CSA, Detoxification, Farming, Gardening, Health, Health Food, Holistic, Nutrition, Nutritional Therapy, Organic, Soup, Vegetables, Wellness

Carrot Soup

Healthy vegetarian soup puree

By Cynthia Hill, NTP

“March” into Spring with a quick and easy velvety smooth carrot soup!  Just a handful of fresh ingredients makes this soup the perfect warm up for Spring.  Aside from tasting delicious, carrot soup is packed full of nutrients too.  Carrots are high in vitamin A and a very good source of biotin, vitamin K, fiber, molybdenum, vitamin B6, and vitamin C. Collagen rich chicken stock/bone broth promotes healthy digestion, healthy hair and nail growth, and reduces joint pain and inflammation.  Onions and garlic are  rich in sulphur compounds and flavonoids.  Full fat yogurt provides calcium and good bacteria (probiotics).  Butter of course adds flavor (everything tastes better with butter!) and has a long list of health benefits including promoting  the absorption of minerals, high in vitamin A, E, K, selenium, CLA and antioxidants. And lastly, herbs contain antibacterial/anti-inflammatory/antioxidant properties.

Carrot Soup

Ingredients:

2 lbs. organic carrots, scrubbed and quartered lengthwise

4 cups chicken stock or bone broth (homemade, organic, free range is best)

1 cup finely chopped organic yellow onion

2 small cloves organic garlic

1 cup full fat yogurt (grass-fed or organic is best)

3-4 tbsp. butter (grass-fed or organic is best)

Fresh or dried thyme, dill or parsley

To make:

Salt chicken stock to taste. (a good quality sea salt is best)

Parboil carrots in chicken stock about 12 to 15 minutes until just tender.   Let cool.

While carrots are cooling, sauté the onion and garlic in butter until soft.

Purée  carrots, stock, sautéed onions & garlic and yogurt using a stick blender (or regular blender) until smooth.

Add some fresh thyme, dill or parsley  (or about  1 tsp. dried),  additional salt and pepper to taste.

Heat slowly over low heat until warmed through, or chill and serve cold.

For another pretty presentation, swirl a dollop of sour cream and add a thyme, dill or parsley sprig to individual bowls (optional).

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Recipe adapted from Jennifer Dillman, NTP

 

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CSA, Detoxification, Farming, Gardening, Health, Health Food, Holistic, Nutrition, Nutritional Therapy, Organic, Vegetables, Wellness

Get Your Veggies On!

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We all know how good vegetables and fruits are for us.   From anti-aging, disease preventing antioxidants, to vitamins, minerals and fiber, fruits & vegetables are nutritional  powerhouses and the foundation of a healthy diet.  Antidote Wellness Therapies is super excited to be hosting a Summer and Fall CSA with Turtle Creek Gardens.  Turtle Creek Gardens is located just North of Delavan and is USDA/MOSA Certified Organic. Click here to learn more about Turtle Creek Gardens Farm.

Not familiar with a CSA?  CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  A CSA is a great way to purchase local seasonal produce right from the farmer.  Purchasing a CSA allows you to know your farmer and how and where your food is grown, putting your dollars back into the community.

So how does a CSA work?  The farmer offers a certain number of shares to the public.  Shares typically include a box of vegetables but other farm products may be offered as well such as fruits, herbs, eggs, cheese, honey, meats and so on.  Buyers purchase a share or subscription/membership.  In return, the member receives a box of seasonal produce weekly or bi-weekly throughout the growing season delivered to a designated drop off site.

This arrangement is beneficial to both the farmer and the consumer.  The farmer can market during the off-season, receive payment early helping with cash flow, and get an idea on how much and what to plant, and has an opportunity to get to know his/her customers.  The consumer benefits by getting the freshest foods possible direct from the farmer, exposure to new vegetables and ways of cooking them and developing a relationship with the farmer who grows their food.

Turtle Creek Gardens CSA will be delivering right here to Antidote for easy pick up every other Wednesday from 4-6 pm. Wondering what you will receive in your Turtle Creek Gardens CSA box?  View a slide show here.

*The deadline is fast approaching and shares are limited.  Sign up today and enjoy fresh local produce from June to November!  Contact Antidote Wellness Therapies at 262.298.5055 for a sign up form or directly with Turtle Creek Gardens here. (Make a note on the application that Antidote Wellness Therapies is your pick up location).  Please join Antidote as we get our veggies on!

1446167307_d8acf70ad403By Cynthia Hill, Nutritional Therapy Practitioner at Antidote Wellness Therapies

 

Detoxification, Health, Health Food, Holistic, Nutrition, Nutritional Therapy, Wellness

Put a Little Love in Your Heart This Valentines Day

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By Cynthia Hill, NTP

Did you know that the health of the heart reflects the health of the entire body?    This is why it is so important to address and balance what we as Nutritional Therapists call the foundations of optimal health including diet, digestion, blood sugar balance, fatty acid balance, mineral balance, and hydration.

Each of these foundations contribute to heart health and together achieve optimal health. So what can you do to support these foundations?

Diet – Fuel your heart!  Choosing a properly prepared whole foods nutrient dense diet rich in vitamins and minerals is the single most important thing you can do for your heart and your health.  Ditch the processed and convenience foods (heart disease is a processed food disease!) and opt for fresh organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats, pastured eggs, and full fat organic and grass fed unprocessed dairy products (if you tolerate dairy).

Digestion –  Improve digestion!  Good digestion of proteins is essential to make amino acids like taurine (aids in heart rhythm) and carnitine (lowers blood pressure and cholesterol).  Proper stomach PH ensures digestion and absorption of calcium and B vitamins.  Good liver/gallbladder function is important to digest healthy fats and fat soluble vitamins.  Appropriate bowel flora is required to make vitamins B1, B2, B12, and K2  which help convert our food into fuel and reduce elevated homocysteine levels – a cardiovascular risk.  Dietary changes along with addressing food sensitivities and detoxing can heal the gut and promote optimal digestion.

Blood Sugar Balance – Balance blood sugar!  High blood glucose levels can make it more difficult for blood and oxygen to move in and out of the heart.  Blood sugar imbalances can lead to an overproduction of cortisol leading to insulin resistance which compromises mineral uptake by the cells.  High Insulin blocks the PG-1 pathway for prostaglandin  anti-inflammatory pathway production (hormone involved in the healing process). Inflammation is a common factor in heart disease.  Reduce consumption of processed high carbohydrate and sugar laden foods to help balance blood sugar.  B vitamins are especially important in the conversion of glucose into energy for cell utilization and blood sugar regulation.  Some good sources of B vitamins include liver, turkey, tuna legumes, and whole grains.

Fatty Acid Balance – Eat heart healthy fats!   Did you know that good healthy fats are the preferred fuel of the heart?  It’s true!  Fatty acids in the right proportion are critical to managing inflammation in the body. Fatty acids are a fundamental part of the cell membranes that make up the tissues of the heart and the coronary arteries.  Cold water fatty fish, & small amounts of raw sprouted nuts and seeds are good sources of fatty acids.  If you are eating processed food, you are most likely consuming considerable amounts of highly processed (rancid & free radical prone) omega 6 vegetable oils (throwing off the critical omega 3 omega 6 fatty acid proportion/ratio) and artery clogging artificial trans fats (margarines, hydrogenated fats).  Choose healthy  oils like coconut, avocado and olive oils and animal fats (lard, tallow, poultry fat) from healthy, antibiotic free, grass-fed, free range animals.

Mineral Balance – Increase mineral intake and absorption!  Calcium and magnesium are imperative for a healthy heart.  Both minerals work together to regulate contracting and relaxing of the heart and muscles. Calcium prompts the contraction and relaxation of the heart.  Magnesium is needed  for absorption of  calcium along with Vitamin D and K2.  An appropriate calcium-magnesium ratio is critical or the calcium will not work.  Low sodium levels can increase insulin resistance raising heart disease risk.  Eat the rainbow for plenty of mineral rich vegetables.

Hydration – Drink plenty of water!  Staying hydrated is key to good lymphatic flow and proper blood viscosity. (The thinner the blood, the less it resists flow, moving smoothly throughout the body). Dehydration causes the vascular system to selectively close some of its vessels, leading to hypertension and heart disease.  Proteins and enzymes depend on hydration to function properly in the body.  Reduce diuretics (coffee, tea, soda, juice) and increase pure water intake.

Maintaining  normal weight, cholesterol and blood pressure levels are also paramount in supporting the health of the heart and finally – exercise!  The heart muscle loves and benefits from regular movement!

So put a little love in your heart this Valentines Day.  Fuel your heart with the nutrients and love it desires and needs to be truly heart healthy!

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Health, Health Food, Holistic, Nutrition, Nutritional Therapy, Wellness

February is National Cherry Month!

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By Cynthia Hill, NTP

From the dark black cherry to the delicate yellow Rainier, these heavenly little bite size jewels are unquestionably one of my favorite fruits!

Evidence suggests cherries have been eaten since prehistoric times.  Cherry trees were brought to America in the 1600s.   In 1912 Japan gifted 3,000 cherry trees to the city of Washington DC to honor a lasting friendship with the United States. The annual National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates this event.  A cherry tree in full  blossom is a sight to behold!

Michigan produces 75% of the nation’s tart cherries.  The average cherry tree produces enough cherries for 28 pies.

The word cherry is popular in catch phrases like “cherry picking”, “cherry on top”, ” “life is like a bowl of cherries”… and in song Neil Diamond sang “Cherry Cherry”.

Aside from their long history , beautiful blossoms and delicious taste, cherries boast a strong nutritional profile worth getting excited about!  Tart cherries are loaded with antioxidants (especially high in melatonin – think healthy sleep!) Tart cherries are high in vitamin A and beta-carotene. They also contain fiber and anti-inflammatory properties that may relieve arthritis and gout pain. The vitamin C, carotenoids and anthocyanins in cherries help fight cancer and heart disease. So many good reasons to include cherries in your diet!

You won’t catch me eating fresh cherries in February, (I try to eat seasonal) but I do eagerly await cherry blossoms  in spring, and  fresh picked cherries in mid July.  I will eat my fill of these juicy little orbs during the summer and freeze some to enjoy in smoothies until the next cherry season!

Detoxification, Health, Holistic, Nutrition, Nutritional Therapy, Wellness

Top Five Reasons to Detox

 

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By Cynthia Hill, NTP

Have you ever thought about doing a detox or cleanse?  Have you ever wondered if you really need to do a detox and if you did, would you benefit from it?  Here are our top five reasons to consider a detox cleanse:

  1. Improve quality of life.  Our bodies do not function well when they are loaded with toxins.  We may experience headaches, lack of energy, joint pain, brain fog, digestive issues, allergies and are just not feeling our best.   These are all symptoms of a toxic body.  A detoxification cleanse can reduce your toxic overload quickly and help alleviate these symptoms.
  2. Lose weight.  The body stores toxins (substances it does not recognize) in adipose tissue.  Detoxing correctly releases and eliminates toxins stored in fat cells and boosts your metabolism by restoring balance to the body.
  3. Slow premature aging.  Detoxing can help rid the body of heavy metals and free radicals which contribute to the aging process.  Enhanced digestion, nutrient, vitamin and antioxidant absorption help fight oxidative stress.
  4. Strengthen the immune system.  An immune system that isn’t functioning properly makes us susceptible to colds and the flu.  Detoxing strengthens immune function which enhances our ability to fight off infections.
  5. Prevent chronic disease. Our bodies own detoxification function is overburdened from environmental toxins which are linked to many diseases.  A detoxification cleanse assists and improves what our overloaded system is naturally designed to do.

We are exposed to toxins (chemicals, pollution, pesticides, medications, etc…) day in day out 24/7.  Our overwhelmed and exhausted systems will benefit from a proper detoxification program that optimizes digestion, reduces inflammation, balances blood sugar and supports the organs of elimination giving your body a chance to heal and thrive!

Learn more:  Make Me Vibrant Cleanse Antidote Wellness Therapies

 

Health, Health Food, Holistic, Nutrition, Nutritional Therapy, Wellness

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market – A Review

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By Cynthia Hill, NTP

Like family and friends, I eagerly awaited the opening of the Kenosha Fresh Thyme Farmers Market grocery store.  With no Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods close by, a store providing  healthier options is definitely  a welcome addition to our area.

Once past the cute farm scene façade, I grab a shopping cart and make my way into the store.  I immediately find myself in the bakery department.  An admirable selection of packaged organic sprouted whole grains & gluten-free items grab my attention. I find most of the in store  fresh-baked & prepackaged goods contain the usual concoction of preservatives and/or inferior vegetable oils.

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Next up is the salad bar, olive bar and a selection of  prepared convenience foods; heat & eat Meals on the Go. Rotisserie chickens, soups, pasta dishes, potato salads, and grilled chicken breasts to name a few.  I had high hopes for the well stocked salad bar, but to my dismay not even the salad mix is organic.  I could not find a single bottle of salad dressing here or throughout the store that is made with healthy oils. The prepared foods (including soups) contain the same ubiquitous soybean and canola oils which I know are just about impossible to avoid in any commercial food, but hey  a girl can dream can’t she?  The rotisserie chickens like the prepared foods are conventional not organic.

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Suggestion:  An all organic salad bar with  some heart healthy  salad oil dressings. Stocking  Tessamae’s and Primal Kitchen salad dressings/mayonnaise would be a welcome choice!
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Some of the Fresh Thyme Kitchen Meals on the Go.

A generous selection of self serve bulk bins containing grains, nuts, coffee and candy with a few organic options anchors the middle of the store.  Hard to miss are the intriguing large stainless steel tanks with tap your own olive oil, canola oil (ugh!), vinegar, honey (local, but unprocessed?), maple syrup & agave syrup (ugh!).  Little information about origin or processing methods is displayed.

Next up is the fresh/frozen seafood & meat departments.  Fresh seafood  is both farm raised and wild caught with country of origin labeling. No wild caught salmon selections.   Fresh beef cuts appeared to be all conventional with one grass-fed option.  Poultry had a good selection of organic but no pasture raised and an all natural chicken option (whatever that means?).

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Fresh seafood – farm raised & wild caught.
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All conventional choices.
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A good selection of wild caught frozen fish.
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One fresh (previously frozen)  grass-fed beef option (does not specify if it 100% grass fed).
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A variety of organic chicken (no pastured options)  and all natural chicken (can still be factory farmed).
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A better selection of frozen grass-fed options but more expensive than my local source.
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A variety  of specialty and frozen wild meats next to the frozen processed foods  – interesting  they are promoting the meat as  gluten-free – I didn’t know meat ever had gluten in it…
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I liked the several options for duck including ground which I have never seen before and good prices.
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Let’s talk bacon – a good selection of no nitrate bacon, but no pastured options.

The Produce Department – now this makes me smile!!!

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A large assortment of Organic fruits and vegetables mostly sourced from the USA

Juice Bar!

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The raw juice bar has an inviting assortment of juice/juice blends to choose from. Disappointingly not organic with the exception of carrot juice.  If you have all this great organic produce, why not use it in the juicing???

I made my way to the Dairy cases next…

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Quite a few organic and grass-fed yogurt options including Traders Point Creamery, Kalona & Maple Hill.
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Obviously they haven’t received the message that butter is good! There were very few butter  choices with only one organic – Kerry Gold Grass Fed – Please! Also lacking are organic and raw cheese choices – did I miss them altogether?
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Milk is also very limited, with only one option that was grass-fed/non homogenized.  Everything else (including cream) is ultra-pasteurized.
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Eggs – one pasture raised option – good but more would be better!
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The fermented foods case is a let down.  While there is a good selection of probiotic beverages (GT’s kombucha was 2 for $4!) Bubbie’s sauerkraut & pickles is it for fermented foods.  Again with the Gluten free?!

The processed/packaged food aisles and frozen foods are stocked well with the usual brands finding a few really good choices here & there.  Fresh Thyme Broth – not so much…

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One of the very few Organic Fresh Thyme private label products – The ingredients are  downright scary in this broth! (Canola, soybeans, wheat, sugar, flour…)
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WOW!  Nick’s Sticks – yay!

On to the spirits…

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Generous selection of wine with a couple of organic & sulfite free choices.  Craft & local beers in addition to hard ciders too.

Finally, I enter the home stretch – vitamins/supplements, personal care, paper goods,  cleaning products & pet food (A variety of grain free pet food but no fresh/frozen options that I could see). Again, the usual products lines with a few really good choices here and there.

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Ancient Nutrition Bone Broth Protein, Tera’s Whey and another grass-fed whey option!
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Carlson Fish Oil
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A dizzying array of probiotics & omega oils
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A typical display of personal care & beauty products
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Some great book titles – if only Fresh Thyme & other grocery stores would incorporate some of the food concepts these books recommend!

Fresh Thyme Farmers Market is part Traders Joe’s, part Whole Foods, and part health food store.  They are strongest in organic produce, their (limited) grass-fed meat options, yogurt & eggs.  Also positive are the local choices throughout the store, although they tend to be conventional.  From a nutritional standpoint, the weakest areas lie in the bakery, convenience meals, packaged/processed food/products and dairy (lack of good choices with the exception of yogurt). For the most part they are not organic, contain unhealthy oils and preservatives/ingredients and/or are overly processed.

Overall, I find the prices average with some great sale prices.

While Fresh Thyme is certainly not alone, a particular grievance of mine is deceptive advertising.  Fresh Thyme has a lot of products that carry their brand name but for the most part are not organic and do not always contain acceptable ingredients.  Their weekly sales ads overuse of the word “natural” is particularly annoying as “natural” can mean anything and nothing!  Consumers can be mislead by the use of such words and pastoral images of barns, tractors and animals.  Looking past these images and reading the ingredients label is one of the most positive proactive steps we can take in improving our awareness and making wiser food choices.  We  should also speak with our $$ and educate the grocery stores as to  what we want and do not want in our food!

I will definitely visit Fresh Thyme Farmers Market again.  The Kenosha location  provides our community with some much-needed exposure to better food & environmental choices. I am optimistic that Fresh Thyme will continue to grow in a direction of healthier and more local sustainable options with our support.

Fresh Thyme Farmers  Market is located at 7100 Green Bay Road, Kenosha, WI  53142 http://freshthyme.com/

 

 

 

Nutrition, Nutritional Therapy

A Perfect Day

Wellness Stock Photo by Sash Photography http://wellnessstockshop.com

You wake up early in the morning feeling refreshed and ready to embrace the day and whatever may come your way.  You enjoy a delicious breakfast that is both satisfying and satiating – maybe pastured bacon and eggs or an organic mango coconut smoothie. You don’t feel tired and hungry two hours later and no sugar cravings!  In fact four hours later you are still going strong with no brain fog or reaching for that third cup of coffee or donut to boost your low blood sugar. You are no longer dependent on sugar or having to eat something every couple of hours because you are starving or feeling shaky.  You secretly smile as your coworkers are coughing and sneezing battling the latest cold or flu as you remember the day when you caught every little bug that came your way… You have a late morning dental appointment and again you have no cavities and the Dentist remarks how healthy your gums look!

 Midday is another meal you look forward to consisting of a grass-fed steak salad, avocado, and fresh fruit.  After lunch you go outside for some fresh air and a brisk walk, no longer suffering from seasonal allergies or asthma attacks. It is late January and you are not feeling sad or depressed as you usually do this time of year. You sail through the rest of the day alert and focused without the headache or midafternoon slump and don’t feel the need for a soda or candy bar to get you through the afternoon.  After another productive day, you look forward to your workout as you feel good while doing it, your muscles do not fatigue as easily as they use to and your knees, hips, and joints feel flexible and fluid with no aches and pains or stiffness.  You feel exhilarated rather than exhausted post workout.  You look forward to spending quality time with your family and friends instead of feeling crappy and burnt out barely making it through the day.

Dinner is a fulfilling meal that nourishes and balances, not depriving your body as you are giving it what it needs to function properly. A broiled Salmon filet and a baked sweet potato with real grass-fed butter, a fresh vegetable stir fry and don’t forget the chocolate mousse for dessert!  You do not experience bloating, gas and heartburn, no longer reaching for the TUMS after your meals. You also have regularity, no more mad dashes to the bathroom or feeling constipated.   Or maybe tonight you are getting ready for a night on the town and are applying your makeup and can’t help but notice how clear your skin is and that annoying acne is a thing of the past.  You also realize that you are no longer bothered with yeast infections or UTI’s and your periods are regular with no PMS. You are even enjoying intimacy again.  And don’t forget the little black dress – it looks amazing on you!  No more rollercoaster dieting, now your focus is on nourishing and loving your body.  Finally at bedtime, you have no problem falling and staying asleep, experiencing a deep, restful and restorative night.  Sweet Dreams!

Does this sound like a fairy tale to you?  We often think of our symptoms/conditions as “normal” and accept them as just part of the aging process – they really don’t have to be! While the above perfect day may be an exaggeration, I personally have experienced relief from many of these conditions/symptoms through eating a nutrient dense whole foods diet and Nutritional Therapy. Feeling energized and symptom free are attainable goals when digestion is functioning properly and you consume a nutrient dense diet that is appropriate for you providing the macro and micro nutrients essential to look and feel your best. It takes commitment and acceptance to cultivate a new relationship with your body, diet, and lifestyle. What would you rather do… invest in your health now or invest in your sickness later?

So what is Nutritional Therapy and how can it benefit you?  Nutritional Therapy can help you achieve your wellness goals by restoring balance to what we call the Six Foundations of Optimal Health.  They include Diet, Digestion, Blood Sugar Balance, Fatty Acid Balance, Mineral Balance, and Hydration.  Each of the Foundations is addressed through researching your individual needs based on an Initial Interview, Health History, Food Journal and a Nutritional Assessment Questionnaire. Improving digestion, blood sugar handling, and reducing inflammation is core to Nutritional Therapy along with identifying food sensitivities and detoxification.  A Customized Nutritional Recommendations Plan is created specifically for you including dietary and lifestyle changes and optional whole food supplements. Unique to Nutritional Therapy is an optional Functional Evaluation and Lingual Neuro Testing which further enables the Nutritional Therapy Practitioner to pinpoint where the body (organ or system) needs the most support and which nutrients will provide the best support.  This procedure eliminates guessing and consuming unnecessary supplements!  A no-one size fits all diet approach and bio-individuality plays an integral role in Nutritional Therapy.

Nutritional Therapy does not diagnose or treat disease/conditions; however, most diseases, conditions, and symptoms, are rooted in deficiencies in diet, digestion, blood sugar, fatty acids, minerals and hydration. Balancing these Foundations is key to your optimal health and wellness.

This is Nutritional Therapy and this is your perfect day!