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.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dr Iris Pediatrics

Wholesome Practices is pleased to announce that Dani Rhoades, NC will now be working as the certified nutritionist at Dr. Iris Pediatrics! Dani Rhoades has an extensive history not only with nutrition but with children and is excited to blend her passions together.

The health of our children has changed dramatically with allergies, obesity and other ailments on the rise. This generation is actually the first generation that is said to possibly not out live their parents. These facts are daunting but there is hope as much can be done to support your child's health! Good nutrition starting from a young age or implemented at any time can have profound effects on the human body. My personal story is a living testimony to this effect which is why I am so passionate about my work as a Nutritionist. In today's society there is so much conflicting information about what 'good nutrition' is and often parent's don't know where to start. Dani's personal story, education, and work experience make her a qualified candidate for assisting you in making the transitions towards health your family needs.

Your children deserve the most optical which is why choosing an integrative pediatrician is the best option for your family. Dr. Iris Pediatrics is now accepting new patients- infants under one! This is rare opportunity as normally the practiced is full and closed to new families. Call the office at (805) 892-4141 to schedule your interview today!

We will be offering classes at Dr. Iris Pedaitrics on various nutrition related topics so please keep your eyes out! You can also contact dani@wholesomepractices.com to get added to our mailing list!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fall Cleansing

Most people are aware that 'Spring Cleansing' is quite common, but most healthcare professionals these days are actually recommending that people also do a second cleanse later in the year. You might be surprised to find out that 'fatty liver' is the single most common disease in America. It's actually estimated that 70-90 million Americans suffer from fatty liver and today we're even seeing this condition in children.

When the body is overloaded with sugar, even in the form of flour or excess carbohydrates, the liver begins to store fat in a process known as lipogenesis. This is seen in the picture above. Fructose, especially in the form of high fructose corn syrup is the number one cause of this. But refined flours or refined grains and other forms of sugar are strong contributors as well. A healthy, whole foods diet will ensure you maintain a healthy liver but what's to be done to actually restore some of the damage that's take place?

One of the best ways to support liver health is through a detoxification plan. The body responds wonderfully to specific foods that enhance liver function like lemons, milk thistle and cruciferous vegetables. Take note this fall and of course again in the spring to cleanse and boost liver health!

'Dani's Detox' is a 5-7 day program that uses food, herbs, supplements and lifestyle to fuel the pathways of detoxification in the liver. The plan was formulated by myself, certified Nutrition Consultant Dani Rhoades, NC with the support of Dr. Robert P. Mathis, MD, ABAARM, ABIHM, CNS, MCP. Together we have created a plan that is natural, science based and incredibly efficient. It works effectively yet calmly so as not to remove you from daily life. While some detox programs can be harsh and cause many side effects, this detox program works gently.

This is normally a $75 program but as fall is another great season for cleansing, Dani is offering to set you up on the detox for just $50! Please contact dani@wholesomepractices.com to being your detox program!

*Be sure to contact your healthcare provider before starting any new program. Although children are mentioned in this post, Dani's Detox is not designed for children. It is also not meant to replace medical care for fatty liver or any other liver disease.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Healthy Vinaigrette

Healthy fats are a critical component of a wholesome diet. Traditional fats like extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and pasture raised butter have been replaced with modern oils like canola, soybean and safflower. These oils are highly refined, processed and inflammatory. Our bodies don't have enzymes to breakdown these oils as they can not be made by the natural means of pressing, as with olive oil. I tell my clients, oils should come from naturally fatty, oily foods such as olives or coconut.

Unfortunately in today's grocery stores it's hard to come across food made with traditional ingredients. As I tour my clients through the health food stores they are appalled that nearly every salad dressing is made with some form of refined oils. And worse is that these oils are 'organic' which leads people to think they are healthy! I know it's confusing but don't be deceived by food labels, not everything labeled 'organic' is good for you. Canola, soybean, safflower, sunflower, peanut, and corn oils are all refined and contain high amounts of Omega 6 fatty acids that contribute to inflammation throughout the body. You most likely don't buy these or use them for cooking but they sneak they're way into your salad dressings, breads, crackers, cereals, granolas, tortillas, etc.! That's why I call them one of my 'Hidden Ingredients'. Beware of processed foods and always read ingredients!

But low and behold, there is one health food's company that makes their dressings with all the right ingredients! Bragg's Healthy Vinaigrette dressing is one of my all time favorites, made with extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey and spices. Their Ginger and Sesame is an excellent dressing as well, perfect for a Chinese chicken salad! The Braggberry and Hawaiian marinades are good choices as well, mixed with olive oil they make deliciously sweet dressings!And of course, you can always make your own dressing at home. My favorite home-made salad dressings is a Mustard Dill Vinaigrette that will spice up even the most boring of salad greens!

The Recipe
1/4C Rawapple cider vinegar 
3/4C Extravirgin olive oil
1T shallot
1t Dijon mustard
1T nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic
2t fresh dill or 1t dried
1t raw honey
Pinch of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Blend all ingredients together! Refrigerate after using, the oil will separate and harden naturally, so take it out a half hour before using and shake well.

You can't have a healthy salad with a poor dressing so choose Bragg's or make this home-made Mustard Dill dressing! Be sure to schedule your personal Health Food Store Tour with Dani to learn all about the '4 Hidden Ingredients' and be sure they aren't sneaking they're way into your diet!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Nut and Seed Protein Bars

Last night in Fortuna Fitness' Primal Cooking Class I revealed the recipe for the long awaited Nut and Seed Protein Bar! Everybody wants a good bar once and awhile and it's a difficult thing to find one in the stores. Why? Because processed, packaged foods almost always contain one or more of what I call 'The 4 Hidden Ingredients'. Refined sugar, refined oil, refined flour and refined salt. Refined foods are lacking in the nutrients they once contained, are usually acidic, difficult to digest and overall damaging to the body. More on those to come! For now, enjoy these protein bars that are made from nuts and seeds, natural sugars and a boost of protein from the only protein powder I recommend: Tera's Whey! They are an excellent choice for breakfast when you're on the go, an afternoon pick me up or a nice, healthy dessert.

The Recipe
1C flaxseeds
1C walnuts
3/4C sunflower seeds
3/4C pumpkin seeds
1/2C hemp seeds
4 scoops Tera’s Whey Protein powder (vanilla flavored)
1/2C coconut oil
1/2C maple syrup
1T vanilla extract

1. Grind the flaxseeds either in a coffee grinder or a high speed blender. They need to be ground finely. Then add to a mixing bowl.
2. Grind walnuts finely, then sunflower seeds, then pumpkin seeds and add to flaxseeds in the bowl.
3. Add hemp seeds (no need to grind these) and 4 scoops of the protein powder and mix thoroughly.
4. Heat coconut oil until softens, mix with maple syrup and vanilla extract.
5. Fold into the nut mix slowly and mix in thoroughly, you may need to add water until you get the consistency of bread dough. Start with a few spoonfuls of water and increase to 1/4C as needed.
6. Line an 8x8 glassware baking dish with parchment paper and press the ‘nut dough’ using a spatula or your hands. If you don't have parchment paper lining the pan with coconut oil will work just fine.
7. Bake at 300° for 30 minutes. If you desire them to be more crisp then leave them for another 10 minutes, watching so they don’t burn.

There are so many variations to making these bars. Use different flavored Tera's Whey, like chocolate or vanilla. You can use honey in place of maple syrup, choosing local and raw honey so you get the most benefits. You can add cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. Replace walnuts with almonds and then add almond extract! The possibilities are endless! Add raisins or goji berries, maybe even some dark chocolate chips to make these bars a special treat!

These bars are so delicious they'll probably disappear in  no time but if you don't think you'll finish them up in 2-3 days then be sure to freeze half the batch for later as they don't keep long. Thanks Fortuna Fitness and everyone who came out to our cooking class last night! Stay tuned for out next Primal Cooking Class at the end of the month!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Ras El Hanout

Something should definitely be said about the use of spice blends in Middle Eastern countries for their medicinal and culinary value. Some of the world's most medicinal spices are used on a daily basis in countries like Morrocco, Turkey and India. Yet for most of us they never even make it into our pantry let alone our dinner table! Turmeric, ginger and cinnamon are amongst the most beneficial spices and often make it into blends more commonly known as curries. But I'm sure most of us haven't heard of Ras El Hanout which is literally translated from Arabic to mean 'head of the shop'. This spice blend is anti-oxidant rich and highly anti-inflammatory not to mention absolutely delicious!

Ras El Hanout can be made with up to 30 different spices and each household cook would have her or his own variety made uniquely to their liking. Turmeric, ginger and cinnamon are spices that can not be replaced for their nutritional profile is outstanding! Turmeric is probably the most anti-inflammatory agent due to it's active component curcumin which has been shown to reduce symptoms of arthritis while lowering cholesterol and protecting your liver! Ginger follows suit as another powerful anti-inflammatory that supports a healthy heart and offers multiple benefits to your digestive tract. It has been used as an anti-nausea remedy for centuries! Cinnamon is exceptionally high in anti-oxidants and is therapeutic for aiding in blood sugar regulation and preventing diabetes. Cardamom aids digestion, allspice is carminative, cloves aid bronchitis and sinus infections, nutmeg aids cough and sleeplessness, anise is detoxifying, black pepper promotes circulation while red pepper increases metabolism. I like to say that 'spices are the pharmacy in your kitchen' and now you can see why!

Buy high quality spices to ensure you are getting the valuable nutrients they contain. Choose organic and make sure they are bright, potent colors and not dull, fading colors. For the most aromatic experience buy the spices whole like nutmeg and cardamom and grind them yourselves in a coffee grinder!

1T ground ginger
1T ground cardamom
2t cinnamon
2t turmeric
1t ground allspice
1t ground coriander seeds
1t ground nutmeg
1t cumin
1/2t freshly ground pepper
1/2t ground cayenne pepper
1/2t ground anise seeds
1/4t ground cloves

Mix all the spices together in a bowl and add to your favorite dishes! It might seem intimidating to begin including these Indian spices into your diet so be sure to look out for my next cooking class featuring Ras El Hanout in a Moroccan Chicken and Squash Stew! Complete with hands on demonstration, recipe and of course, loads of nutritional information!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Pure Water: Part II

Part II is necessary because unfortunately our drinking water is not our only concern. The water that we shower and bath in is of just as much concern if maybe not more! Our skin is our body's largest organ and is highly absorbent. Toxins found in the water will easily be absorbed through your skin into your blood stream being stored in fat tissues and causing damage to your organs and other bodily systems. Chlorine is of much concern because it's not only incredibly damaging but it's vaporized by hot water and we actually inhale it directly into our lungs! Chlorine destroys your bodies naturally body ecology and increases your risk of cancer, miscarriage, low birth weight, and other reproductive problems. Chlorine exposure is also linked with asthma, eczema and even heart disease. And chlorine is just one of many toxins in your water.

According to Dr. Mercola a 10 minute shower is like drinking 1 gallon of water! And let's be honest, most people shower longer than 10 minutes or leave their kids in the bath a lot longer than that. Hence, the dire need for a water filter for your bathing water as well as your drinking water.

Fortunately, you can find filters that remove even the most potent of toxins! Perfect Water Worldwide has created the most efficient, ceramic based filters that also restructure the water so that it is alkaline and antioxidant rich! They withstand high heats unlike carbon-based filters which also contain petroleum, another toxin. You can purchase a shower filter or a bath filter that will be sure to produce pure, clean water for you and your family. A Whole Home water filtration system is also available and would provide nearly perfect water out of every faucet in your home. Often the price of water filters can be daunting but the cost to your health of unfiltered water is much more. If you have further questions about water, please please please contact dani@wholesomepractices.com, there are so many options for getting pure, mineral rich water that one of them is bound to be within your budget!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Pure Water: Part I

Since the beginning of time mankind has needed water to survive. Water was necessary then and it still is today. Only now, our water is radically different than ever before containing loads of toxins, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals and even pathogens! The EWG has found nearly 260 contaminants in tap water and 141 of them are 'unregulated', meaning there is no maximum 'safe' level and any amount of them can therefore legally exist in our water! Furthermore of these unregulated compounds 52 are linked to cancer, 41 to reproductive damage, 36 to developmental damage and 16 to immune suppression. The need to restore our water to it's purest and most original form is absolutely vital to our health. As Dr. Mercola always says, "If you don't have a filter, your body becomes the filter" for all these toxic chemicals! 

The best solution would be to find a well but for most of us this is not reasonable. Next best, a water filtration system. Reverse Osmosis and distilled water filtration systems are good at removing the toxins purifying the water but fail to maintain the mineral quality of the water. Minerals are essential for healthy bones, teeth, immunity and many other functions. When we drink RO or distilled water which is highly acidic because of the lack of minerals it will pull minerals from your body's reserves, such as your bones to restore alkalinity to your body. We need pure water with minerals.

Perfect Water Worldwide has created a system that not only purifies the water, removing all contaminants but it restructures the water ionizing, alkalizing and adding back in minerals! The water contains no chlorine, fluoride, pharmaceuticals, hormones or other dangerous compounds and is actually rich in antioxidants to help cleanse and strengthen your body! The water is alkalized and mineralized to restore the natural pH that water always had and therefore it won't pull minerals out of your bones. 

Perfect Water Inc. from Kenneth Guoin on Vimeo.
Perfect Water Worldwide has created many different systems to ensure that everyone can afford to improve their water in some way. And Perfect Water's home filtration systems produce nearly perfect water at just 10 cents a gallon! From mineral drops to whole home water systems there is something for you! Email dani@wholesomepractices.com to learn more about improving your water today!
*Figure 2 is from the EWG Tap Water Database 2009 and can be found at www.ewg.org.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Paleo Frenzy

The Paleo diet: the diet of our ancient ancestors. Or as some would prefer to call it, the Paleo lifestyle because it's much more than a diet. If you haven't heard of it, now you have! It's the latest frenzy, trend, craze, whatever you want to call it, it's currently the biggest thing in nutrition so ears open! Many people have been asking me what I think about the diet that says grains and beans are unhealthy and it's a complicated, multifaceted issue but I will try to sum up a bit of what I think.

Bio-individuality is above all the most important principle when it comes to nutrition. Each person has a unique genetic code, a specific set of needs, a health history like none other. Each person really does have individual requirements when it comes to their health. What is best for one person could literally be the worst for someone else. People need to be assessed and then given recommendations based on their unique bodies needs. This is how I use nutrition in my practice, it's just not as simple as "one fits all". And I learned this the hard way getting personally healed on a raw, vegan diet I thought this was best for everyone and boy was I wrong! That was years ago and I have come to learn of the many different principles that make up bio-individuality since then.

Do I think that a paleo lifestyle is the best thing for some people? YES! Absolutely, I have a number of my clients eating this way and finding they have never felt better! It's great for weight loss, hormone balancing, enhancing brain function, balancing blood sugar and in some cases restoring the gut. There are a number of benefits to eating a paleo diet and I teach on all of them in my classes and seminars. High quality proteins and traditional fats are key practices of mine. Whatever has been done for centuries is generally better than what we're doing now and that is a core value of the paleo lifestyle. I also seek to restore traditional practices to the lives of modern families through my services.

Many traditional cultures used grains and beans in their diets as was discovered by Weston A. Price. The difference between how we eat these foods today and how they were eaten then is preparation. Grains and beans should only be consumed if they are soaked, sprouted or fermented and then fully cooked. And still it's about whether or not the individual can handle these types of carbohydrates. Taking the time to be assessed by a professional and finding out what is right for your body is invaluable. It's worth every penny. Schedule your Personal Health Assessment with certified Nutritionist Dani Rhoades today to find out what's right for you!

And check out the many recipes on Dani's blog that are Paleo friendly:
Egg Salad
Home-made Almond Milk
Walnut Butter
Sauerkraut and Cultured Vegetables
Fermented Salsa
Bone Broth
Simple Squash Soup
Slow Roasted Chicken
Bison and Butternut Chili (omit beans)
Beef Chili (omit beans)
Roasted Garlic
Coconut Date Rolls
Cinnamon Spiced Apples


Thursday, April 18, 2013

CSA: Community Supported Agriculture

Want to take the next step in sustainability? Then join your local CSA! It's hand down one of the most sustainable actions you could take! Community Supported Agriculture has become popular in the recent years as people are becoming more educated on issues like organics, sustainability and shopping locally. You pay into the farm and in exchange you receive a "share" of the produce. Basically, a box overflowing with the best, freshly harvested seasonal crops, from heirloom tomatoes to strawberries, your box is different each week! Your support each week garantuees the farm can continually provide you with the highest quality produce all year long. This direct exchange from farmer to consumer is highly beneficial to your local economy.

What are the nutritional benefits of a CSA? Well, for one you'll be eating your veggies each week cause you'll have a box full! You're less likely to get stuck eating the same thing over and over because your box will be varied each week. This means you'll be giving your body a variety of different nutrients and probably even trying some things you never would have bought otherwise! The produce is picked the morning you pick up your box, so it's guaranteed to contain the most nutrients and keep much longer than store bought produce. AND you'll get a weekly newsletter with recipes and even a nutrition tip from Dani when you join the Something Good! CSA.
Something Good!, the CSA for John Givens Farms in Goleta provides one of the most abundant CSA's in town! The farm has been serving Goleta with the highest quality organic produce for 30 years! Every Wednesday you pick up your box on the farm here in Goleta or you can have it delivered, find more information here or ask Dani! 

Look out for more information about The Juice Feast: the latest from Something Good! It's a new CSA box with all your juicing vegetables! And of course lots of nutritional information from Dani!


Friday, April 5, 2013

Dani's Detox

The latest from Wholesome Practices: Dani's Detox! The perfect way to start off the spring and prepare for that beachy, summer weather. The liver is the largest organ in our bodies and is responsible for several hundred functions. The liver converts vitamins and minerals into usable forms, it activates the mighty vitamin D, while also storing the essential ‘fat-soluble’ vitamins A, E and K. It helps our body eliminate the inevitable toxins we encounter everyday and also creates bile which emulsifies fats that we eat. Are you convinced you need to have a healthy liver? 

The best way to maintain a healthy liver is to do a detox or commonly known as a cleanse. So many detox or cleanse programs are rigid and quite harsh on the body. Dani's Detox is gentle, yet effective at cleansing the liver and improving the detoxification pathways that rid toxins out of your body. Formulated by certified Nutrition Consultant Dani Rhoades, NC and approved by Dr. Robert P. Mathis, MD, ABAARM, ABIHM, CNS, MCP. Together we have created a plan that is natural, science based and incredibly efficient.

"I can definitely tell I have lost weight even just in one week! Dani's Detox helped me get on track with the healthy eating habits I wanted to have, cutting gluten and sugars always makes me feel better. Yes! The detox is very beneficial!" -Sheryl R

Often people hit a wall with weight loss or even with healing their GI tract and it usually comes down to the liver at that point. Only so much can be done and then the liver needs to be cleansed, detoxed and nourished so that it can function at it's best on a daily basis. A healthy liver can aid in weight loss, lowering cholesterol levels, improving migraines, amongst many other ailments but most notably it will help prevent disease in the long run.

Dani's Detox includes specific dietary, supplemental, and lifestyle adjustments that work effectively in just 5-7 days. You'll get guidelines, outlines and shopping lists after a brief consultation with Dani. In honor of our ONE YEAR celebration we are offering Dani's Detox for just $50! Please contact her at dani@wholesomepractices.com to get start your detox right away!*

*Be sure to contact your healthcare provider before starting any new program. 
**Can be set up over the phone if you are long distance.

Monday, April 1, 2013

One Year Anniversary

The Wholesome Practices Blog has been up and running for a whole year! 55 posts, 25 recipes, tutorials, infomercials, and countless lives affected. Wholesome Practices exists for YOU. Our purpose is to bring about a change in the community. To educate individuals, families, and groups about nutrition. To arouse a movement towards eating locally, sustainably and organically. To change the course of someone's life through the simple, traditional means of eating real food.

Wholesome Practices was built upon the idea that not only is nutrition critical to your health but that often a little help is needed in transitioning to a healthier lifestyle. Certified Nutrition Consultant, Dani Rhoades seeks to be that help by offering multiple different services in her practice. Her services are meant to build a bridge between what you know about nutrition and what you actually implement into your life. From her Personal Health Assessment to her Farmer's Market Tour there is something to benefit you! Read the Services tab to learn more!

In honor of the one year anniversary we will be offering 25%* on any one of our Wholesome Practices services when you mention reading our blog post! And stay tuned for 'Dani's Detox' program, to be launched later this week!

*Offer is for new clients only. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sustainable Seafood

There is a growing movement towards sustainability right now. But what does it mean exactly and why is it so important? For one, it means that people of the future generations will have the same access to food that we have today. Without sustainable practices set in place we are using up the resources of today so there are only minimal, or none left for tomorrow. Not only is this unfair but when it comes to food it means our kids and their kids and theirs kids will not have the same quality of health that we even have today. As the quality of the food degrades so will our health with it.

The demand for seafood is increasing and what has come along with that is harmful fishing practices. In certain areas fish can not reproduce fast enough to keep up with the rate at which they are being caught and eventually there will be none that remain in those waters. Practices that catch the desired fish faster and more easily are used at the cost of the lives of other sea creatures and the ocean's natural ecology. Fish are also now being imported at a higher rate than ever. They are brought in from dirty, chemical laden waters overseas which means the fish contain toxins, like mercury.

Yet, seafood plays an important role in a balanced diet. Fish supply essential fatty acids that our bodies can not produce on their own. Omega 3's are our bodies anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids, we must get them from our diets and they are not overly abundant by any means. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines and halibut supply EPA and DHA which are readily abosrbed Omega 3's. These healthy fats decrease our risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and even cancer. They are vital for a healthy immune system and are severely lacking in the Standard American Diet. Aim for 7-10 ounces a week of these fatty fish to get your Omega 3's but choose wisely.

Choose sustainable caught seafood. 
Choose sustainably raised animals. 
Choose sustainably grown produce.
Choose sustainability and your choice will give the future generation what you have had the privilege of today.

Check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. There is a guide and app you can download with healthy seafood choices that minimize toxins and ensure that the least harmful means of fishing are being practiced.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Wheat Berries and Cauliflower

There are multiple things about this recipe which need to be discussed. The first being wheat berries. Yes, I am posting a recipe using wheat! But not just any wheat, these are local, organically grown, soaked and fermented whole wheat berries that have been cooked to perfection. What a mouthful! But with wheat and other grains, especially those containing gluten its all about the quality and the care that goes into preparing them. These things make all difference in whether or not your body can breakdown and metabolize the grains.

Organically grown grains don't contain any pesticides and have a higher nutritional value. Wheat, specifically should only be consumed if it's organic because of all the hybridizing, GMO's and mass-production of this grain. These whole wheat berries were grown organically at Shepherd's Farms a local farm in Carpenteria. I couldn't resist these beautiful, golden nuggets!
None the less grains, especially gluten-containing grains can be  damaging to the body if they are not grown and then prepared properly. Grains should be soaked, sprouted or fermented to enhance digestion, particularly of minerals. This was a practice that all ancient cultures used on a regular basis. Soaking in water with a bit of an acid like lemon, apple cider vinegar or whey leads to fermentation, a further step that begins the break down of the grain and therefore eases digestion. Since we are 'what we eat', or more 'we are what we actually assimilate' as I say, we should be doing all we can to enhance digestion! Your health begins with your digestive tract so treat it well! Grains, especially gluten-containing grains can be quite damaging to the body if they are not grown and then prepared properly.
Second I must mention is in regards to the leafy greens in this dish that you may have noticed. I have been quite in the habit of cooking up the greens that you find on cauliflower, broccoli and other vegetables. These parts of the vegetables are entirely edible and offer much nutritional value! I can't believe I have been throwing them away for so long! Not to mention they add such beautiful color and variety to this dish. Next time you get your cauliflower, choose one with lots of greens and use up the whole thing!

1C whole wheat berries
1 large head of cauliflower with lots of greens
2-3T ghee
half a lemon
freshly cracked pepper
sea salt 
Step 1: Soak the wheat berries in plenty of water and a dash of an acid like lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, or fresh whey. 
Step 1: Drain water from wheat berries. Add 2-3 cups fresh water to the berries in a stove pot. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about an hour, maybe an hour and half. You want the berries tender, yet chewy. Drain excess water.
Step 3: Once you grains are almost ready, finely chop the whole head of cauliflower. Use the greens on the outside and the white stalk on the inside.
Step 4: Heat the ghee in a saute pan and add the cauliflower once it's melted. Saute the caulflower until tender.
Step 5: In a large serving bowl, combine the grains and the cauliflower. Add the juice if about half a freshly squeezed lemon. Freshly crack some black pepper, add a pinch of sea salt, maybe a bit of zested lemon peel and you're ready to serve this beautiful dish!

To learn more about this hefty topic on wheat, gluten and grains contact Dani Rhoades!