Why are we fat?

This post is dedicated to that amazing group from Unity of Muskegon who meet for Let’s Talk Wellness and are making positive changes toward better health every day. I am SO proud of you all!

Last year as I ended our second year of monthly meetings at Unity on wellness, I asked what people wanted to discuss in the 2014. The topic of interest most requested was the title of this article. Yes, we already understand that being as active as possible reduces our fat reserves, so I didn’t focus on exercise. Everyone knows…get up and move! But if we don’t address the misinformation out there, we don’t stand a chance at weight loss and management.

Since I do not teach about short term fixes at the expense of the body’s health, we must address lifestyle changes, dispelling the myths we’ve been told the last 3 decades, to build vital cells, tissues and bodies. The focus must be on sharing the truth about the need for healthy fats and nutrient dense foods and how the low-fat/high whole grain/”sugarfree” additive recommendations have led us to the obesity fiasco we are in now.

Below is my evidence based summary of why we are larger (and much less healthy) than we should be:

• Eating BAD fats (polyunsaturated, liquid vegetable oils, margarine, oils from GMO crops {soy, cottonseed, canola, corn}, fatty meat/poultry from conventionally raised animals {complete with antibiotics, growth hormones, GMO fed, pesticide residue, no to very little sunlight}).

My family's favorite fat

My family’s favorite fat

• Not eating enough good fats (coconut, extra virgin olive oil, grass-fed meat and poultry, wild caught fish, avocado, cod liver oil). Low-fat foods lead to obesity because we substitute with….

• Sugar and empty carb consumption (anything made with a fine powder like flour, like baked goods, candy, chips, pastas). These carbs are digested quickly and stimulate the hormone insulin, which, among other things stores fat in fat cells. High fructose corn syrup. Diet sodas.

• Eating processed and non-organic foods (and using chemicals on our bodies, in our homes and on our yards). These foods often have pesticide residues which keep our body from taking in the minerals we need to make our metabolism work correctly. Our bodies need nutrients to function and be the “right” weight for our structure. These empty foods lead to…

• Overeating – which we do WHEN WE ARE NOT EATING NUTRIENT DENSE FOODS! Our body keeps saying, “where are the nutrients?” and then “eat more and you might find some.” We can also get into the habit of over eating because of emotional issues, but again, it is often, if not always, nutrient deprived foods. We seldom eat too much when the food is REAL and nutrient rich.

• An unhealthy microbiome. Our balance of good micro-organisms in our body plays a significant role in our health and weight.

• When we have an underactive thyroid, we have a very difficult time trying to shed pounds. Be aware that water with chlorine and fluoride is thyroid disruptive. Drinking the cleanest water possible is a must. Also, good quality coconut oil supports the thyroid and is energy boosting.

What to do? The same thing I teach for other physical/emotional issues…

• Eat good fats at every meal
• Eat protein from clean (organic, grass fed, preferably local) sources at every meal – we need protein to make the happy chemicals in our brain
• Eat plenty of colorful, local (for more vitamin content), organic (for more mineral content) vegetables WITH LOTSA BUTTER (or ghee)!
• Take good quality coconut oil – even at every meal.
• Take a high quality probiotic and/or fermented foods and drink.
• Eat organic fruits as desserts (“cave people” ate them in the fall to fatten up for the winter)
• If you feel the need for baked goods, make them out of nut flour (organic preferably).
• Don’t starve yourself. This will mess up your hormones. EAT! Just eat the real foods described above.

Until next time…wishing you real food for real health so you can be real happy.




Does it bug you that you're eating Roundup? It should.

I watched this video last week and felt so sad knowing many of my loved ones are seeking help for illness from the medical field while they’re eating foods that not only can’t sustain them, but are literally harming them. In this interview, the actual mechanisms of harm are identified. I just had to share.

Many thanks to Jeffrey Smith and Dr. Stephanie Seneff for describing in detail what happens to the body as a result of exposure to Round-up. These destructive actions are contributing to most, if not all, of the diseases of our time. If you or anyone you know has one of the concerns listed directly below the video, I urge you to take an hour and watch. For those who can’t, I’ve summarized key points below, along with the time reading from the interview so you can go directly to that topic if you like. This IS effecting you. It IS harming you.

Jeffrey Smith interviews Dr. Stephanie Seneff about Glyphosate from Kristin Canty on Vimeo.

Problems influenced by glyphosate – the active ingredient in Roundup: anxiety, aggression, autism, ADHD, Alzheimers, cancer, depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal problems, heart disease, infertility, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinsons. If you have any of these issues and your health care professional has not advised you to stop eating conventionally raised food, you have not been given the whole truth. That professional has likely not been made aware of the danger, but it is real.

The interview begins by explaining that crops are now “Roundup Ready”, meaning the plants actually drink up the pesticide which leaves more in the food end product. Smith points out that the allowable residues have gone up since the plants were made Roundup Ready. Initially we were told Roundup would make it so less pesticides would have to be used, but the pests became resistant, and now its use has more than doubled. In the first 16 years, 527 million pounds of Roundup has been used. Current studies show, in the Midwest {7:20}, 60% to 100% of ALL samples of air, water and rain contain glyphosate. This is call for alarm. It is even found in the blood of newborn babies.

In a recent post on my site, I talk about how disease is caused by exposure to toxins and not having enough nutrients to protect ourselves. These are exactly the concerns Dr. Seneff cites {2:45} that Roundup is responsible for. She relates that glyphosate depletes calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, cobalt and other minerals causing nutritional deficiencies AND leaves toxins in the body.

Dr. Seneff points out that Monsanto was able to say that the active ingredient in Roundup didn’t effect human cells because it works on a metabolic pathway called the shikimate pathway, which humans don’t have. However, as I pointed out in last week’s post on the Microbiome, we have 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells, and those bacteria ARE negatively effected by glyphosate, causing inflammation and other harmful responses.

What does glyphosate do in the body?

1. Harms our good bacteria and then bad (pathogenic) bacteria can take over (autism {5:oo}) and produce toxins (i.e. ammonia and formaldehyde) that can lead to encephalopathy (Alzheimers {20:00}) and DNA damage {13:00} (cancer {34:30}). Dr. Seneff stressed the #1 action to take for Alzheimers is to remove all sources of glyphosate (it is in processed food and used often in lawn/yard care).

2. Blocks the CYP 450 enzyme pathway {17:00} which harms the liver, ezymes that help us detoxify, hormones and our ability to make vitamin D.

3. Destroys amino acids in food as well as interrupting the body’s ability to make aromatic essential amino acids {25:03} like tryptophan and tyrosine. We need these aminos to make serotonin (lack = depression, aggression, obesity) and dopamine (Parkinson’s {32:00} and fibromyalgia).

4. Contributes to multiple sclerosis {41:00} both by destoying the myelin sheath and by causing leaky gut which leads to the body attacking itself (autoimmune disorders – of which we are seeing a dramatic increase). Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, also leads to bowel inflammatory disorders {45:30} like Crohn’s disease, colitis and IBS.

5. Since minerals like zinc, cobalt and manganese are no longer available in our foods and our body requires these to function, we keep eating more and more in our body’s desperate attempt to get what it needs (Obesity {59:00}.

6. Disrupts our cells’ ability to store sugar (Diabetes {59:00}).

What about safety studies? {36:20} Monsanto did do short term (90 day) studies for safety. However, when independent studies were done, in the fourth month of research, the female test animals (80%) developed mammary tumors (breast cancer) and the males developed tumors in their kidneys and liver problems. Much more on Monsanto’s pseudo-science is available from the Institute for Responsible Technology.

GMO crops in this country include alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, soy, sugar beets and squash (zucchini and yellow summer squash). And it’s not just GMOs anymore, Folks. Smith points out {60:00} that glyphosate is now being sprayed on non GMO crops such as barley, rice, wheat and rye immediately before harvest.

Bottom line…the mechanisms showing glyphosate/Roundup cause disease are now known and while you and I may not understand them in the detail Dr. Seneff does, we can take action to minimize their damaging effects on us. Eat NO GMOs. Eat organic. Do NOT spray your lawn and yard with Roundup or other toxic chemicals (that get on your shoes, your pets’ feet, young children playing outside).

If you haven’t already, I urge you to watch the film Genetic Roulette – The Gamble of Our Lives.

As always, wishing you REAL food, for REAL health so you can be REAL happy.




My hometown is waking up...are You?

Muskegon pic little louRegaining Our Health part 1

This journey helping others regain wellness is an exciting one. From the “Natural Mommy”s building their childrens’ innate immune systems, to the monthly Nourishing the Lakeshore (Century Club) and Let’s Talk Wellness meetings (Unity of Muskegon) to the clients eager to reduce their medications due to side effects, to those who just want to eat better shopping at Sweetwater, we are waking up. People in and around Muskegon are learning that what they put in their mouth and on their body affects how they feel. And then there are the fermenting classes and Fermenting the Lakeshore group, but we’ll talk about that next time.

New people approach me every week asking what they can do. Everyone knows someone, often themselves, with aches and pains or a diagnosis of an auto immune disorder. So many have GERD or other digestive problems, achy joints (aka digestive problems), hair loss, mood issues and weight gain (especially around the middle). How about you?

The imperative here is self-EDUCATION.

The answer to these issues is complicated and yet very simple. Healing boils down to reducing our toxic exposure and increasing our intake of nutrients to build strong bodies/immune systems. However, with so much profit driven mis-information out there, figuring out what to do is confusing.

Let’s look at our food. Our supply has gone toxic – from GMO seeds (i.e. corn, soy, sugar beets, canola, zucchini) to pesticides used on those seeds, to the harmful processing of our milk and animal products, to the over-hybridized wheat which is making everyone gluten sensitive. And don’t even get me started on excitotoxins like MSG, aspartame, and splenda that give people the impression diet sodas help them lose weight (when the reverse is true).

Personal care products
are filled with carcinogens and toxins. We can’t quantify yet how much they contribute to obesity and illness. Then add chemical cleaning products and air fresheners and our personal toxic load goes over the edge into illness.
Fire at Pere Marquette

What’s the answer? Clean up – your personal care regimen, your cleaning supply cabinet (vinegar is great), and any other product you use at home, work or in your car.

Another step, of course, is getting safe, clean, nutrient dense foods to build your body. Yes, you are what you eat, and this is serious. Your source for dietary information must be objective and without a motive for profit (the USDA has a goal to sell agricultural goods – remember this). I have helpful articles and recipes on my site that I use to educate people back to the radiant health that is their birthright. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to work your way through the articles on my START HERE page with links to other researched pages I trust.

We will talk soon about the gut microbiome – part 2 of Regaining Our Health

Wishing you real food for real health so you can be real happy.




Why Organic?

sustains us and the planetIn my last article I touched on how what we put on our skin affects our health. Hard for some people to believe. Today we’ll look at the more accepted premise – we are what we eat. Think about it. We consume “stuff” and it becomes our bodies. Shouldn’t we be aware of what is in that “stuff”? What we put in our mouth is the #1 contributor to our wellness (or lack thereof). The way we eat changes our immune system, our muscles and joints, our brain and moods. With the degradation of the food supply, our wellness is running into major trouble.

So let’s take a look at pesticides. Organophophate pesticide poisons were developed during Hitler’s reign as chemical warfare. And we’re using them on our crops?? There are over 180 identified pesticides used in this country that are endocrine disruptors. That means they mess with our hormones (like insulin) which oversee the functioning of all the necessary activities in the body. The average American consumer is exposed to between 5 and 10 pesticides per day on the Standard American Diet (SAD) . Even with a well functioning liver, those toxins are going to build up. Proponents of the chemical industry say the trace amounts in our food are too small to negatively effect health (100 parts per billion). Did you know that the NuvaRing, the birth control vaginal ring, contains .019 parts per billion and it prevents reproduction?! Albuterol, the asthma inhaler, works at 2.1 parts per billion, quite effectively for those in distress. We’re kidding ourselves if we think the pesticide residues in and on our food are inert.

Why aren’t physicians advising everyone to eat organic? Because they are not being educated about the damaging, even life threatening effects of pesticides on living cells/tissues/bodies. They’re treating diseases AFTER they occur. The information is out there, but it has not been considered a priority in med school. Who is going to advocate for including it in the curriculum?

Consider this. Back in the 80’s when I was raising my family, kids just didn’t have the health problems they’re having today. It was rare to see a child or adolescent with high blood sugar or blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol or triglycerides, or a waist size above 40 inches. Now, 2/3 of high school students have at least one of these markers (Dr. Alan Greene, lecture to organic farmers, 2009). During the last 30 years our food supply has experienced MAJOR compromises (pesticides, GMO’s, high fructose corn syrup, additives, preservatives, colorings, and more). The way we are feeding our children is setting them up for a lifetime (often abbreviated) of illness.

So let’s talk about diabetes for a minute. Studies have confirmed a link between diabetes prevalence (and auto-immune diseases) and pesticides. Adult onset diabetes is now called type II diabetes because so many young people are getting it. A diagnosis of diabetes for a child is likely to reduce their lifespan 10-20 years. The cost of caring for them over their lifetime is estimated somewhere between $300,000 and $3 million – per child! Why then, do we continue sourcing our school lunches from conventionally grown and processed foods? Because it’s cheap, “inexpensive” if you will. We can feed a lot of children for very little money. The long term price tag however, is astronomical. And the pain and sadness are priceless. Imagine what we could do if we spent more for organic food and prevented diabetes in thousands (and thousands) of young people.

OK, so pesticides are dangerous. What about the hormones they use to fatten up livestock, make more milk and get those huge chicken breasts we think are good for us? Well, there is NO evidence anywhere to show the safety of the hormones used on animals. There are studies however, that show increased cancer in people who consume conventionally raised meat. That was why in 1989, Europe banned the import of meat raised in this country.

The great thing is, there are farmers with integrity out there that understand the connection between sustainable farming and sustaining human life. Animals raised on smaller farms are roaming the grass in the sunshine and taking in life sustaining nutrients that are passed on to us when we eat them. Organic vegetable and fruit farmers do not use toxic, cancer causing pesticides, AND they add needed minerals back into the soil so plants and trees can bear produce that builds healthy human bodies. Research shows that organically grown foods contain significantly more nutrients and antioxidants AND those nutrients are more bioavailable to your cells. Anyone who consumes organically raised food on a regular basis also knows it tastes great! I encourage you to find local sources for organically raised food. There are more and more every day as we spread the word of true healthy living.

Until next time…Wishing you real food for real health so you can be REAL HAPPY.
Additional recommended reading:
Mounting Evidence Links Pesticides to Parkinson’s Disease
Serum organochlorine pesticide residues and risk of gallstone disease: A case-control study in Xiamen.
Childhood brain tumors, residential insecticide exposure, and pesticide metabolism genes.
New study confirms atrazine’s effects across a range of species (including us)
Organic Foods Contain More Nutrients!
Study links Honey Bee Deaths to Corn Insecticides




The First Step to Better Health - Bacon Fat*

*from grass fed pigs…and organic evco

This post is dedicated to the incredible activist film maker Chris Bedford who introduced me to the sad and insidious world of food politics. He guided me – and thousands of others – to the possibilities for making our world sustainable. Today’s blog is controversial…Chris always loved controversy.

My family's favorite fat


Fats? Seriously? We’re supposed to avoid them, right? They clog our arteries and make us unhealthy. Especially animal fats. NOT!

Many people ask me what the first step toward better health is – I say switch out your fat. In my studies and travels I’ve met a growing number of very healthy people who understand the dire importance of good fats in the diet. But I’ve found the majority of people who live in my beautiful corner of the world, the Lakeshore of West Michigan, don’t have a clue. So I write this for them. The rest of you, nod your head and say “yup”.

Our bodies need fats. And saturated fats, those dreaded rascals that the American Heart Association and American Cancer Society have been warning us against for decades, are in EVERY cell in your body. Our heart, nerves, hormones and brain need them everyday. Has the advice we’ve been getting all these years shown a dramatic decline in cancer and heart disease? Let’s be honest…No.

Lipids and cholesterol = healthy cell membranes

That’s because our cells are starving. Look at any anatomy book and you’ll find that saturated fats and cholesterol form a key part of the outer edge (membrane) of all the cells that make up YOU.

So we have been encouraged to swap out animal fat with vegetable oils that aren’t healthy at the cellular level. Our poor cell membranes don’t get what they need to stay pliable and do their jobs in relation to the cells around them (cell signalling). After years of consumption of these liquid vegetable oils we end up with problems all over the body – immune system disruption, heart disease, memory issues, cancer and more. Yes, other lifestyle factors contribute to these concerns also, but why increase your risk? Dr. Mary Enig, the world renowned expert on the biochemical structure and effect of fats in the body discusses the issue at length in this interview, if you want to know more (and you REALLY should). No, you won’t see this on television or in the mass media because there’s no money in it. At least not for big business. But the truth is coming out, thanks to organizations like the Price Pottenger Foundation and the Weston A Price Foundation and the Internet (as long as we remain uncensored).

Well done Dr. Enig!! How sad that so many young people’s eyes were damaged because the advice we were given was flat out wrong. How long is it going to take to get this truth into the mainstream?

We must be aware of the QUALITY of the fats we eat. The fats from a grassfed cow are going to be healthy and the fats from a feed-lot cow eating GMO grains grown with pesticides and then filled with antibiotics and hormones are going to be VERY different. The organic extra virgin coconut oil that our cells thrive on and that can be safely heated to high temperatures is miles ahead of the rancid refined vegetable oil on the grocery store shelves that gets further damaged when we cook with it.

We’ve been sick long enough. It’s time for a change. The very first step I recommend is get rid of those truly dangerous fats and start adding in the coconut oil and fats that come from critters raised outside naturally. By the way, grass fed bacon grease is one of THE most tasty ways to add flavor to your casseroles and stir-frys.

We’ll talk about the superfood cod liver oil some other day.

Until next time, wishing you Real Food for Real Health so you can be Real Happy