I recently wrote the following article for a local publication. Hope you enjoy it!

As we welcome the falling leaves of Fall season we also see the beginning of the flu/cold season. Flu virus and colds are the leading cause of absences in the work place during this time of year. We begin to wonder if we should take advantage of the many opportunities to have a flu vaccination. Some of us are trying to take measures to avoid getting sick and trying to decide what to do if we do become ill. Hopefully, this article will help you understand the flu, how to avoid it, and what to do if you do get it.

James Balch, MD and Phyllis Balch, CNC notes that during an epidemic, from 25 to more than 50 percent of the population can become infected with with flu. More than 200 different individual strains of virus can cause cold and flu, and strains of viruses are constantly changing, so vaccinations against influenza have been only partly successful in preventing outbreaks of the disease. Balch and Balch do not recommend flu shots in general. Their usefulness is questionable, and the side effects may be worse than the flu would be.

So what can be done to help avoid these seasonal illnesses? The following are suggestion I give to the people I see in my office regarding flu and cold concerns.
Stay hydrated from the inside by drinking the appropriate amount of water for you. A good rule of thumb is to drink one half of your body weight in ounces per day. For example, if you weight 150 lbs., you should drink 75 oz of water per day. The total amount of water consumed per day should never be more than 100 oz total.
Stay hydrated from the outside. Keep the inside of your house humid. With the central heat on, the air in the home becomes dry and the mucous membranes of the body dry out. This makes the mucous membrane more susceptible to contact with the virus.
Use a Neti Pot. This is a proven tool to greatly reduce illness from colds, flu, and allergies by keeping the mucous membrane of the sinuses hydrated and clean.
Reduce (or eliminate) consuming sugar – except for fruit. Did you know that sugar feeds virus and bacteria? Did you ever notice that many people begin experiencing flu symptoms shortly after Thanksgiving dinner? This year, cut down on sugar and don’t overindulge on Thanksgiving treats!
Go outside. Doctors and researchers now acknowledge that Vitamin D deficiency plays a prominent role in making people susceptible to virus and possibly even cancer. Exposure to sunshine is the most natural and best way to get Vitamin D.
Get plenty of rest.
Eat fresh seasonal food. Gerard Mullin, a Johns Hopkins Hospital internist and gastroenterologist notes, “It’s interesting that in the fall, root vegetables like yams and carrots, which are all very rich in Vitamin A and antioxidants, which play a huge role in immunity, come up in our diet,” he explains. “If you focus on eating seasonal fruits and vegetables, you’ll get all of the immune-boosting vitamins and minerals you need without having to think about supplements.” He adds that a wide variety of mushrooms, including shitakes and even plain old white buttons, have also been proven to improve immune function. And since, according to Mullin, it has now been firmly established that the gut is the center of immunity, he suggests regularly eating yogurt with probiotics, which help maintain healthy gut flora.”
Look on the bright side. Optimistic people have stronger immune systems.
Get moving. Walk 30 minutes a day, preferably outside. This is a great way to build your immune system, reduce stress, and get in a little Vitamin D.
Here are a few examples of remedies and supplements that are helpful during the flu/cold season.

Ginger tea. This is a staple in my family and very helpful for stomach upsets and clearing congestion in the sinuses and chest. Simmer fresh peeled ginger root in a pan of water. Strain out the root pieces. Pour into a cup, add a squeeze of fresh lemon, mix in honey to taste. Sip all day.
Echinacea. Begin taking this herb now. It is most effective in preventing virus and not as effective when taken after contacting an illness.
Andographis. A great herb that fights virus AFTER becoming infected.
Olive Leaf Extract. Enhances the immune system and fights virus and many types of infection.
Garlic. This has been referred to as “the poor man’s antibiotic”. Has powerful antibiotic and antiviral properties.
Reishi, Shitake, and Maitake extract. These are mushroom extracts that are immune boosting and essential for fighting the flu.
Remember that a fever is one of the major defense mechanisms the body uses against the flu. Viruses cannot survive well in a warm environment. The body uses fever to create a warm environment to fight viruses and bacteria. Don’t try to suppress a fever unless it is over 103 degrees.

These are all easy, inexpensive, and very effective steps we all can take to have a healthy flu and cold season.



As I was lying here with a pesky little gastroenteritis virus, I decided to watch the movie “Foodmatters”. When I tell you I was greatly moved, that would be an understatement. I am wondering why I let the movie sit on my desk for months before I watched it. Why did I do that? All I can say now is that I am so glad I finally watched it.

I know many of you are as health concerned or more so than I am. I know that many of you have already seen this movie. If you haven’t seen it, let me beg you to obtain this movie from netflix, online at Foodmatters.tv, or any other preferred movie rental method you have. DO IT NOW. Then, gather the whole family (even the dogs and cats) and watch this together. If you are interested in health, if you sell health related products or services, if you care about humanity – WATCH THIS.

Did I mention that I really want you to see this? The thing is, I know this stuff (and so do you). But we don’t live as if we know it.

I finally decided to have potato soup for dinner tomorrow night.  You will be surprised to see how creamy and delicious it can be without milk or cream.  The creamy base is made by blending together a portion of the sauteed onions, cauliflower, celery, and red potatoes.  This is a well combined starch meal.  It is easy to make and a favorite at my house.  

Don’t forget we are making cultured vegetables tomorrow night.  Everyone bring your shredded carrots or bring your carrots and we will shred them when you arrive.  If you are having trouble finding a quart jar, just let me know and I will have one there for you.  Please read up on cultured vegetables in your BED book.  There are so many health benefits derived from eating these veggies – and the other cultured foods.  It is very easy to learn how to prepare them.  

See you tomorrow night.


It seems that there is alot of discussion about the flu and taking flu shots.  I don’t know the answer to the question of taking or not taking the flu shot.  I do feel strongly that we need to educate ourselves and listen to the pros and cons of any medication or vaccine we take.    Lately, I have been giving alot of attention to educating myself more about Vitamin D –  the role it plays in our immune function and it’s relationship to flu, virus, and colds.  I found this post on Dr. Mercola’s website.  I wanted to share this with you.

In other times, people spent much more of their time out of doors in the sunlight.  Sun is the best natural source of Vitamin D.  We don’t stay outdoors as much as our ancestors did and as a result we probably suffer more colds and flu than they did.  

Here is a link to Dr. Mercola’s video.

Flu shots/vitamin D

Polenta Pizza Tonight


Polenta Pizza CrustPolenta Pizza Crust

I got up early this morning to make the polenta for our pizza crust.  This is the crust after i cooked the polenta (i.e. corn grits), oiled the pizza stone and the cookie sheet, poured the polenta onto the oiled surfaces, smoothed the polenta down, and covered with plastic wrap.  Now it will set up in the fridge until I cook it in a 350 oven for 20 minutes.  After that I will put on the toppings and warm again before we eat it.  Max and I experimented with different toppings this weekend and came up with our favorite mix.  We will have pizza sauce, roasted red/orange peppers, carmelized onions, and spinach for our toppings.  

My kids grew up on the BED for about 6 years when Max and I remained about 80% faithful to BED.  It started for health reasons for Eli and Cheyanna and continued for me and Max.  One thing we were always hungry for was a good pizza.  We were thinking “outside of the box” when we came up with the idea of using corn grits for a crust. in 1998.  We had never heard of this before and have experimented over the years with it.  Now I can find polenta pizza recipes on the internet.  Seems that others had to think outside of the box too.  I have even made this crust and then cut the crust into long pieces to come up with a “noodle” for lasagne.  Don’t get me wrong, my kids never ever never preferred this to “real” pizza, but it got us by.  Now they giggle and eat it, but still eat “real” pizza with their friends.  

For you in the Vital Health – Body Ecology group, I will see you tonight at 5:30.  For you reading this not in the class, thank you for joining us on the blog and hope you are doing well.

Yours in the journey to health and healing,


I bet i got you on this one!


Yes, we will be having pizza for dinner next Tuesday.  How can you do this, you may ask.  We can’t use wheat or any kind of flour!  Hint, hint, look at the color of the crust and see if that helps.

until we meet again,

ciao, bella

Greek Salad Dressing

Here is the salad dressing I used on Tuesday evening on our salad.  You can add any herbs/seasonings that appeal to you.  In the past I have added parsley, cilantro, mint, and basil.  Try anything you like.  Sometimes I substitute part of the olive oil for some flaxseed oil.  The flaxseed  oil gives some Omega 3 support and digestive support.  As long as the total oil adds up to this ratio – or close.  This is more of an “art” than a “science” – so be artistic!


1 Tablespoon Juice of a Lemon

1/2 teaspoon of Sea Salt

1 teaspoon Xylitol (or a drop of stevia)

1/3 Cup of Olive Oil

(1 clove of chopped garlic and any other herb/seasoning you want)

Whisk the lemon, salt, xylitol, garlic, and seasoning in a bowl.  Slowly whisk in olive oil in a thin stream.  If you want a creamier version, you can blend all of this in a food processor or a blender, but still put the oil in with a small gradual stream as it blends.  It will keep in a jar in the fridge.

THAT’S IT – it is really that easy and sooooo tasty!