Category Archives: Healthy Living

Bee Allergy Free – Spring 2014 Catalog

Bee Allergy Free

by Tal Ewing

Talandmary

When you suffer from seasonal allergies like I do, you only want one thing: relief! You want your nose to stop running, your eyes to stop itching, and your throat to stop burning. You want to be able to go outside without having to take a pill or squirt something up your nose that you know is probably not good for you in the long run. But how can you get to a point in your life where you can live without the pills and the sprays? For most of my life, I thought that was impossible. I remember my parents giving me spoonfuls of liquid antihistamines and taking every over-the-counter and prescription allergy medicine on the market. I took allergy shots for almost a decade. However, nothing seemed to work long term. The more medicine I took, the worse my allergies seemed to get.

BerryWell_2So, when I first met Steve and Stephanie Tallent, they pretty much knew just one thing about me: Tal has bad seasonal allergies. I’m sure that my wife (the beautiful, wonderful Mary Ewing) had told them stories of my sneezing, hacking, and doctors visits and that I was the perfect person to test a new elderberry product for them. So, on our first meeting they came bearing a gift of a bottle of what became Berry Well. It was that gift that helped lead me to finding a few natural solutions that have helped me achieve freedom from the pills and sprays. In fact, since that first meeting I have been able to stop all of my allergy medications and find true freedom from my allergies. Here’s how I did it and how you can, too!

Watch what you eat. This is the part that most of us hate to hear, but it is vital. When I finally realized that allergies are all about inflammation, I started to look for those things in my diet that lowered my body’s natural immunity and caused it to overproduce histamines. I grew up eating the Standard American Diet(SAD). We did not know better, so by the time I met Mary, my diet consisted primarily of peanut butter and jelly, coke and ramen noodles. (Hey, what’s a bachelor on a tight budget going to do?!) But I was also on antibiotics monthly because of it.

As we began to clean up our diets, we not only focused on eliminating things such as sugar, processed foods, and additives, but we made sure to include putting back nutrients that had been missing. The body can only repair itself if given the correct building blocks, so ensuring adequate intake of healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, as well as nutrient-dense fresh fruit and vegetables, give the body the proper base for health. Eliminating the non-foods or foods that trigger inflammation in the body decreases the likelihood of over-producing histamines.

Take the essentials. Be sure that you are getting the essential vitamins you need to build a healthy immune system. I finally realized that my allergies were a symptom of my body’s inability to regulate itself. So, I started listening to my wife. She encouraged me to take a probiotic, since a significant portion of immunity is regulated by the gut. I began with Tummy Tuneup, alternating with Gut Guardian. I also take Digest Best with my meals; Mary tells me this is because enzymes support digestion which in turn decreases the inflammation caused by poorly digested foods.

My daily regimen also includes SuperDad, Cod Liver Oil and B-Better to support and fill in the gaps in my diet. I added these to my daily doses of Berry Well, and I began to see a significant decrease in the time I spent dealing with my allergy episodes. This was the basis for my healing regimen, but there are several things that I also use, either when I know I am prone to more symptoms or when I am actually experiencing them.

First, I will add Vitamin D3. I usually consume it in two forms, as D3 and also in Cod Liver Oil where it is naturally paired with Vitamin A for an added punch. Vitamin D is a natural anti-inflammatory and also works to boost the immune system. Decreasing the levels of inflammation helped to decrease my allergic responses as well. The added benefit of fewer infections also helped keep me out of the doctors office! Although the spring allows for extra sunlight, I would often have to avoid time out of doors due to higher allergens. But as I took my D3, I was able to spend more time out of doors and naturally get my sunlight as well.

Then there’s a miracle substance called Colostrum Transfer Factor. Colostrum’s active ingredients not only boost the immune system and help make it difficult for bacterium to attach to the mucous membranes, but they also regulate the immune response. This prevents over-production of some of the lymphocytes and T-cells that cause the allergic responses. So taking Colostrum can keep you from getting sick,and makes sure that allergies are not running wild at the same time.

Optimally, we would all have access to raw honey, and pollen too. These help give small exposures to local allergens and gradually decrease the body’s reactions to them. Finding a local beekeeper that has healthy bees and then using a teaspoon of their honey every day can help decrease your allergies. If you do not have access to good quality raw honey, Bee Strong is a great alternative and is easy to swallow!

When I start to feel like I am getting an allergy attack or a cold, I take an extra dose of Berry Well accompanied by a dose of D3 and Vitamin C. This helps my body boost its ability to handle the additional stress it is under.

Calm your allergies with essential oils. This was the last step I took, but it has been one of the most beneficial in helping me find true allergy relief. If you suffer from allergies, you realize that you cannot always control your environment. Trees are going to pollinate, flowers are going to bloom, and the house is going to need dusting. There is something that you can do, though, to help neutralize those threats to your body: fight them with essential oils. I use a combination of eucalyptus, frankincense, and peppermint oils to calm my body when my allergies begin to flare.

During allergy season, we run the diffuser with a base of Eucalyptus Oil almost round the clock. We add to it either Frankincense, Peppermint, or Rosemary– usually depending on our mood that day! Frankincense and Peppermint both help tremendously when we feel short of breath or stuffy, and Rosemary has been very good for hay fever symptoms.

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There have been times when my allergies have led to slight asthmatic symptoms as well. I used to carry an inhaler, and although I still own one for rescue purposes, I have rarely had to use it because I prophylactically use oils! We keep a small vial of pre-mixed oils that I rub on my chest twice a day when allergies are at their peak.

Allergy Rub
3 teaspoons of Almond Oil
10 drops of Frankincense
5 drops of Peppermint
Always make sure to check for sensitivity when rubbing on the skin. This can be rubbed on the chest and neck as needed to prevent breathing difficulties or help open up the respiratory passages.

Rubbing the feet with diluted essentials oils such as peppermint, thyme, rosemary, or frankincense can also help aid in relief. This can be done prior to bed or after a warm shower.

Sometimes, when all else fails and my allergies are still bothering me, it is time to reach for extra tools. While I still increase my supplements like Berry Well, sometimes I just want to breathe and open up my nasal passages quickly. Enter the neti pot or similar nasal passages flushing device! I include sea salt and xylitol in my mix to help soothe my nasal passages. The salt helps to mimic the isotonic fluids present in the nasal passages and decreases irritation. Xylitol helps to eliminate germs and other toxins found in the nasal passages and makes it hostile for them to try to reestablish their reign. This can be used as needed throughout the day. Discard any leftover liquid at the end of each day, unless you add a few drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract to preserve the liquid.

Homemade Nasal Wash
1/3 teaspoon of Sea Salt
1 teaspoon of Xylitol
1 cup of filtered or distilled water
4 drops of GSE (optional)
Mix well and use nasal washing device to administer as needed.

While I still might have to wear that paper mask when I cut the grass, by following these three steps, I’ve found that my body is healthier and better equipped to handle the allergens that come my way. That is the key to achieving lasting allergy relief.

Tal Ewing lives in Arkansas where he is a school teacher. He is married to our own Mary Ewing, and is the busy father of their five adorable children. He enjoys sports, outdoor activities, working in ministry opportunities as well as studying theology. He and Mary hope to soon have acreage where they can expand their backyard chickens into a small hobby farm!

Prevention Basics – Winter 2012-2013 Catalog

Prevention Basics

Jill Krantz

JillKrantzBioIt’s been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. How true that statement is, especially in the area of family health and wellness! In 16 years of parenting, I’ve learned there are some reliable ways to prevent many common viruses and bacteria from getting my family down for days or weeks at a time.

Knowledge is the number one ally against illness. This includes knowing how viruses and bacteria are caught and spread, as well has how they manifest in different ways. It also includes knowledge of keeping our bodies as strong and healthy as possible to avoid catching every bug that works its way through school, church, workplace, or community. We have the tools in our homes, kitchens, grocery stores, and right here at Beeyoutiful to help build the body’s defenses against both acute and chronic illness. Let’s highlight the stars of prevention.

Diet

Foods free of chemicals (dyes, preservatives, additives, MSG, nitrates, etc.) will fuel your body, giving it strength rather than depleting it of energy. When a virus threatens to invade a body where all systems are functioning at peak performance, that sad little virus doesn’t stand a chance. When our bodies are not taxed by unhealthy foods, they become strong fighting machines.

One of the most nutritious foods available and one of the easiest to make at home is bone broth. You can find a recipe in the Fall/Winter 2012 Beeyoutiful catalog. Don’t throw out those wonderful poultry or beef bones. Instead, use them to brew a pot rich in minerals, vitamins, and good fat.supers_together

NourishingTrad_1

And when you can’t get everything you need from food, Beeyoutiful has several products and resources to help fill in the gaps. SuperDad, SuperMom, and SuperKids are excellent daily vitamin supplements. Also, look in the “Books” section of this catalog to find what may be the number one book available for a well-rounded guide to a nutritious and healthy diet:  Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.

exerciseExercise

Move your body, every day if you can. We are designed to move and stretch, build and grow. Doing a specific kind of exercise is less crucial than simply to do some exercise. From the gentlest of stretching movements to the most vigorous running or swimming, your body will benefit.

Get to know what your body can do and accomplish, set a pattern of regular movement at least 4 or 5 times a week, and you’ll be amazed at the difference in your strength and energy. Exercise releases endorphins, which in turn boost mood, improve mental clarity, stabilize rest/sleep patterns, and strengthen immune function. Our culture focuses on the results of exercise on the outside of the body, but it also does wonders for our internal systems!

Sunshine and Vitamin D                                      d3                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Vitamin D “triggers and arms” the immune system. Yet there’s enough information swirling in today’s media about the importance of Vitamin D—and enough controversy about the best source of it—to confuse even a well-informed consumer! Most sources recommend 15 to 20 minutes per day of direct sunlight on the skin as the best source of Vitamin D. Those of us who live in northern climates, however, often have difficulty achieving that goal. For us, a Vitamin D supplement is a great solution.[i] Beeyoutiful offers both D3 Gel caps and D3 liquid, so you can choose which best meets the needs of your family.                                                                                                                                                    

Vitamin A

This essential nutrient is most often found in animal food sources (meat, dairy, eggs) and in bright-colored vegetables. Vitamin A aids the production of white blood cells, which fight infection, and it regenerates the mucosal barrier in the intestines, blocking infection from invading the body. Beeyoutiful carries two great sources of Vitamin A: Dynamic Duo (in combination with Vitamin D) and Cod Liver Oil.

Vitamin C

Every cell in the body needs Vitamin C. This well-known vitamin helps produce the vital white blood cells used to fight infections and viruses. Try either Gentle C or Rosehip C for a daily intake of immune power.

Gut Health

In our world of stress, poor diet, antibiotics, and other medications, the digestive system can get worn out and depleted of good bacteria that help fight off viruses and bad bacteria. Turn to Acidophilus Blast, Tummy Tune-up, Ultimate Defense, or Beeyoutiful’s newest and most potent strain of probiotics, Gut Guardian and Gut Guardian Supreme.probiotics

Attitude

This was a key missing in my life for many years. I honestly feared illness! Reports of bugs would circulate around church, and stories of “super bugs” were featured on the news almost weekly. Being in prime pregnancy and child-rearing years, I often feared my family would get sick. As I matured and grew in knowledge, I realized that an occasional virus can actually strengthen the immune system. So I learned to relax.

We still adhere to a strict family practice of washing hands frequently, and we maintain our bodies as best we can, but beyond that, I fear not! Fear is stress, stress is a weakening factor, and none of us can control every germ in our community. A happy and confident mom, combined with a cheerful and loving home, can go farther than anything else we have available.

Stress Management

This may be one of the most important factors of all. We live in a world overwhelmed by stress. Busy schedules, media overload, and work and home pressures can all lead to a worn-out body and mind. Stress affects every system of the body, including circulatory, digestion, breathing, and even skin. Committing to focused times of stress management can improve your family’s health. It may be a resolve to exercise regularly, dedicate time to prayer and devotions, or make regular visits to the chiropractor and/or massage therapist.stressBeeyoutiful offers several products that provide natural relief for stress and anxiety. Calm Mist Spray, with its combination of lavender, sweet orange, and chamomile essential oils, sprayed on a bath towel, or a pillow before nap or bed time, will soothe and calm both anxious children and adults, providing for good rest. Essentials oils shown to aid in stress relief are available in handy bottles: Chamomile, Geranium, Lavender, Sage, and Ylang Ylang. They can be used in a diffuser or combined with a carrier oil such as Almond or Jojoba for a relaxing and healing massage.

Arming yourself with knowledge and excellent products can defend against the assault of viruses and infections in our families. Confidence in doing the very best we can for the people we love is the best “medicine” available today!

Jill Krantz lives in the suburbs near Minneapolis. She’s been married to her best friend, Eric, for 19 years, and they have six children. Other than homeschooling, gardening, and literature, Jill’s great passions are gourmet cooking and healthy living.

[i] A note about S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder): For many people, the lack of sunlight during the winter months can cause mild or moderate bouts of feeling blue. Energy and focus dwindle, making the prospect of a long winter dismal. However, an easy and effective remedy is right at your fingertips, thanks to Beeyoutiful’s essential oils. Citrus oils are especially helpful in brightening mood and helping with mental clarity and focus. Try Lemon, Lemongrass, or Orange, or a combination in one of the excellent diffusers available from Beeyoutiful. I keep mine on the kitchen counter on dark days, and not only does my house smell fresh and summery, but we all get a lift to our spirits!

Products Listed in this Article:

Nourishing Traditions

SuperMom

SuperDad

SuperKids

D3 Gel Caps

Liquid D3

Dynamic Duo

Cod Liver Oil Options

Rosehip C

Gentle C

Acidophilus Blast

Tummy Tuneup

Ultimate Defense

Gut Guardians

“To-Do List” for Winter Fun- Winter 2012-2013 Catalog

“To-Do List” for Winter Fun

Johanna Puelston

You know you live in Minnesota when the four seasons are: almost-winter, winter, still-winter, and road construction. That’s how we see it here, anyway. And when you think that minus 10 degrees is “just a little chilly,” you’re definitely a Minnesota native.snowAs Minnesotans or even Americans living most anywhere north of the Florida panhandle, at some point we just have to laugh at the cold and make the best of Old Man Winter’s visit. Even so, Jack Frost can be a downright harsh visitor. The blizzard of the century hits; ice storms in the Midwest or South wreak havoc on trees and power lines, or even a few inches of snow in areas that don’t often get any can throw things (like cars) into a tailspin.

So when the inevitable frigid challenges of winter happen and we get stuck in the house because snow piles up or ice cripples our travel plans, it’s time to pull out my “Snow Day Survival Kit” to cope with the worst that winter has to throw at us. Here’s what you do:

  • Stay indoors. An extra car slipping around on the roads is not necessary!
  • Put on wool socks and your favorite warm sweater or hooded sweatshirt.
  • If you’re a woman: Take the day off from your makeup routine. Or better yet: Spend some of the crazy day playing with the new stash of Beeyoutiful all-natural makeup you just ordered. Do your eyes in a new color of eye shadow, or try a new technique for applying eyeliner.
  • Brew a big pot of your favorite hot drink. Coffee, tea, or cocoa.
  • Pop about 6000 IU’s of Vitamin D, because you’re definitely not getting enough of that! Here in the north, we get so little d3sunlight during winter that supplementing with Vitamin D is critical. Seasonal Affectedness Disorder (SAD) is no joke!
  • Bake some muffins. There’s something perfectly comforting about a fresh-from-the-oven muffin.  Pumpkin, banana, blueberry, or your favorite stand-by recipe.
  • Snuggle on the couch with a blanket, your favorite person, or your favorite animal (or all of the aboveJ).
  • Pull out a craft to work on. Start that knitting project you’ve had waiting, or finish the photo album that’s been on the shelf for 4 years.
  • Find a terrific book to read. Last year in the dead of winter, I was riveted to the true story of Louis Zamperini as told in the best-selling book by Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption.  If he survived being a Japanese POW, I know I can survive a measly winter storm.
  • Watch a Christmas movie. Or some other movie set in winter. (White Christmas, anyone? It’s a favorite around here.)
  • Make snow ice cream, sweetened with French Vanilla Stevia. My toddlers LOVE making this as much as I did when I was a kid. It’s a fun activity that makes really good use of that pile of fresh snow.
  • Call friends and family who live far away and chat for an hour or two.
  • Be thankful we’re not in the White Witch-ruled Land of Narnia. At least here, with winter, Christmas does come!
  • Put a new essential oil blend in your essential oil diffuser from Beeyoutiful. Enjoy the aroma, and know it’s helping kill off the icky germs cooped up in the house with you.
  • Put on some fun music and have an impromptu dance party with your kids or animals.
  • Write a REAL letter to someone you love. You know, the kind you write with a pen on a pretty piece of paper? Yeah, the old-fashioned way!
  • Spend some time praying for people who are truly suffering.
  • Make homemade pizza for dinner.
  • Put flannel sheets on your bed.
  • Heat up a rice bag to which you’ve added some of Beeyoutiful’s delicious Lavender Essential Oil, and get cozysnow 1

Around here, we usually get the opportunity to “rinse and repeat” this list four to six times each winter. I love the snow, and my three-year-old will be in raptures the first time God opens His storehouse of white and dumps it on our yard. But the cold? Oh my! I could do without the sub-zero temperatures. Yet we soldier on and thank God for a warm house, wool socks, fireplaces, and hot cocoa. And, of course, there’s always the beautiful promise of spring.

Johanna Puelston loves her life as a wife, mother, a sometimes caterer, and freelance writer. She lives in beautiful Minnesota with her husband, their son Jackson, and daughter Taylor. Feeding her family well and making memories together are two of her many passions. The Puelstons also love to travel, hike, make new friends, drink coffee, and laugh. 

[Sidebar]

Johanna’s Favorite Winter-Day Recipes

Grain-Free Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins

1/2 cup coconut oil
eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin puree or fresh-baked pumpkin
1/2 cup organic maple syrup or honey
6 oz  dark chocolate chips
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix eggs and other wet ingredients in one bowl. Mix dry ingredients in another bowl. Melt chocolate and coconut oil together over low heat, and let the chocolate cool for 5 minutes. Add the chocolate and coconut oil to wet ingredients; then blend with a whisk. Combine the wet and dry mixtures until well blended. Scoop into muffin tins with paper liners. Bake for 25 minutes or until firm.

Snow Ice Cream

(serves 8 children)

2½ quarts fresh, clean snow

½ cup cream

10 drops of French Vanilla Stevia, or to taste

OR ½ cup organic cane sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Mix stevia, cream and salt together; pour over snow, and mix well. Eat immediately. J

French Vanilla Hot Chocolate

(serves 8)

½ cup (preferably raw) cocoa powder (substitute carob if desired)

Beeyoutiful’s French Vanilla Stevia to taste (substitute raw honey to taste if desired)

½ tsp vanilla

Small pinch of sea salt

1 cup of cream (I use raw)

1 can full-fat (can substitute with lite) coconut milk

3 cups milk

Dump coconut milk and cream into small pan. On medium-low heat, whisk in cocoa powder, French Vanilla Stevia, and vanilla. Add salt, and mix until dissolved. Add milk, and bring to desired temperature. Taste and adjust sweetness as desired. Top with a homemade marshmallow or whipped cream, and enjoy!

Cassia Essential Oil Spicy-Sweet Tea

Hot water in your favorite mug

2 to 4 drops Cassia Essential Oil

Squeeze of fresh lemon (optional)

Generous dollop of raw honey

(For an extra, stomach-soothing kick, add a drop of Ginger Essential Oil if you like ginger.)

To guard against insufficiently diluted oils, stir frequently while you drink this tea. That will keep the oils from floating to the top and burning your lips or mouth. And, as always, when using essential oils internally or externally test for sensitivity first and err on the side of more-than-adequate dilution.

Instructions for Rice Bag with essential oil? I could rewrite this to be simpler with less steps, I think. See below

http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/2007/11/rice-heat-therapy-bag-tutorial/

 

Products Mentioned in this Article:

BeeyoutifulSkin

D3

Better Than Grandma Used to Make- Catalog Winter 2012-2013

Better Than Grandma Used to Make

My Journey to Healthy Eating—Even on Holidays!

Mary Ewing

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I love Thanksgiving. My fondest memories revolve around spending that holiday with my mom’s parents. It embodied southern charm, and the table overflowed with a spread fit for any home and food magazine. I loved the sights and smells, the joy and laughter. The holidays have always been the highlight of my memories. Perhaps the best they have to offer is knowing you will be with people who love you.

These warm memories prompted one of my biggest fears on the journey to genuinely healthful eating. I was afraid I would have to give up the holidays as I knew them—not just the specific foods but the warm fuzzies that come with them. I feared that having a healthful holiday meant not having a happy tummy.  Would my family’s fare be sterile, maybe even un-appetizing? I worried they wouldn’t have the same cozy, satisfying memories of holiday meals that I did.

Holiday Health Crisis

On December 20th, six years ago, a sweet, precious boy was born to my husband and me. Due to lack of good planning on our part, I ended up alone in the hospital that night with our newest love. We had lost one baby and then found out we were expecting another, and throughout my pregnancy, I had struggled with conflicting emotions. I wanted to be thoroughly excited but waded through fears and anxiety over possibly losing another child. I don’t think I truly relaxed until that night in the shadowy darkness of my hospital room. I barely slept, watching that little self, snuggled next to me. I relished our night alone before the reality of now having a family of four hit home the next day.

That little man-to-be is the one who launched my journey to healthful living. (I’ve told many of you parts of my story on the phone or through email, so I apologize if my article is redundant, but this holiday season has gotten me thinking about how grateful I am for my life.) It wasn’t long before I knew he had some health issues. We discovered that his projectile vomiting after every feeding was caused by idiopathic reflux. Doctors assured me that it was perfectly normal for a child to be colicky and have bad skin breakouts, and that treatment would be “no problem.” We could try each of three medications to see which would best handle the condition. We would then continue whichever was most effective until he was old enough to walk . . . or maybe a bit older . . . or possibly his entire life. That didn’t sound like “no problem” to me, but I bought the first prescription and sat in the drugstore parking lot, bawling my eyes out.  How could I give my four-month-old baby a life sentence to medication? By the next day, I had decided to find a better way.

New to True Health

Trained as a nurse and steeped in standard medical ways, I knew virtually nothing about the world of genuinely healthful living. I began researching the reasons for colic, reflux, and eczema. Although information available on the topics has exploded in the last five years, even then I found some really cool stuff, which catapulted me toward a new lifestyle. But I had no idea how radically I needed to change my thinking about food and nutrition. At that point, I still thought I could heal my little boy while we continued to consume fast food, processed foods, and the other aberrations of the modern American diet. My entire paradigm needed to change.

We started with little steps that seemed right for the baby. I cut out dairy since that seemed to be linked to a big offender for his disorders. I fed him homemade formula that was less than lovely. It contained carrot juice and stained all his clothes orange during the transition period in which he was still spitting up a lot. We endured making formula daily for our little tyke and saw his reflux disappear. He gained about five pounds in a month and started sleeping better as well.

As the months past, we still struggled with the eczema and frequent illnesses. So we began intense probiotics. I’m beyond thankful for Tummy Tuneup and its ease of use with little ones! We sprinkled a partial capsule in his bottles and on his food until he was old enough to swallow the capsules, did yeast cleanses, eliminated all toxins we could and corn syrup specifically (major!). His once cracked and bleeding feet became supple and soft. The eczema disappeared from his scaly, itchy legs after consistent, multiple daily applications of Miracle. But the best, most rewarding part was that his moodiness and behavior problems began to melt away.

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Although my son will eat a plethora of raw fruits and veggies and likes plainly prepared meals, he is picky about ferments and bone broths, which I knew were a key to his (and our) healing. But as we got the yuck out of our diet and replaced it with healthy alternatives, he was willing to try and accept foods he previously rejected (still working on the nutrient-dense sauces, though).

Progress Report

As we made changes little by little, became more convinced about the rightness of our new path, changed and grew, I looked back and realized we had made a huge lifestyle shift. Our whole family benefited from it! My husband’s persistent sinus and allergy problems became less frequent. He went from being the first to get sick to often escaping the entire round of family illness. His taste buds changed as well. Instead of sugary cereals and Coke, he happily chose yogurt for breakfast with just fruit for sweetening. My oldest daughter stopped getting sick as frequently, and recovered noticeably faster when she did get sick. My youngest two, who really benefited from our lifestyle change (both before birth because I was healthier and after because they haven’t been exposed to as many toxins and “fake” food), are fairly robust and typically bounce back from health setbacks quicker than the rest of us.

But the most dramatic change occurred in yours truly. I would never have considered myself a “sick” person or that my health was less than prime. Yet at 29, I had begun to take seriously what people said when they warned that “things change in your 30’s.” I could not believe I should be so tired all the time and feel as horrible as I did. I struggled to keep up with the children, even while taking vitamins. My head was in a fog much of the time, and I suffered from extreme migraines. In a good month, I got by with only one severe headache, but in bad times, I had as many as 20 in a month with double and triple migraines in a day. I had suffered from them as a teenager but had a reprieve after getting off aspartame. Once I had children, though, they came back with a vengeance. After six long years, it seemed only to be getting worse. I lived in constant fear of my next headache and was unable to care for my children when a migraine landed me in bed.

At first, our moderate diet changes didn’t help. Then I completely eliminated MSG, high fructose corn syrup, and food dyes. I also went gluten-free (which did not affect my headaches but did improve my overall feeling of health, and I had fewer sinus problems and less brain fog). I did not stay gluten-free because I am not intolerant of it, but now, as a family, we simply limit our exposure.

With the addition of Magnesium Citrate, CoQ10, and B-Better, my migraines have disappeared entirely. It has been just over 20 months since my last one, and I had only one in the ten months before that. I believe migraines are a complex syndrome triggered by a variety of factors, including deficient magnesium levels, poor gut health, toxins, foods that block absorption of magnesium in the body, and stress. As I have become more healthful in our lifestyle and with the addition of several key supplements, though, I have not only had no migraines, but my energy levels are high, and I function well throughout the day!

Health Routine

My healthy patterns are now fairly well set for the family: whole foods, extremely limited processed foods, grass-fed meats, raw milk from pastured cows, sprouted grains and beans, and all-organic “other.” I drink kombucha and kefir, and love to eat sauerkraut. My pantry has slowly transformed from grab-and-go or scoop-dump-mix-and-warm to ingredients that require time and attention but are the best things you ever put in your mouth. I rarely implemented more than one change in a day, and typically any significant shift was a few months in the making.

Now I cannot imagine going back to the other—even on holidays! What about warm, fuzzy, yummy family times? We limit processed foods to those produced by thoroughly trusted organic, full-disclosure companies. We use funny sounding sugars like rapadura and turbinado. I don’t even own a product like Crisco anymore. We use healthy, farm-fresh lard. Our eggs and milk come straight from a farm, as does most of our meat. And we absolutely will not allow any high fructose corn syrup, MSG, or food dyes in what we eat. I have been pleasantly surprised at how well I have acquired skills to re-create favorite dishes using healthful ingredients, and now they taste even better than the original ones my grandmother used to make! To my further surprise, the extra prep time is neither laborious or a drain. It is really quite a lot of fun and something my little girls happily participate in. The best part is that now I’m passing down healthful traditions of my own.

Our green bean casserole is not only the best, float-you-to-food-heaven-and-back recipe you’ll ever want (see sidebar), it is also good for you. Sweet potatoes still put a smile on our faces but don’t give my son eczema. Cranberry sauce still dances on our tongues but doesn’t mess with our livers. Charlotte, our favorite dessert, tastes like lying in a hammock with a cool breeze hushing you to sleep on a quiet fall day, yet is a nutrient-dense treat. (I still make my grandmother’s refrigerator rolls, but since they are only a twice-a-year occurrence, we let that slide.)

I look forward to the holidays even more these days because I don’t feel hung over from compromised foods. In 20 years, I intend to be the grandma who continues old traditions and shares stories from days gone by over delicious, fun, nutritious food my grandchildren dream of all year long!

Mary Ewing is a wife and homeschool mother of four exuberant kiddos and the fifth on the way! She began her journey into health after quitting her job as a registered nurse to stay home with her children. After realizing their health was not being helped following the typical American lifestyle, she used her research skills to begin to radically change their lives. She is passionate about research and understanding the “way we tick” and fascinated by the immense gifts God has given us in nature to heal ourselves. She is grateful for the last four years that she has worked for Beeyoutiful and the opportunities it has afforded her to allow her to learn more! When not working or taking care of kiddos, she can be found knitting, sewing or dabbling in gardening!

Green Bean Casserole

(adapted from Williams-Sonoma catalog)

8 shallots, sliced thinly

Lard

Salt and pepper

Flour/gluten-free alternative

1 lb of Baby Bella mushrooms, washed and sliced

1 chopped shallot

1 cup bone broth

1 cup heavy cream (I use raw)

2 lbs of green beans (I use whole frozen green beans)

  1. Coat thinly sliced shallots in mixture of flour/gf alternative mixed with salt and pepper to taste. Then fry in lard until crispy but not burnt. Set aside.
  2. In large skillet, sauté mushrooms and shallots in butter until golden brown.  Add approximately ¼ cup of flour or arrowroot to skillet and coat veggies. Slowly add chicken broth, mixing well between drizzles. After all broth is incorporated, add the cream slowly, stirring as it thickens.
  3. Combine beans and sauce in a 9 X 13 pan and bake at 375 for approximately 25 minutes or until bubbling on the edges. Add onions at the last minute, and serve hot!

Cranberry Sauce

¼ cup fresh orange juice

¼ cup 100% cranberry juice (the tart stuff!)

1½ pounds fresh cranberries

Pulp from two oranges

1 cup maple syrup

¼ cup pecans

Combine juice and maple syrup in the pot until it boils; then add cranberries and oranges. Cook for approximately ten minutes, stirring consistently. Once the cranberries begin to burst, lower heat, and stir until most of the cranberries have burst open. Do not overcook because it will not set well. Then stir in the pecans. Chill and serve.

Products Mentioned in This Article:

Tummy Tuneup

Magnesium Citrate

CoQ10

B-Better

Sweet Memories – Spring 2012 Catalog

Sweet Memories

Putting Sugar Addictions Behind You

By Nancy Webster

I used to think the best time to go on a diet was May through August, the only months without the temptations of a major, sugar-related holiday. Even then, summer offers apple pie and ice cream on the Fourth and perhaps family birthdays here and there. I also used to think the only reasons I would worry about eating too many treats and desserts were getting fat and getting cavities.

That was years ago, when my youth covered for the regular indulging of my sugar cravings and when I didn’t know about the consequences already taking place in my body—and in my present and future children’s bodies. Yes, I battled ten or fifteen extra pounds, but compared to most overweight people, I reasoned, that wasn’t so bad.

Worse Than I Thought

Sugar-induced weight gain and cavities are only the beginning of problems caused by sugar. Back then, I didn’t know:

  • Sugar lowers immunities for six hours because infection-fighting white blood cells get tied up attacking the inflammation sugar causes and can’t protect against strep and other opportunistic germs. (No wonder my family was ravaged by a stomach bug or strep every Christmas season!)
  • Sugar encourages the development of cancer and feeds cancer cells.
  • Sugar sets your blood sugar levels on a rollercoaster, First, they must go sky high, forcing the pancreas to secrete copious amounts of insulin. Which then drops levels so low and so fast the adrenals have to serve as a trampoline to bounce the levels back up again. Since this happens over and over, the pancreas wears out, and you get diabetes. The adrenals wear out, and you get major hormone problems (even men!). And you and your children go back and forth from dragged-out to hyper, anxious, inattentive, sleep-deprived states.
  • Sugar messes up the acid/alkaline and good/bad bacterial balance in your gut, causing a range of problems from indigestion to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
  • Sugar makes it hard for your body to absorb the protein your eat.
  • Sugar is often the culprit behind food allergies.
  • About tooth decay: You may not know the truth about how sugar really contributes to dental problems. It’s not because you didn’t brush your teeth well enough. Actually, decay forms because sugar upsets the body’s mineral balance, causing important minerals like calcium to be pulled from the teeth (and bones—think “osteoporosis”). As a result, teeth rot from the inside out.

Any sugar causes these problems, but what’s worse is that almost every sugary food or drink today contains high fructose corn syrup, which weakens the body even more than regular beet or cane sugar.

Some people, including diabetics who follow a conventional doctor’s orders, think they’ll get around sugar’s detrimental effects by switching to artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, or sugar alcohols like malitol and xylitol. They chose “smart” foods and drink labeled “sugar-free” or “diet”. But research shows that artificial sweeteners not only don’t prevent weight gain, but actually induce a set of physiological and hormonal responses that make people gain weight. Even stevia produces this effect and should be avoided until users get their blood sugar under control.

Although I knew enough to be afraid of sugar subsitutes, as I became more health-conscious, I started replacing white beet sugar with mineral-rich dehydrated cane crystals, raw honey, molasses, and even date sugar and rice syrup. (I never used agave, which because of processing methods, is as harmful as high fructose corn syrup.) I switched frm using white flour (sugar’s close cousin that causes many of the same problems) to fresh-ground, whole wheat four. We cut way back on candy, but we baked as much or more than before. I didn’t know those healthier sweeteners were still hitting our bodies as hard as regular sugar. And I still partied hardy at every holiday and birthday party (I couldn’t resist!).

Where There’s a Will, There’s No Way

I had no idea there was anything besides my (very weak) willpower to help me overcome my love for candy corn, Hershey’s kisses, my mother’s incredible Christmas Cookies, those colored Valentine hearts with corny sayings (especially the yellow ones), chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, much less the ice cream my husband and I shared late at night after the kids were in bed. How could a fresh apple or orange compete with those delicacies?

I had the “white plague”. I was an addict. And no wonder. First of all, everyone has a natural preference for the sweet taste. Second, sugars make us feel good—for a while. As Julia Ross points out in The Diet Cure:

“For some of us, certain foods, particularly ones that are sweet and starchy, can have a drug-like effect, altering our brains’ mood chemistry and fooling us into a false calm, or a temporary energy surge. We can eventually become dependent on these drug-like foods for continued mood lifts.”1

Third, according to research by the Weston A Price Foundation:

“…sugar begets more sugar. Eating sugar clearly throws one’s body chemistry into a tailspin. Tag on poor sleep habits, adrenal fatigue, and an overload of stress, and intense cravings for sugar (or other substance like alcohol or drugs) can easily develop. Insulin imbalances and a lack of the happy-brain chemical called serotonin are often the underlying culprits. Essentially, the sugar being consumed perpetuates the vicious cycle of more intense sugar cravings.”

Except for food memories of special treats and worries about not gratifying my baking friends and family by eating their goodies, I have gotten over my love affair with sugar and white flour. Educating myself on the dangers of sugar addiction was a start, but because I was as physically addicted to sugar as an alcoholic is to alcohol, I needed more help.

Please don’t wait as long as I did to get a handle on your sweet tooth—for your own sake and for your family’s. There are many pleasures you can enjoy more fully when you are healthy and free from sugar addiction. For your long-term health, the most important holiday you may ever take is the holiday you take from sugar—and that’s something to celebrate!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sugar Free Tips

I have detailed below a collection of tips I used to kick the sugar habit.

Tip 1: The 5-Step Program to replace refined sugar with natural sugar:

1)      Eliminate all sugar drinks. Replace them with water, herbal teas, and fermented drinks like kombucha and fermented ginger ale.

2)      Next, limit sugar foods to 3x/week. Keep a food journal for accountability and to note how you feel physically.

3)      Eat at least three nutrient-dense meals each day, including lots of healthy fats (butter, sour cream, lard, tallow, coconut oil, palm oil, and olive oil). Fats slow the rate at which sugar hits the blood stream and reduce the need for pick-me-up coffee breaks. Fats also satisfy your appetite for a longer time—I eat a spoonful of coconut oil when a craving threatens.

4)      Then replace white sugar with natural sugars like maple sugar, dehydrated cane crystals, and raw, unfiltered honey (beware: most grocery store honey is imported from questionable foreign sources and often watered down with sugar and HFCS).

5)      Finally, limit the use of natural sugars to 3x,week in moderate amounts. Eat them in conjunction with a whole meal, which lessens the impact on blood sugar levels.

Tip 2: Include fermented foods (like plain yogurt, kefir, lacto-fermented sauerkraut, and fermented drinks) with your meals. Their good bacteria helps offset the sugars you ingest.

Tip 3: Keep tempting foods out of the house.

Tip 4: “Prepare meals with all six tastes: Ayurveda is a six-thousand year old philosophy on life, health, and food preparation. Practitioners of this system believe that when each taste is present in a meal—sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent—the body becomes more balanced, ultimately minimizing cravings, stabilizing appetite and perfecting digestion.”

Tip 5: Eliminate or at least seriously moderate caffeine use. Caffeine aggravates blood sugar regulation and depletes good-mood neurotransmitters.

Tip6: Get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids as found in cod liver oil. Among other benefits, this helps fight carbohydrate cravings and balances blood sugar.

Tip 7: Try taking an anti-candida product like Beeyoutiful’s Yeast Assassin. A good probiotic (like Tummy Tune-Up or Gut Guardian) also helps overcome the overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut which make you crave sugars, too. There are some supplements (for sale online and through health food stores) which can be taken temporarily to help manage sugar cravings as you are transitioning to a nutrient-dense, healthy fat-rich diet. These  are self-weaning and normally aren’t needed more than three weeks, according to Nora Gedgaudas in her book Primal Body Primal Mind, which recommends dosages and other supplements.

For example:

1)      L-glutamine, an amino acid, can stop cravings for sweets, starches, and alcohol immediately, because the brain can use L-glutamine instantly for fuel. (Do not use this if you have cancer!)

2)      The herb, Gymnema sylvestre, usually eliminates most cravings for sweets.

3)      L-tryptophan, another amino acid, helps calm carb cravings and restore serotonin function (“happy mood” hormones), especially when a person is lacking adequate protein.

Tip 8: Get plenty of uninterrupted sleep. Too little sleep affects blood sugar regulation and, when chronic, can lead to diabetes and adrenal fatigue.

Tip 9: Address the emotional reasons you love sugary foods. This is especially important at holiday times, family gatherings, and when you are stressed. Some people wrongly see food as their friend and try to overcome lonely feelings with it. Prayer works wonders here.

Tip 10: Some people overcome cravings and pain by using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), a form of self-administered acupressure explained at www.eft.mercola.com. This is also called “tapping”.

Tip 11: Before tempting social occasions, be a Boy Scout (even if you are a girl!) and “be prepared”. Prepare your mind by replaying why you want and need to eat better. Prepare your body by eating a healthy-fat filled snack like an avocado drizzled with olive and coconut oil dressing, some cooked veggies or eggs slathered in butter, or a spoonful or two of coconut oil. Those measures will help you choose carrot sticks and cheese over cookies and cake.

Tip 12: Use things other than food to reward yourself and your children: A special game, a bubble bath, a movie, an extra chapter in that good book you’re reading, a nature walk, a trinket, etc.

Footnotes:

1 Julie Ross, The Diet Cure: The 8-Step Program to Rebalance Your Body Chemistry and End Food Cravings, Weight Problems, and Mood Swings – Now (New York, Penguin Books, 1999), 8.

2 Article at http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/zapping-sugar-cravings

3 Article at http://www.westonaprice.org/making-it-practical/replacing-refined-sugars

4 From http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/zapping-sugar-cravings

Start Somewhere- Winter 2011 Catalog

Start Somewhere

One Family’s Journey to Healthier Eating

By Jill KrantzJillKrantzBio

Fourteen years ago, I was 80 pounds overweight and indulged in the fast food drive-thru several times every week. I never exercised, ate mounds of processed foods, and though the organic and “herby” women I knew were fanatics. Even so, I had begun to dabble in healthy habits by purchasing a wheat mill and a mixer with a dough hook, and I amazed myself at how good whole wheat bread could taste. But I had a long way to go.

Then, about four years ago, the problems of our son woke me up to the need for a higher level of concern about dietary health. We had become a family of seven-Dad, Mom and five great kids-and thought of ourselves as healthier than most in many areas of eating and lifestyle. I had been losing the weight I’d gained in those early years of childbearing and was gradually learning more about nutrition and health-and applying what I learned. Reading books and articles and talking to other mothers, I eventually settled us into a basic, well-rounded diet. But something was different about my nine year-old son.

Health Alarm

I had long been casually aware that my son was noticeably less robust and vibrant than the rest of my children. When a cold or flu hit, he usually go it first, worst, and longest. His appetite was low. He was thin and would often have dark circles under his eyes or red streaks on his face. I began to fear allergies or intolerances, or some horrid autoimmune problem.

So I threw myself into research-this time to a level I had never gone before. I’d always believed vitamins, herbs, and other supplements were too expensive and not a good use of our money. I also just knew that we could never afford to eat a diet that was mostly organic or natural. I figured we were already eating wholesome foods to a good degree, and I cooked most of our meals at home. I rationalized that the people who ate organic food and took supplements must have a lot more money than the average family-certainly more than we did.

One research step let to another. The more I read about chemicals in foods, the more I saw that harmful chemicals lurked in our personal care and cleaning products. Shampoo, soap, lotion, make-up, and toothpaste all had ingredients that could be subduing the natural health of our family! Laundry soap, bathroom cleaner, dish detergent-the bad stuff was all there. Ack!

Then I met a group of other mothers in an online forum and knew I’d found a place that had answers. These were natural-minded moms, many with several children, which meant several years of experience! It’s one thing to read a research article by a scientist, doctor, or nutrionist, but it’s altogether different to learn from a mom who is in the trenches. I asked a million questions and found a few women who helped tremendously. When I presented my son’s list of symptoms and issues, they pointed me in excellent directions.

A Beeyoutiful Discovery

One of the directions led to a family business called Beeyoutiful! Here was a place that sold supplements, essential oils, and more than anything else, gave free advice and encouragement through their website and catalog. I bought a handful of Beeyoutiful’s top sellers, like SuperKids, SuperMom, Tummy Tune Up, Grapefruit Seed Crush, Berrywell, and Miracle Salve. And today, I don’t go anywhere without Miracle Salve and Tummy Tune Up.

Our whole family started taking supplements regularly. In addition, I learned about things like grass-fed beef, organic chicken, and eggs, and the importance of organic dairy. I’d always been a broth and soup maker, but I didn’t know that the reason it is good for us is the minerals and gelatin extracted from the bones. We’d also been eating good fats for awhile, but I didn’t know why they were good, either. One of my rules of thumb became “if God made it, we’d best be eating it in its most natural state.”

And oh! I became a label-reading fanatic. I  decided there were a handful of ingredients that absolutely would not be allowed in our eating plan. Some of them I already knew, and some were new to me. But learning about what these chemicals do to our bodies is what pushed me to make a list of “forbidden fruit.” Here are the main offenders:

1.       MSG (monosodium glutamate, and all its secret cousins like yeast extract, autolyzed or hydrolyzed soy protein, spice extract, to name a few)

2.       Nitrates or nitrites,

3.       High fructose corn syrup

4.       Artificial colors,

5.       The massive list of preservatives.

The Present, Accounted For

So where is our family today? Most importantly, that son of mine is a changed boy! Energy, attitude, appetite, immune system, are all 150 percent improved! Now he is often the last to succumb, least affected, and quickest to recover from viruses. The rest of the children are strong, robust, and bright-eyed. Everyone from the teen down to our three year-old (there are eight of us now) are thriving.

My 45 year-old husband is a fit and strong man, head and shoulders above many men his age. He plays hockey, skis, runs, bikes, skateboards, and swims with his kids. He sleeps great and manages stress well-oh, and is thankful for a wife that cooks good food for him and his family, of course.

Mom? Well, I’m mostly grateful to have healthy children. My favorite personal benefit is happy hormones. Beeyoutiful’s SuperMom vitamins, along with Cod Liver Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, and Vitex all work to keep me balanced. I’ve been able to maintain my size 8-status, all while eating meat, cheese, butter, vegetables, fruit, bread and some sweets. It’s all about quality and portions!

We still get sick sometimes. We had a horrid food-borne bacterial infection this summer, for instance. The worst off, I was down for several days, and I believe that is due to my many prior years of bad diet, multiple antibiotics as a child and young adult, plus the normal wear and tear of a 43 year-old mommy-body. My kids all bounced back, and I’m thankful for the knowledge and products that got us through.

Take a Step in the Right Direction

What can I offer to other families that might just be starting out on their journey to wellness-or are part way there and looking for next steps?

1.       Start with a few key books. I highly recommend Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon (available at Beeyoutiful). Whether or not you use the recipes (although I don’t know why you wouldn’t!), you’ll glean more information about food, diet, and traditional eating than you can get in any other single resource.

2.       Read the articles on Beeyoutiful’s website.

3.       Read the Beeyoutiful catalog (see, you’re already on your way), and learn about the products.

4.       Make some observations. This might sound bold, but look around your neighborhood, church, or school-their eyes, skin, and zest for life. Are the mothers cheerful? Do the dads stand tall with square shoulders? Do the parents look like they can keep up with their kids? Get to know them-and casually ask about their lifestyle.

5.       Read labels. This is non-negotiable. Just because something is labeled “organic” or “natural” does not always mean that it is. I’ve found numerous products at my health food store that did not fit into our family eating regime.

And what does all this really cost? You’ll recall I was skeptical about the practicality of healthy eating, but now I realize there are two important perspectives to keep in mind:

1.       When a food is nutrient dense, your body needs less of it in order to benefit from it. When you eat whole foods as opposed to processed foods, your body will be satisfied sooner. An apple versus a big bag of chips? The apple wins every day for satisfaction and fullness.

2.       You’ll either pay now or pay later. It doesn’t take many trips to the doctor to add up to a week of groceries-and figure in the lost work hours, prescriptions, and over the counter meds. Don’t forget about long-term results! What you put into your body now will harm or benefit your health later.

Don’t worry if your family isn’t perfect. Ours isn’t. We ate some Skittles the other day, and my kids shared a couple of Cokes at a carnival recently. There are also times when the vegetables simply don’t get past the lips of my younger children.

The path to wellness has a different starting point for each family or individual. We all have the same ultimate goal, but what drives us to begin-and at what speed we travel-depends on the needs, means, and passion behind our stories.

You may have a child as I did, with some sort of health complaint or issue. But start somewhere-and go easy. I’ve seen women get all fired up about good eating and railroad their children and husbands into a steady diet of all sorts of foreign and sometimes nasty tasting stuff. Give your journey some time. Pray about it. And absolutely make sure you’re in unity with your spouse. Then you can both encourage your children gently along this new adventure.

Jill Krantz lives in the suburbs near Minneapolis. She’s been married to her best friend, Eric, for 19 years, and they have six children. Other than homeschooling, gardening, and literature, Jill’s great passions are gourmet cooking and healthy living.

Health Chocolate- Fall 2010 Catalog

Healthy Chocolate

And Now For Something Completely Different: Chocolate That Heals

By Greg Webster

Greg webster

The chip in the rim of my Durango-Silverton souvenir coffee mug reminds me each morning of how well-loved that gift is. My 12 year-old daughter brought it to me from her life-changing trip to a natural-healing specialist in Colorado.

Lily struggles with Asperger syndrome, an autism-spectrum disorder whose biochemical cause seems to have evaded most medical practitioners except Dr. Shauna Young. Through a disciplined diet combined with targeted nutritional supplements, Dr. Young’s  “Spectrum Balance Protocol” has helped Lily develop more age-appropriate behaviors and social skills.* We follow the diet more rigidly at some times than others, but during the “strict” times, it’s a challenge to keep a fun-loving 12 year-old on a regimen that excludes all processed foods and nearly every type of sweet treat enjoyed by most kids her age.

We attribute much of her success in staying on the diet to one particular, delectable and surprising supplement Dr. Young recommends to her patients of all ages.  Lily eats chocolate. That may sound strange to anyone marginally aware of health food do’s and don’ts, but the secret of why it works lies in a new-found version of an ancient food used in a time when chocolate was anything but junk.

It Wasn’t Always So

We think of chocolate as a decadent candy, but in the long history of cocoa consumption that is an anomaly. Thirty centuries ago, Mayans imbibed a spicy raw cocoa concoction of a mainstay of a high nutrition diet. It remained a health meal-in-a-cup for over 2500 years until Europeans decided they preferred mixing cocoa with sugar and milk rather than the cayenne and chili peppers that added an energetic kick to the ancient South American brew.

It became standard procedure to separate cocoa powder from cocoa butter (ditching), add chemicals to moderate the bitter taste, and boil the mixture to blend the added ingredients together. Americans did their part by introducing the first milk chocolate candy bar in the 1880’s. So now we think of chocolate primarily as a “sinful delight”.

There have been murmurings in the past ten years or so about the health benefits of dark chocolate, and the rumors are true-to a point. Cacao, from which cocoa is produced, is the ultimate antioxidant food.  It far outstrips blueberries, spinach, broccoli, red wine, or any other competitor that has been trumpeted as a great source of free-radical fighting antioxidants. And since eliminating free radicals is one of the best things you can do for your health and wellness, that means there’s a scientifically sound reason the early South Americans knew it was good for them.

Chocolate’s Dark Secret

Cocoa is likely the healthiest vegetable around. For example, 3 ounces of raw cocoa has the same antioxidant content and other nutrients as more than 6 pounds of tomatoes. It’s nature’s most complex superfood, with over 300 identifiable compounds, including most vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and “bliss chemicals” like dopamine and serotonin.

Cocoa is a natural anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-cancerous agent. And because an estimated 200 or more degenerative diseases start with inflammation, cocoa can help with a stunning variety of ailments.

Various studies have reported that dark cocoa consumption can provide the following benefits:

– Decrease cardiovascular disease by lowering cholesterol levels and stopping bad cholesterol from       oxidizing and sticking to vessel walls.

–  Prevent the formation of blood clots, which otherwise can lead to heart attacks and strokes

–  Increase the flexibility of blood vessels in order to lower blood pressure and decrease stress on the heart.

– Help the body better utilize sugars, curbing diabetes and decreasing complications suffered by diabetics

–  Reduce dental cavities and periodontal disease;

–  Improve memory and slow the onset of dementia

–  Improve skin quality

–  Decrease inflammation associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia, or other inflammation diseases

–  Alleviate depression

–  Help with weight loss by decreasing appetite

It’s the high antioxidant value of cocoa, and the corresponding ability to eliminate free radicals, that accounts for much of the benefit of chocolate. Free radicals are cellular terrorists-atoms with mission electrons that steal them from healthy atoms. This ongoing process is called oxidation and, just as rust eats into metal, free radicals eat into our cells and destroy the DNA. Free radical damage is linked to more than 100 conditions, ranging from heart disease and arthritis to dementia, diabetes, and even cancer.

These days we are bombarded with more free radicals than ever, thanks to environmental toxins in the air and water, cigarette smoke, pesticides, and processed food, to name some of the worst offenders, but foods risk in antioxidants are an effective weapon against this damage. Antioxidants provide electron mates for free radicals and normalize the chemical situation in the body.

The USDA uses the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) scale to measure the antioxidant capacity of different foods and it recommends a minimum of 3,000 ORAC daily. The average American diet, however, delivers only about 800 ORAC per day.

Studies have shown that the more the ORAC value you take in throughout the day, the healthier you will be. Dr. Richard Cutler, past Director of the Anti-Aging Research Department of the National Institute of Health in Washington, DC notes that “the amount of antioxidants that you maintain in your body is directly related to how long and how healthy you will live.”

Cocoa is nature’s highest-scoring ORAC food in its natural form. It delivers a variety of vital flavonoids (antioxidants) in a form that helps the body put them to good use.

To give an example of what just one of several important cocoa flavonoids do: The epicatechin has been shown to boost nitric oxide levels in the blood which, in turn, relaxes blood vessels, improving blood flow and reducing stress on the heart. To highlight its importance, Norman Hollenberg, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, says in Chemical and Industry, “We all agree that penicillin and anesthesia are enormously important. But epicatechin could potentially rid of four of the five most common disease in the Western world.” For more health information and testimonies about healthy chocolate, see www.PatentedChocolateResearch.org.

So What’s the Catch?

If the rumors about the health benefits of dark chocolate are true “to a point,” what is that point? It’s this: Most commercially produced dark chocolates are still cooked and then laden with less-than-healthy additives. As with any vegetable, the hotter and longer you cook them, the less nutrition-especially antioxidant value-is left. Roasting and sustained high temperatures (processes most large chocolate companies follow) notably decrease the beneficial amounts of flavonoids in cocoa. Heat-processing cooks out more than 80 percent of its antioxidants and nutrients. On top of that, some combination of wax, fat, fillers, and sugar are usually added. This is even true of most chocolate bars found in health food stores.

Chocolate products with the highest flavonoid content are those that use blanched, unfermented, sun-dried, non-roasted, and cold-pressed cocoa. In fact, cocoa that has undergone these processes boasts of 4 to 8 times the levels of antioxidants and nutrients than cocoa produced with standard processing. And there’s really only one source of truly good-tasting raw chocolate that delivers the full benefit of cocoa.

The MXI Corporation of Nevada created a patented cold-pressing process for making dark chocolate. Not only is the chocolate raw, it is enhanced, not with unhealthy fillers, but with acai berry(the second highest ORAC food on earth), blueberries, grapes, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Then it’s sweetened with low-glycemic raw cane crystals to take an edge off the natural bitterness of coca, and the process delivers chocolate that is naturally caffeine-free. Three one-ounce servings is roughly the nutritional equivalent of 1-1/2 pounds of spinach.

Because Beeyoutiful is committed to researching and delivering only the best available health supplements and because MXI network marketing system is the sole source for this truly healthful and delicious raw chocolate, Beeyoutiful offers the chocolate outside of its normal channels of website and catalog sales. Marketed in several forms under the brand name Xocai (“show-sigh”), it is available through Beeyoutiful’s MXI distributorship. You’ll find details in how to order in the accompanying sidebar.

So, yes, Lily eats chocolate on her diet. Dr. Young advocates the raw Xocai version as a fun and nutritionally supercharged supplement to her autism recovery protocol. But you don’t have to have an autism disorder to benefit. It’s a delicious and healthful addition to any diet.

We’ve made a series of brief videos about our experience. Check out YouTube at www.youtube.com/watch?v=styo8tiaXcc (“Autism Recover Story Part 1”) and www.youtube.com/watch?v=HDjPeynOmio&feature=related (Autism Recovery Story Part 2)

Greg Webster is a free-lance writer, homeschool father of eight, the co-founder of New Vantage Books custom publishing company, and bronze executive with MXI Corporation. But he is best known as husband of Nancy Webster whose health and nutrition articles appear in every issue of Beeyoutiful’s catalog.

Side Bar Ordering Information:

Making Chocolate the Order of the Day

One of the questions often asked, a bit cynically, of network marketers is: “Are you trying to sell me the business or your product?” In the case of Beeyoutiful and Xocai (“show-sigh”) Chocolate, the answer is emphatically: “We are selling the product,” There is a business component, for sure, that some people use to offset the cost of buying and using the chocolate and that some develop into an ongoing home business, but buying Xocai through Beeyoutiful means, first and foremost, buying healthy-really, really healthy-chocolate. While MXI Corporation offers nearly a dozen different formulations of Xocai, the five that Beeyoutiful recommends are:

–          Power Squares

–          Nuggets

–          Xobiotics (with probiotics added to the chocolate)

–          Omega Squares (includes Omega-3 fatty acids)

–          Activ liquid chocolate

Each packaged in amounts that provide the recommended intake for one person for one month. To find out about pricing and ordering, call Beeyoutiful’s customer service at 1-800-556-0967. [For product and ordering information, go to http://www.BeeyoutifulChocolate.com

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