One woman's journey within

Health Food Store Related Chat, Supplements, Herbs, Spirituality, Advice, Gratitude, Abundance, Love, Death, Joy

Monthly Archives: February 2015

Immunity Patrol – Winter Wellness, Support for cold and flu

How do you maintain strong immune system during the cold and flu season? How do you treat your winter illnesses naturally?

It is the last day of February, yet the temperatures outside are frigid and much of our surroundings are still covered by snow with more to come in the approaching week. And here at the health food store, we are getting more customers trying to prevent winter colds and flu or fighting them if they are already sick. What do we recommend?

For prevention, I suggest boosting your immune system with proven herbs such as Astragalus and Echinacea, extra vitamin C, mushrooms such as Reishi and Chaga, and a good food-based multi vitamin. Food-based is key, because in food-based supplements, ingredients are derived from food, therefore ensuring maximum assimilation and absorption (New Chapter, Megafood, Garden of Life). Many of us are deficient in D3, especially in the winter months with decreased exposure to sunshine, so we suggest taking at least 1000IUs of vitamin D3 as part of your immune regimen. Keep your nasal passages clear and reduce infections, by using a simple saline or xylitol nasal spray. This works great in the winter to reduce dryness in the nose due to dry heat in homes.

If you have had the misfortune of succumbing to a winter illness, such as a common cold, the following natural remedies can be used: the heavy duty fighters colloidal silver and oil of oregano, grapefruit seed extract (such as Nutribiotic GSE) and olive leaf extract; once again echinacea, goldenseal (not to be taken continuously), mullein leaf (for lung support), homeopathic treatments like Oscillococcinum (try to say that twice!) by Boiron and Alpha CF by B&T work well for many customers and are safe for kids, and especially useful for relieving uncomfortable symptoms. Elderberry extract and Umcka from South Africa both help reduce the duration of common cold and flu conditions. Hot tea made with fresh ground ginger, local honey and organic lemon is a great way to instantly warm your body and make your throat feel better!

I am a firm believer in mind and body connection, so do not forget to affirm and express gratitude for the good health and wellness and your body’s ability to heal itself.


The Health Food Store Girl

Natural Skincare Product Review – Dermabrasion Scrub

I am daring to present my very first natural product review. I have no interest in promoting any particular products and am not receiving anything from the companies I talk about. This is for my all time favorite skincare product that I would take with me to a deserted island. It really makes a difference in my skincare routine, it makes my skin glow, helps tame the fine lines and crows feet, improves skin tone by dulling the dark spots and makes acne scars and pores appear smaller. You simply use it a couple times per week or before a special outing, and you will see immediate results. It is an all natural product which contains dead sea salt, it is made by Derma-E, which is still a family owned company and is produced in the US. I hope you enjoy this review and if you choose to buy it, please support your local neighborhood health food store and get glowing!

18 ways to educate yourself every day (because nerds are sexy)

Learning today is easier than ever! We have access to the world’s greatest teachers, gurus, and all sorts of experts at our fingertips. You think you have no time, but I bet you can easily pass a college course’s curriculum while driving the kids to and from afterschool activities or during your commute to and from work. You can subscribe to the podcasts of individuals that you respect, or simply search by what you are interested in. Podcasts and free and informative. The ones I recommend for everyone are Achieve Your Goals with Hal Erlod (the author of Miracle Morning), The Tim Ferris Show (Choose interviews with the guests you admire), Operation Self Reset, Tara Brach (for meditations), The Startup School with Seth Godin, these are just a few I follow on my phone and I have to say they keep me inspired and on my “high flying disk” of being aligned with universe and promote the flow of creative juices. Morning meditations are a breeze as you can look up and find any type of guided meditation and music on youtube. My kindle gives me samples of books I want to explore and purchase if I like what I read. If a choice is between playing candy crush which teaches nothing and is a complete waste of time using the same technology in my pocket and learning something new which in turn stimulates thinking and creating, I choose the latter.

Malavika Suresh

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at 20 or 80. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” Henry Ford

At the start of this year I made a decision that I want to commit to myself to a pursuit of intellect. I’m already a bit of a nerd, so this wasn’t really an alien concept for me, however I quickly realized that in order for me to make educating myself a priority in my life – I would have to make it into a daily habit. Here is a list of some suggestions for small practices you could implement into your lifestyle. I would not expect anybody to do all of these things every single day, but you can choose a few, and keep your learning varied and fun! At first it may seem overwhelming, but after a few months of…

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What is Paleo Truly Guilty Of? – Carb Addiction and the Industry That Supports It

Interesting thoughts on Paleo diet and why we resist quitting our carbs. I followed strict Paleo for a few months last year and I have to say I felt wonderful. I still do feel wonderful, now including occasional complex carbs and not saying no to a fresh french sourdough baguette once in a while!


When people are passionate about things, they tend to get very defensive.  Question someone’s child, and they are bound to get upset in a hurry.  I certainly do!  So why is it people get so defensive when you start explaining the Paleo diet to them?

Today I saw a lady at my office.  Fairly typical middle-aged, over weight female with poorly controlled diabetes.  She recently started on an insulin pump but her glucose control is no better at all.  I had a suspicion why, and again started to question the details of what she eats.  Of course, she eats carb after carb after carb.  Whole wheat this, and low fat that.  She has tried to cut the carbs in the past, and actually had pretty decent success, but quickly falls back into your carbilicious ways.  Why?  Why go back when a change in diet shows clear improvement in her sugars?

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Back in USSR – Gum a la Proust

It was a sunny summer day in Soviet Moscow. Our neighborhood was a typical one for the city, blocks of grey buildings, 5 to 12 stories high, full of lilliputian apartments. There was no “living room” or “dining room” concepts, tiny kitchens, sometimes shared by multiple families in communal apartments, with single rooms belonging to entire families, or one or two room “private” apartments, belonging to more fortunate individual families, still small, with one or two rooms usually shared by parents, grandparents and children. Hand washed clothes drying on each balcony. No washers or dryers there. Ageless wrinkled babushkas in year-round head scarves sitting on benches and engaging in neighborhood gossip next to every building. Sweaty children running around and playing Chinese jump rope. Hatted men quietly drinking vodka from their sleeves while loudly enjoying chess battles on shaded benches. Sonya and I have left the area next to our apartment building where we normally play, presently hiding behind the bus stop wall, where nearby the tourist buses park by the hotel. We are nine years old now, third graders, dressed in collared shirts, pleated skirts and sandals.This is an exciting expedition indeed. The hotel is tall and beautiful and blue,  fascinating and untouchable, never to be entered by our kind.  At least 40 stories tall, it towers over us, the street, the neighborhood, as a silent reminder of where we don’t belong. It is blue and sky high, it is the color of the sky and unreachable like the sky. The buses arrive quite often, filled with interesting, crazy, colorful, foreign people, so different from us that they almost  register in the same way as an animal in the zoo or a circus performer would, something to look at and observe but never interact with. We make sure we are not seen, ducking even more behind our cover of concrete pillars behind the bus stop, when they walk off the bus and wait for their things to be unloaded. They chat loudly, they make funny sounds, they laugh and show an obscene amount of their really straight white teeth. The ones with dark skin have especially white teeth, and I wonder why that is. I have never met anyone with dark skin before and I am puzzled. I secretly admire the beautiful colorful clothes they all wear, nothing that could be bought here, and I am deeply jealous.  Sonya and I have talked about approaching them or just standing where we could be seen.  Although it is tempting and we have heard from others that occasionally they were handed a pack of gum or candy, or a t-shirt, by one of the foreigners, we cannot do it. We are scared and the fear is stronger than the desire to get something in a fancy wrapper. We also know it is impolite to beg, and we are not beggars. We are girls from good families, well raised with good manners, raised to be quiet and polite and not stick out. We will settle for the unwrapped, for the used up, chewed up and spitted out. Literally. We wait for these unsuspecting tourists to collect their suitcases surely filled with marvelous treasures and we watch their mouths. Some of them are chewing. They are chewing the object of our expedition, the end result, the “raison d’etre” for the day. We are hoping for the ones with most flavor and color not yet lost. We are amazed that someone would spit out, get rid of, let go of something that is yet still so useable, so delicious, so powerful in bringing you pleasure. We are not used to throwing away anything. My grandmothers went through World War II and nothing is to be wasted ever! Things here are kept, reused, repurposed and recycled in every manner. There is no gum in my country. None to be purchased at the government supermarkets, none yet that is manufactured and available. It will come a little later, when we are slightly older, and it will not be as delicious and exciting as these original ones from overseas. It will not bubble. It will not come in different colors or with wrapper inserts or that amazing bubble gum smell. It will be of the boring orange flavor and a dirty beige color. But it will be something. Right now the coast is clear, the bus is gone and the tourists are off to the hotel, and we are about to come out of our hiding spot and search the ground for any spit up gum that was left by this latest load of tourists. We find it, we smell it, we put it in our mouths. “This one is strawberry”, I yell. “Mine is almost brand new”, screams Sonya in excitement! “I’ve got a couple more for later”, I say. Sonya finds a few cool wrappers too, she will be able to trade for something with the boys. They have this game where they slap the wrappers to turn them over, so wrappers can be valuable. As we taste the gum, it is not only the sweetness and the flavor, but the touch of the untouchable, the unknown, the exciting world that exists beyond the borders of the Soviet Union, the colorful, the delicious, the multitude of choices, the taste of different life seen through different set of eyes and ears. Unconcerned with dirt, disease or disgust, we enjoy the rest of the day, feeling the good life, having crossed over just for a second, just with our tastebuds, and proceed to brag to our friends about how many gums we found and the flavors and tastes of them all. I wonder if we were attempting to taste a bit of the foreigners lives, so remote and different from our own, while in a way sharing their experience.



Detox your body and your mind!

This is the path all too familiar to most of us: I have been eating badly, not exercising, now it is time to detox and lose weight. Usually this happens when the New Year is approaching, or your birthday, or you simply have had enough and are ready to change.  Life is cyclical and we go through stages of feeling great, taking care of our bodies from inside and out, and then falling off the wagon and bingeing, not exercising, and consuming all things poisonous from medications to fast food to alcohol and tobacco. Our mental health is usually in tune with our physical health, so when we are on the unhealthful path, we do not feel well in our heads, do not feel confident and excited about life, our self-esteem is low, our self-criticism is high, our self-love is not evident, we can be depressed, not interested in the joys of life, unable to see the positive aspects, which oftentimes leads to addiction of all sorts, illegal or prescription drugs, alcohol, and unhealthy relationships.

An astonishing statistic from “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown, according to CDC,  states that for the first time in history, auto accidents are now the second leading cause of accidental death in the US, with the first being drug overdoses. “More people die from prescription drug overdoses than from heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamine drug use combined.” We are a nation of drug users, and we use the drugs as means to numb the pain of our reality, of feeling bad and unhappy.

And of course, when we hit the high notes in the opposite direction, exercising, consuming foods that are clean and nutritious, our feelings of self-worth and self-esteem spike up and the joy for life and ability to excel at everything we do is once again at its full potential. If we intentionally create space for positive practice in our lives, which follows with feeling wonderful and being able to see joy in little things, having healthy and productive relationships with others, surrounding oneself with non-judgmental  people, and succeeding in all of life’s endeavors. And even if success is not apparent, when you feel good about yourself inside and not attach your whole self to your projects, any so-called “failure” cannot bring you down significantly, but serves as a lesson from which you “get up and try again”!

So, detoxifying one’s body and one’s mind go hand in hand together. There are many supplements on the natural foods market for detoxing or cleansing. Here are some of the ingredients to look for. Your detox kit should contain some sort of laxative and digestive “Sweep”with herbal ingredients like Senna, Cascara Sagrada, and the likes, as well as fibers like Psyllium husks/powders, Flax or Oats to help rid of toxins residing in your digestive system. Though Senna is too heavy duty for everyday use, it will stimulate colon detox when used for a short period of time and only once in a while. In my book, quality detox systems must  also contain purifying supplements for liver, skin, blood, and kidneys, like Dandelion root, Burdock, Milk Thistle, Red Clover, and ayruvedic herbs such as Gymnema and Triphala. Your detox kit should have some immune boosters, such as Echinacea, Golden Root, Reishi mushroom, Astragalus and the likes. I also recommend some time proven adaptogenic herbs which help balance out the hormones and control the stress levels – ashwaganda, rhodiola, and holy basil are all helpful in balancing cortisol levels under stress.
Though detox systems are a great way to jump start that positive upswing and to feel regeneration from inside and out, they should be combined with cleansing daily practice of mindfulness meditation and some form of exercise, whatever works for you, and followed by consistently loving your body and feeding it with nutritious, healthy, clean foods in moderate portions.

Blessings to you and your family ~hfsg

The best parenting advice ever.

Wow I love this advice. After reading Pam’s books, followed by many others, I have found a path to many miracles and a joyous life that I have now and constantly maintain by staying on the “high flying disk” and educating myself and listening to and learning from the many teachers that are available to me in this amazing connected world. I have however struggled with trying to teach some of these concepts to my children, just not finding the right words or examples. This is such perfect way to show something without actually having to describe it, just to “lead by example” in a way, the example of the smartest brightest people and how they got there and to inspire our kids to do the same.

Pam Grout

“Love gives us some pretty darn cool quantum powers.”—Greg Kuhn

My new favorite pastime while flying (at least when seatmates make it abundantly clear they don’t want to chat) is reading the New Yorker. Last week I read about a seven minute workout, custom cookie cutters made from a 3D printer and a 27-year old genius named Emerson Spartz who has already launched dozens of highly-successful websites.

His first, when he was 12, was, the most popular Harry Potter fan site in the world. It landed him on CNN and Fox News and J.K. Rowling even invited him to her estate in Scotland. Today, he has nearly 50 employees and raises millions in ad revenue every year. Did I mention he’s 27?

The thing about Emerson that most interested me was something his parents insisted upon when he was a kid. I have no idea if they made him…

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“If not now, when?”: How a TEDx community supported a speaker’s family through the unthinkable

If not now, when?
Amazing that we expect our lives to be long and healthy, and we plan for the future but do not live in the present moment. Laura speaks to that, because the present is all that we truly have. Live life now. Love now. Explore now. Act now. Tell the people in your life all that you need to tell them today, because tomorrow you may not have. Go jump into that blue water, or blue sky, take that trip or leap you always wanted to take. Express gratitude today. Show forgiveness today. Be joyful now.

TED Blog

Laura-Rozo-at-TEDxUNC-quote“What makes you think that you have 80 or 90 years to live?”

Laura Rozo posed this serious and almost morbid question to the audience at TEDxUNC in February 2013. She walked onto the stage confidently and calmly, soaking in the applause as the final, surprise speaker of the day. She wore a red turtleneck with a patterned scarf, and her head was adorned with a new henna tattoo. In front of a silent crowd, she raised her arms in the air and breathed deeply to center herself. Then she began to tell her story — one so urgent and moving that the organizers of TEDxUNC made the last-minute decision to not just include her in the program, but to have her close it.

I should explain: Laura Rozo was my friend and classmate — a kind, energetic and passionate person. Whether organizing world dance showcases (salsa was her specialty)…

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Demystifying Protein Powders: Hemp, Whey, Soy, or what the heck is the difference?

There’s an abundance of protein powders on the market today, more than I can ever remember. Here is my “behind the counter” history of protein powders. Years ago, we used to have only whey and that was all the rage, all the body building folks were buying it and that was about it, maybe a few people who were very ill and had to consume liquid protein. Then soy came around and women were sent in by their doctors and nutritionists to buy it for phytoestrogens and their hormone balance and anti-cancer properties. Then tables turned and soy was no longer good for you, so in came the rice protein. This one was and still is considered the best for people with allergies and digestive issues, as it is easy to absorb and gentle on the stomach. Later on, came the hemp revolution when everything hemp was suddenly desirable and popular. People figured out how to sell the idea of doing something elicit that can be consumed legally while feeling hip. But this blog is about protein, right? Today when everyone is paleo-crazy, grain-free and low carb, a new kind of protein has become popular, a super plant protein made with artichoke, pea and sacha inchi seeds (another new “superfood”)!  Some whey has cleaned up its act with organic and grass-fed versions of itself. Plant based proteins are “hot”, with ingredients like quinoa and millet, amaranth and chia, they meet the need for vegetarians looking to increase their protein intake, body builders, who are tired of whey but still want to have a protein with good absorption and excellent amino-acid make-up, also suitable for those who are dairy intolerant and people with soy, wheat and gluten allergies.

So what is the verdict? I say most importantly read the ingredients and make sure your protein powder is clean, does not contain artificial colors and flavors, does not contain GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms – those banned in most countries, but not here, because Monsanto is in charge) and/or Certified organic, and watch the sugar content. Buy unsweetened if you will put it in a smoothie, and flavor with fruit instead. A frozen banana does wonders for any smoothie, I peel and freeze mine as they start to turn, and Saran wrap them individually for easy use. The second thing to pay attention to is the protein content per scoop. You want to make sure it meets your needs, whether you are trying to lose weight, or build muscle mass, or simply are vegetarian and feel you need more protein in your diet.  Know the difference between protein and a meal shake, a simple protein provides just that, protein, while a meal shake will include various vitamins, herbs, probiotics, green foods etc. and will be more of a complete meal replacement shake, contain more nutrients and calories. At this point I suggest that you stay away from Soy, too controversial and too many other choices to even bother. Hemp, Plant or clean Whey (many whey protein powders are filled with added “dirty” ingredients, read your labels)  are all good selections for an individual looking to add protein to her/his diet.

And of course, once you get your protein, set your intention for what you want it to accomplish, be it muscle mass, perfect weight (notice, I do not say weight loss), or specific healing. Speak it out loud. I cannot emphasize enough the power of our minds over our bodies.

Traffic Jam Compassion

Did you get to a point when you feel that you need knowledge that you have more inside yourself that you are not using, that you need to actively seek and find? Do you feel creative and inspired when you read these words? Do you see beauty and life and are able to notice the little things and appreciate them as much as you do big successes? Do you feel kindness and compassion towards others, human or animal creatures, do you feel offended and saddened by cruelty and anger that exists in the world? Do you wish you could do more and not know how to?

You can start with you, connect with your inner source and commit to spreading kindness and love to all those you come in contact with. Do not participate in dissemination and perpetuation of violent images, stories, news, etc. Ever feel that in our culture, when there is a traffic jam, all we are concerned with is how to get somewhere faster, God forbid we would be late for work or have to sit in the car with ourselves (oh boy!) for extra 30 minutes? We stress, we honk, we make frantic phone calls, we worry, we drive ourselves nuts, we glare at other drivers, we move inches at a time to see if we can just push the car in front of us forward a little bit, just to create an illusion of movement.. Remember ever doing that?

But what about the people who have been in an accident and are suffering or perhaps have perished? What about  their families? We watch or listen to the traffic reports that perpetuate the idea that we care very much about getting somewhere faster and not so much about what took place with whomever happened to be in that accident. Can we send thoughts of health and healing and positive energy? Imagine the entire rows of traffic with people sending positive thoughts and prayers to the person who got hurt? Now that is something powerful.