Tuesday, June 30, 2015


This site is under some major reconstruction and won't be up and running for another few weeks! Please feel free to browse older blog posts though! And stay tuned for the launch of the new site!

Dani Rhoades, NC is still actively seeing patients and taking on new patients as needed so be sure to contact her directly at dani@wholesomepractices.com to schedule your nutrition consult!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Enhancing your Immunity

By request of one of our faithful followers I am writing on flu prevention. Working in pediatrics, I see the high amount of infections, viruses and flus that infect our population. Our immune system is our number one defense against these bad bugs! The damaging 'junk foods' and sugars that surround us this season are directly correlated with low immunity and this is the time of year we need it most! But with a little proper care, good nutrition, gentle exercise and rest, your immune system will thrive. Read below for little tid bits on all my favorite immune boosters.

Bone Broth is one of the best ways to provide your body with easily absorbed nutrients. Drink bone broth like tea in a mug with celtic sea salt added to taste or make soup. Use loads of onions and garlic which are specific immune boosting vegetables. And mushrooms, especially maitake, shiitake and reishi. Then there is Cod Liver Oil, the number one superfood for immunity. Supplying high amounts of Vitamin A and D, fat soluble vitamins that are essential to maintaining strong defense mechanisms and omega 3's, our bodies anti-inflammatory fatty acids. In a study done on children having the flu in a season earlier, the next season after taking cod liver oil none of them had the flu! But like everything, it has to be the right quality Cod Liver Oil so be sure to contact dani@wholesomepractices.com to get yours today!

Fermented Vegetables and sauerkraut supply the much needed probiotics that inoculate your gut. About 80% of your immune system actually resides in your gut and is based on your level of probiotics. Commercial yogurt does not cut it people, it's not left to culture long enough before it's put on the shelves so you're only get traces of some probiotics. High quality grass-fed meat and organic, free-range chicken, turkey and eggs supply the protein needed to maintain a healthy immune system. And don't forget juicing! Like bone broth, juicing supplies vitamins and minerals that are in their most readily absorbable form.

And because I can't leave out the 'need to avoid' list here goes. Sugar and white refined flours are the most damaging, these foods not only supply absolutely no nutrients but they dramatically decrease your white blood cell activity, they feed bad bacteria in your gut destroying your probiotics and are highly inflammatory. I know they haunt you this season but do your best to make baked goods with whole grain flours, honey and maple syrup.

Be well :)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving Recipes

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I am sure we are pinning down our recipes! Most of us probably have some traditional recipes that are re-made year and year but some of us surely like to include new dishes! Especially if we are trying to introduce healthier foods into our diet!

It's all about the quality of our food when it comes to making healthier choices. These side dish recipes below we from our cooking class on Thanksgiving ideas, simple and delicious! Read last years post, A Wholesome Thanksgiving to learn more about choosing the simply changes you can make to enjoy a healthier thanksgiving!

Brussel’s Sprouts  
4C brussel’s sprouts
1/2C fennel, thinly sliced
2T ghee OR coconut oil
1/2t herb mix
Sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper 
Halve brussel’s sprouts and toss in melted ghee with fennel and herbs. Sprinkle sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Roast in the oven on a baking sheet at 375° for 20 minutes. 

Sweet and Savory Sweet Potatoes 
2 large sweet potatoes

1T ghee OR coconut oil
1/4t onion powder
1/4t garlic powder
1/2 t cinnamon
Sea salt 
Freshly cracked black pepper 
Chop sweet potatoes into 1inch pieces. Toss with melted ghee and seasonings, layer on a baking sheet and roast at 375° for 30 minutes or until they are soft. 

‘Mashed Potatoes’ 
1 head cauliflower

Sea salt 
Freshly cracked black pepper 
Chop cauliflower and steam until soft. Drain excess water and blend using an immersion blender. Add sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

Cranberry Sauce 
16oz bag of cranberries
Juice of 1 orange
Zest of the peel
Honey to taste if needed 
In a saucepan heat cranberries on medium-low heat and add fresh squeezed orange juice and zest. Cook for about 10-15 minutes stirring until the cranberries pop and sauce thickens!

And of course we must address the highlight of this holiday; the bird. Your turkey makes thanksgiving what it is, but like anything it's the quality that matters! Where is your turkey sourced from? What is the farm like? Does it come from a farm or a factory? Turkeys that are raised conventionally are fed hormones, steroids and anti-biotics. They rarely see the sun and are fed genetically-modified, pesticide laden food. And then you and everyone else at your table takes these toxins in during your meal! How do we avoid this? We buy free-range turkeys from farms that are feeding the animals organic or high quality food. They roam in the sun and contain healthy levels of vitamins, fatty acids, and proteins! The nutritional quality is far superior! Worth every extra penny! If you live in Santa Barbara, IV COOP will be carrying certified organic, free-range turkeys from a local farm up north. They are selling the turkeys at cost, $2.99/lb and they vary from 10-16lbs. You will also receive a 10% coupon to do your other grocery shopping when you purchase your turkey. They only have a limited number so hurry in!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin Cocoa Chili

As fall begins to set in our seasonal produce changes and the warm, wintery foods that comfort us find their way back onto our tables. Winter squashes, pumpkins, stews, soups, nourishing, nutrient dense. We all crave a warm meal that deeply satisfies.

Pumpkins are not only for decorating, they not only have nutritional benefits but they are delicious as well! This Pumpkin Cocoa Chili is one of my favorite recipes using pumpkin that has both a savory and sweet flavor. The spices of the chili bring out the flavor of the meat but he pumpkin adds this wonderful sweetness that rounds the dish out perfectly!

Pumpkins and other winter squashes can seem so difficult to cook but if you simply place the pumpkin in your oven whole and bake at 350 degrees for about a half hour or until soft then you can very easily cut it open without any strain! You can learn to include these nutrient dense foods into your meals regularly with this technique!

1 small pumpkin
1 large onion
3-4 cloves garlic
2T ghee
1lb stew meat, grass-fed
32oz canned diced tomatoes
1 green bell pepper
1T paprika
2T chili powder
1T chipotle powder
1T cinnamon
1T cocoa powder
1t sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

1. Get the pumpkin in the oven! While it's baking dice onions, bell pepper and garlic.
2. Heat the ghee in your stove top pan and add diced vegetables and stew meat. Saute on medium for about 10 minutes.
3. Add spices and canned tomatoes. Mix well.
4. Cover, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let flavors mingle and vegetables cook for about 30-45 minutes.
5. When pumpkin is soft, remove from the oven. Let cool to the touch and when you can handle it, slice open, scoop out the flesh, remove the skin and add 1inch by 1inch cubes to the chili. Mix in well!

This dish is perfect for a seasonal party or fun family dinner. Enjoy with salad, organic corn tortillas, some brown rice, or steamed greens!

*original recipe from Practical Paleo by Diane Sanfilipo.