totally understand wanting to 

spend less time in the house preparing food and more time enjoying the great outdoors. 

We’re all for a nice cooked meal, but who wants to stand inside slaving over a stove 

when you can juice, right? We’d much rather blend a quick nourishing meal, then 

proceed outside to watch the sunset. 

Here are some light-weight, refreshing recipes that’ll free up your mornings and 

evenings for the things that really matter. 

Mango Pineapple Banana Smoothie


• 1 mango, cut into chunks 

• 1 frozen banana 

• 1 cup pineapple chunks 

• 1/2 cup water or almond milk 

• chia seeds, for garnish

Peel and diced your mango. Combine mango, banana, pineapple and water/milk into blender and blend until smooth. Pour into serving cup and top with chia seeds. Makes about 2 1/2 cups. Write us and share some of your favorite Summer recipes. 

(*Recipe from The Simple Veganista)

Watermelon-Apple Smoothie

• 2 cups seedless watermelon

• 1 apple

• 1 pear

• 2 cups fresh baby spinach (or other leafy green)

• 1/2 cup water if needed

“Alkaline Dreaming” Evening Cleansing Juice

• 1/2 head of romaine lettuce

• 1/2 lemon (yellow rind removed)

• 2 stalks of celery

• half a cucumber

• handful of cilantro (substitute parsley)

 Process everything through your juicer. Strain this juice and dilute with equal parts filtered 

water.  If not juice fasting, you can consume this juice unstrained. Makes one diluted 16-ounce 


(*Recipe from The Blender Girl)

We’re looking for options that are quick, refreshing and simple to prepare. Email us at, and we may include your recipe on the blog.

Winter Blues

During the colder months, maintaining your mental health and stability is equally as important as maintaining your physical health. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD also known as seasonal depression) is a real issue. It typically occurs during the colder seasons of the year and ends in the spring.  (So, if you feel like your mood is a unstable, and you feel a little down during the winter, then there is a chance that you may suffer from SAD).

A very effective way to combat the issue is by surrounding yourself with family and friends. Laughing, loving and enjoying the company of others prompt a biochemical reaction, communicating with your brain to release endorphins and dopamine. Both of these chemicals are responsible for all of the good feelings you experience during pleasurable moments, like laughing and falling in love.

This winter, please indulge yourself in great company, and healthy foods (avoid processed foods, and fried foods), participate in indoor fitness activities like going to the gym, taking a yoga, spin, dance or pilates class- and most of all laugh a lot!   (SMILE)


If you suffer from alopecia or any other form of hair loss, don’t fret, with a little education, and discipline, you can encourage your hair to grow back healthily.

Here are a few tips.

To create an internal environment for healthy hair growth, you must feed your body foods that are essential to building  strong hair. Here are a few things to eat to ensure hair regrowth:

  • Protein: Our hair is made up of 90% protein, so it is essential that we incorporate it into our diet. Leafy, green spinach has plenty of plant protein that will also do the trick.
  • Add Iron and Zinc: Iron is responsible for transmitting oxygen to your hair follicles. It also helps your body use protein to grow and build strong hair. Zinc aids the body in repairing and growing hair.  Natural sources such as peanut butter, pumpkin seeds and chickpeas are great.
  • Eat Foods High in EPA and DHA: Adding healthy fats to your diet is extremely important for hair growth. Fat helps the body assimilate vitamins that are essential for healthy hair. Focus on eating unsaturated fats like Omega 3′s, often found in sea plants, eggs and fish.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is used in the body to build collagen which is essential for producing new hair cells. If you are deficient in vitamin C it can cause the hair to become weak and prone to breakage. A great source of vitamin C is bell peppers, kale, broccoli, and papaya.
  • Biotin: Scientists aren’t quite sure how it works, but taking certain B vitamin supplements, like biotin, have been shown to increase hair growth. Biotin can be found in peanuts, almonds, eggs, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, walnuts and wild salmon.
  • Silica: Silica is one of the most essential nutrients for the hair and skin. Silica helps the hair to retain its elasticity and also repairs damaged hair and follicles. Cucumber, mango, celery, asparagus. rhubarb are a great source of silica. 



Have you noticed that your nails are slightly unhealthy looking? You know, a little discolored? If this is your issue, then your nail discoloration may the result of one of these 3 things:

  • You have been wearing nail color for prolonged periods of time, and the chemicals have discolored your nails.
  • You have some health issues that need to be addressed.
  • You have  nail fungus.

If your nail discoloration is due to a medical issue, then please work with your physician to determine how to remedy your problem. However, if your issue is due to ‘to many mani/pedi(s)’, or a nail fungus, then what I share below may work to help you regain your natural nail color.

Lemon Juice

Take a lemon, cut it and apply it on your nails. You can use cotton to apply lemon juice on the nails, or simply rub lemon on the nails.


Pour some clear vinegar in a bowl and soak your nails in it.  (Apply vinegar to a ball of cotton and rub it across your toes.

Baking soda and Lemon Juice

Mix a tablespoon of baking soda and the juice of 2 lemons, and scrub your nails with the mixture. Then wash and moisturize your hands.

Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

Mix about three tablespoons of baking soda with one tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide. Apply the paste on to your nails. Wash after about 10 minutes and moisturize.

Lemon Essential Oil

Pour lemon essential oil in a bowl and soak your nails in it. Keep them soaked for up to 10 minutes, and then massage the remaining oil into your cuticles.

Tea Tree Oil

Massage your fingernails with 2 drops of tea tree oil twice a day for about 30 days.  You may begin to notice a difference within 30 days.


Honey will prevent any fungal growth, which may also affect your nail’s color, thus preventing nail discoloration.

I hope these tips help


The summer time is almost here. While I am not ready for spring to leave, I know that it will end very soon and I need to prepare my skin for what summer will bring….lots of sun rays, and humid days.

Sun rays can wreak havoc on your skin, if it is left unprotected.  Summer sun can dry your skin, create fine lines, and break down elastin in the skin, leading to course wrinkles and sagging. In addition, your skin has potential for developing skin tumors, freckles, and discoloration.

The best way to protect your skin is by feeding it. That’s right. What I mean is, what you put on your skin is just as important as what you put in your skin.

To prevent sun damage, topically hydrate your skin by frequently applying coconut oil. Unprocessed coconut oil doesn’t completely block the UVB rays of the sun, but it protects the skin, and underlying tissues from sun damage. It will also produce a golden tan color, if you stay out in the sun long enough. The other added benefit to this is that it allows your body to benefit from the vitamin D produced by the sun.

Also consuming pure, unprocessed coconut oil strengthens the skin and makes it more resilient and less prone to sunburn.

Juicing is beautiful....

I have been juicing for the past 15 years,  before it became ‘the thing to do’. I must admit that I have been aware of the benefit s of juicing for a very long time, and I find great pleasure in knowing that there are many who now see the benefits of this healthy habit.

If you have joined the juicing bandwagon, then I am certain that you have noticed some pretty amazing benefits, including gorgeous and glowing skin, along with healthy hair and nails, (some of these benefits are determined by ‘what ‘ you are juicing, more than juicing itself. Ex. juicing beets, kale, cucumber and celery may have expose benefits in keeping with those aforementioned, than juicing strawberries and bananas every day will).

If you are a ‘juicer’ (someone who juices at least once a day),  and you would like to ensure that you are incorporating the right ingredients to  acquire healthy hair, skin and nails- then do a little research on the vegetables that you juice. Make sure that you add items that are high in calcium, anti-oxidants, lycopene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin E.  You can find a some of these things in beets, watermelon, green leafy veggies, tomatoes, avocados and nuts to name a few.

One of my favorite juices to make is, kale, spinach, ginger, beet, blueberries, chia seed, and watermelon. So good for your, and super refreshing!


I have a client who suffers from severe psoriasis, and this winter has proven brutal on his skin. The inflammation, flare ups and extremely cold temperatures, have made this and for an extremely uncomfortable winter. The lack of humidity in the air, and the dry heat that are used to create comfortable conditions indoors really make it difficult for your skin to get the moisture that it needs.

So, when he came to me, I was able to give him some easy, effective recommendations to offer some relief. These were a few of my suggestions to him:

  1. Place a humidifier in your living and work spaces.
    • The extremely low humidity robs your skin of the moisture it needs
  2. Avoid wool sweaters and scarfs.
    • The itchiness of the fabric will make your skin feel worst
    • Wear layers of cotton clothing instead
  3. Cleanse your skin with oil.
    • In an earlier post, I referred to the ‘oil cleansing method’ (November 2013) . This is one of the best cleansing methods for ALL skin types, but most beneficial are psoriasis and eczema sufferers. To learn more about this method, please click here  .
  4. When bathing, avoid hot water, use luke warm water instead.
    • Hot water can irritate the skin
  5. Gently pat your skin dry after a bath.
    • If soaking in a bath, add organic oils to the water (jojoba, olive, aloe, etc).
  6. Use heavy ‘organic’ oils to moisturize your skin.
    • My recommendations are:
      • Olive
      • Jojoba
      • Aloe Vera
      • Vitamin E
      • Shea Butter
      • Almond Oil
      • Sapote Oil
  7. Limit alcohol consumption to 2 glasses of wine per wee
  8. Eat a diet rich in yams, sweet potatoes, carrots and squash, as well as leafy greens and tomatoes
  9. RELAX - Do not stress about ANYTHING