Good Bye Foodie Bitch – Hello Natural Life Foundation!

Natural Life Foundation

Wondering why we haven’t been posting much lately on Foodie Bitch?

We’re still here!

Head on over to Natural Life Foundation and see what we’ve been up to!

In all honesty, I was getting a bit frustrated with limiting our conversation to just food.  Although I absolutely ADORE food, and am fascinated with the amazing healing qualities (as well as the disease-causing qualities) food can have, I know that there is so much more involved in living a healthy life than just what we eat.  I felt I needed to include these other areas in our conversations.

Think about it: Haven’t we all seen some people who eat all the right kinds of foods, yet still seem sickly and depressed?

And, contrarily, haven’t we all seen people who live on fast food and convenient snacks, but still look healthy and happy?

I wanted to start sharing some of my research and experience that may shed light onto why this happens.

So, over at Natural Life Foundation, we’ll still be talking about food – it’s still a huge passion of mine and is such an integral part of our lives, culture, economy, and history.  Now, however, we’ll also be sharing insights on exercise, happiness, relationships, philosophy, organic gardening and farming, herbs, essential oils, alternative healing, animals and nature, and a number of other areas.  Our hope is that, with this broader range, we can all move closer to a more balanced, healthy, and passionate life… naturally.

Come and join the conversation at Natural Life Foundation!

Nancy  Smorch

‘Origins’ Deep Dive Summit

Origins film

By Shannon Keirnan, Contributing Foodie Bitch

Have you seen “Origins” yet?

In honor of the film, held a special summit hosted by Pedram Shojai, with tons of great speakers. Didn’t catch it? Don’t worry your pretty head – I sum up two of my favorite interviews below!

Detoxification is one of those confusing issues when you start considering how to change your lifestyle and improve your health. That’s why I enjoyed Dr. Anthony Beck’s interview “Detoxification Done Right.”

We are bombarded constantly by things in the world telling us the “proper” way to detoxify, but as Beck reminds us, every body is different, and everyone has things that will work for them but perhaps aren’t suited to someone else. In doing this we need to also avoid speaking in generalities – yes, a single probiotic may not have worked for one person, but there are many different kinds to try! Awareness is the key to learning what works best for you – paying attention to your body and the signals it is giving you. Don’t rely on someone else’s opinion when it comes to your health.

Unlike many clinicians, Beck also recommends doing things in the “right” order, which to him, means detoxing last. The body wants to perform correctly, and it will adjust quickly. Building health from the bottom up means that, once we have stabilized ourselves, we can focus on a detox which may otherwise weaken an unready system.

And, a man after my own heart, Beck reminds us that we don’t have to always be purists. Building a healthy body (or “terrain,” as he calls it) means that we are able to have some resilience, and gives us a little wiggle-room in every day life. If you have put the effort into making your body strong and you want to have a treat, a healthy body can bounce back from this without much impact. You’ll have less stress and more fun, too, and that’s good for us in the end!

So, what are Beck’s steps toward better health? Here’s the gist:

1) Focus first on environmental inputs. What can you add or remove from your immediate environment? Don’t stress yourself out over it, but look at basics like food and water, and consider how you can improve them. 

2) Move onto the gastrointestinal and digestive system. Work on boosting immunity and putting out inflammation. 

3) Work on structural fortification of the body through resistance exercise. 

4) Put your efforts into energy production and oxidative stress, and figuring out how to get the most out of your body now that you are feeling better. Tweak.

5) Finally, work on a cellular level, and get into that detox. Start repair on a cellular level, and then look to balancing your hormones and neurotransmitters. 

Dr. Alan Christianson also spoke about “Clearing Toxins Naturally.” I like listening to Christianson’s talks, especially because of how he puts things into evocative terms. For example, he describes heavy metals in the body as “gum in the keyhole,” clogging up the many doors within us. With our locks jammed, the systems cannot function properly. And, like a clogged drain, with everything already backing up it only takes a very little extra to cause an overflow. Picture dirty sink water running through your veins and tell me that’s not a kick in the pants!

With all the pollution in our world, this means bad news for our “keyholes.” He links higher rates of pollution to higher rates of autoimmune diseases, something we all want to avoid!

He suggests two phases to turning things around and detoxing the body of these heavy metals.

First is “ungumming” the keyholes. This is a process that can take days to weeks, but it will not be long before the system is functioning better. This is essentially a matter of cleaning out the environmental impact on your body. As Beck suggested, start with water and air, and work from there… use a water and air filter, and put clean, real food into your body. Exercise gently.

Step two is cellular repair, which can take more like months, but once you have built a healthy foundation for your body, will be an easier process.

It’s an ongoing commitment to be healthy, and yes, we may cheat now and then (especially during the holiday season!)… but if we remember to “make ourselves precious,” as Beck recommends, and to make our health and happiness a priority, then the long-term effects are more than worth the initial struggle.

Remember that you know your body, and it is different from everyone else’s, so take the time to listen to it, and to give it what it needs.

How do YOU take time to make yourself precious?’s Origins Film

Tomorrow at midnight (Saturday Nov. 22, 2014), is the last day to enjoy the free screening of the movie “Origins.”  It’s a movie that Pedram Shojai, OMD, produced and directed along with South African-based filmmaker, Mark van Wijk.

The film takes us from our current state – way off track as a human species – and back to our “origins.”  It shows us how it’s not too late to take back our health and work together with the organism we call Earth.  It does go into some explanation of lots of stuff that have gone wrong, but it also shows what we can do to reclaim the health and vitality that is our birthright.

I would highly encourage you to watch this movie and send it to those you love, as well.  Remember, it’s only free for another day or so (sorry I didn’t get this to you sooner!).  But even after the free viewing, you can buy the DVD – what a great holiday gift idea!

OK, maybe not everyone would be as excited about getting a gift like that for the holidays.  But it would show that you care enough to try to ignite them into action for their health, right?

If you watch it tonight or tomorrow, leave some comments and let me know what you thought!

Healing Mood Disorders With Food

Trudy Scott

By Shannon Keirnan, Contributing Foodie Bitch

During the Natural Cures Summit, one of the speakers that resonated with me was nutritionist Trudy Scott.

Her segment, entitled “Healing Mood Disorders With Food,” dealt with how changing the way we eat can help us combat issues like depression and overcoming food addictions.

As someone who has dealt with depression and eating disorders in the past, I found her information very useful.

What were the highlights?

One is that sugar is especially addictive, and with its prevalence in today’s market, becoming a serious issue. Sugar in the body depletes it of nutrients, and alters our blood sugar levels, which will immediately affect mood. It can also alter chemicals in the body like serotonin, or catecholamines, which, when unbalanced, lead to feelings of anxiety,  stress, apathy, rage, and depression.

Secondly, we all know that gut health is also a major link to our overall well-being, emotionally and physically. Yet today we are seeing major trends in food allergies and intolerances, medical problems like leaky gut or SIBO, Celiac’s, and other autoimmune disorders which mean our guts cannot properly absorb nutrients. Like many doctors and other nutritionists, Trudy recommends people with health or mood issues first try removing gluten from the diet. While not everyone is affected by gluten, 80-90% of the patients she removed from gluten thrived, and there are no ill effects to taking gluten from the diet. Often this is a beginning step toward healing the gut, even if you do not present any obvious symptoms, and putting the body back in balance.

So what other tips does Trudy suggest for improving and maintaining a positive outlook?

-Eating grass-fed red meats, which have a huge correlation to good mood. Vegans and vegetarians should make sure they are getting enough iron, zinc, B12, and omega-3’s, as deficiencies in the body can negatively affect mood, or consider adding in a little humanely raised animal protein now and then (if able and willing).

-Eating real, whole foods, of course, with healthy proteins and fats – especially at breakfast – and eating food before drinking coffee (a “drug of choice”). She places an emphasis on healthy fats – too low of cholesterol can lead to depression, as cholesterol is a raw material for creating proper hormones.

-Exercise, sunshine, and natural light throughout the day. Vitamin D is especially linked to mood, and most people are deficient.

-Minimizing stress, which can worsen symptoms of mood disorders.

-Getting proper sleep in a dark, quiet room. She recommends lavender or chamomile scents before bed, or tryptophan supplements if you have difficulty sleeping.

Some of this seems pretty straightforward – we know that not being stressed, and being well-rested, puts us in a good mood, right? But it’s always good to keep in mind that the body is one big system working together, and that if one aspect is off, it can throw everything out of whack. Give yourself priority!

So eat well, get some sleep, and relax this weekend! Happy Friday!