The Magic of Believing in Yourself

Beliefs are very powerful! The beliefs created that you still are unconsciously following  are formed by about five years of age. As an adult, you carry beliefs about your self-worth, talents, relationships, career, health, and prosperity that were developed in childhood. Some of these ideas are conscious, but many of them reside in the unconscious mind, affecting your behavior without you realizing it. They are like sunglasses, tinting your view of the world. The balance of negative and positive ideas you learned about yourself growing up results in your level of self-esteem.


When beliefs shift,  life can change dramatically if we choose. Come learn more about how you can take charge of how your life is managed.  Here is how you create the magic of believing in yourself:

  • Understand how “unconscious” beliefs have affected you up until now, and what to do to change them
  • Discover how to use affirmations and visualizations to create a path for the future you want
  • Develop a stronger connection with your Inner Guidance
  • Understand how you can be the star of your own life, directing and writing your own script

Date: Sunday July 27th, 2014

Time: 1-4 PM

Place: New Renaissance Bookshop

1338 NW 23rd Ave, Portland, OR 97210

Register by Calling 503.224.4929 

Investment: $30


Create Your Life!

woman thinking


The Value of Prevention

This was written over 100 years ago, and still timely!  As we become more aware of how we literally “run” in our lives, the  value of prevention becomes even more critical. Enjoy this delightful commentary.

The Ambulance 
in the Valley

Joseph Malines 1895

‘Twas a dangerous cliff, as they freely confessed,

Though to walk near its crest was so pleasant:

But over its terrible edge there had slipped 
a duke and many a peasant;

So the people said something would have to be done.
 But their projects did not at all tally.

Some said, “Put a fence around the edge of the cliff”

Some, “An ambulance down in the valley.”

But the cry for the ambulance carried the day.
 For it spread to the neighboring city:

A fence may be useful or not, it is true,

But each heart became brimful of pity

For those who had slipped o’er that dangerous cliff,

And the dwellers in highway and alley

Gave pounds or gave pence, not to put up a fence,

But an ambulance down in the valley.


“For the cliff is alright if your careful,” they said,
”and if folks even slip or are dropping,
it isn’t the slipping that hurts them so much 
as the shock down below-when they’re stopping,

So day after day when these mishaps occurred,
 Quick forth would the rescuers sally

To pick up the victims who fell off the cliff,
 With their ambulance down in the valley.

Then an old man remarked, “it’s a marvel to me 
that people give far more attention 
to repairing results than to stopping the cause,

when they’d much better aim at prevention.

Let us stop at its source all this mischief, cried he.
”Come neighbors and friends, let us rally,

If the cliff we will fence, we might almost dispense
with the ambulance down in the valley.”

“Oh, he’s a fanatic.” the others rejoined:
”dispense with the ambulance Never!

He’d dispense with all charities, too, if he could:

no, no! We’ll support them forever.
 Aren’t we picking up folks just as fast as they fall?

And shall this man dictate to us? Shall he?

Why would people of sense stop to put up a fence?

While their ambulance works in the valley?”

But a sensible few who are practical too,

Will not bear with such nonsense much longer

They believe that prevention is better than cure

And their party will soon be the stronger

Encourage them, then with your purse, voice and pen

And (while other philanthropists dally)

They will scorn all pretense, and put up a stout fence

On the cliff that hangs over the valley.


From: The Best Loved Poems of the American People

Compiled by Hazel Felleman
, Published by Doubleday, 1936

What prevention measures do you take everyday in your life? What lifestyle efforts can you begin or restart that are truly prevention of chronic illness?  Will you build a fence now or just wait for something to happen? Disease happens over decades from poor preventative habits.  Begin now to improve your nutrition, sleep and rest, mobility and fun activities.  When you do
you won’t need an ambulance in the valley! Thumbs Up


It’s Only Change!

Change or transition in life is inevitable. Often time it is a good change, but can bring up uncertainty around the circumstances of change.

What humans fear most is the unknown. Why is that? We want to feel in control of our lives, but really that is an illusion too. We actually never know when change may occur. Change can bring sadness because we did not expect the change or want the new life situation that a divorce or death of a loved one can bring. But it’s only change! We adapt and flow and move on.

The biggest help we can give ourself is resiliency. The ability to adjust and adapt to new situations is most desirable. Moving through the emotions brought about by change is also a healthy response. And sometimes we just want support. We want a good friend or loved one to just listen to us as we talk our way through change.

With change comes wisdom. We can say, “I’m never going to do that again” or “next time I’ll know how to cope with the changes”. When life throws us a big or little change, breathing deeply helps. Then we can come to know ourself a little more. We can say, “Wow, I got through this and I  am still myself or even better”. Look back on your life and list some of the changes you have gone through. Be amazed at how well you managed it. It is important to give yourself credit for moving on and creating a better and healthier life.  When one door closes, another one opens.

It you want more help with a transition, coaching can be a great resource. Coaches are trained to ask the tough questions of you. Heal Your Life coaching will encourage you to take the difficult steps by first loving yourself unconditionally. I am available for coaching.


Stretch Yourself with Change

The Next Big Step is a seminar for you to consider for support and self care while taking the next steps in your life. Join me at this July seminar to learn how to make the changes with ease and love.





What makes skin so important?

The largest organ of the body is skin. Amazing right? As a protector,  skin has many functions and it often needs our understanding and self care participation to stay healthy and clear. Important to note is that the major functions of skin is as an organ of elimination along with protection from outside elements. When we are born our skin is smooth, soft and rosy in color – skin we love to kiss! Over time skin changes occur. The good news is there are preventive and healthful steps you can take to keep skin more beautiful.

Many factors influence skin health and I’ll discuss three important ones.

Nutrition is always a part of healthy looking skin. Vitamin C is one nutrient that keeps skin collagen strong (think sagging skin and wrinkles). As an example, people who smoke loose collagen from vitamin C loss. Another example to demonstrate nutrition and skin eruptions are allergies. Episodes of rashes, hives and other skin problems can be connected to certain foods. Many vitamins and minerals contribute to skin beauty.
Digestive health: as I have said many times, what gets ingested into the body via the mouth and how it exits, affects skin. Toxins are eliminated via the skin if they are not eliminated via the bowel. Further, if the normal bacterial flora (intestinal bacteria) is imbalanced from high stress, or repeated antibiotic use this will affect skin.
Hormonal balance is more insidious, but definitely affects skin texture. Adrenal and thyroid hormones work hand and hand and can have direct effects on skin.  When hormonal life changes occur, both men and women experience changes in skin color, texture and sometimes eruptions. Men and women have hormonal changes mid-life that affect skin quality.
Naturopathic medicine has long understood the inter-connection of body systems. Even before Evidence Based Medicine, natural medicine practitioners  knew the importance of a clean diet, good digestive function. Add peaceful life habits allowing the body to heal itself as a bonus.
Good skin denotes good health and it is truly our great protector. How does your skin look today?
For more in-depth information on skin read here.

Why I Love Naturopathic Medicine

The Naturopathic profession is over 100 years old with growth and expansion each year.  Naturopathic doctors help people get healthy and then coach them to stay healthy. Ironically, I learned on the news today that some chemotherapeutic treatments are coming into the million dollar cost range – some pills as much as $1,000 per pill.

I thought – this is why we ALL need naturopathy! Staying healthy is a major part of lowering cancer risk.  It is not mysterious why chronic illness is rising in western culture. Toxins in the environment and poor nutrition by over consumption of processed foods are the main culprits.

On Saturday April 26th I stood before my profession at a conference in Vancouver BC, along with colleague Dr. Jim Sensnig as we shared our wisdom of natural medicine. We spoke of the six principles that are relatively simple, but that also make sense in the realm of wellness within the  human body, mind and spirit.

Here is the list of Naturopathic Principles as practiced by our wonderful colleagues across America and Canada:

1. Do no harm.

2. The body is a self healing entity.

3. Treat the cause of the illness.

4. Docere = doctor as teacher.

5. Prevention.

6. Treat the whole person.

The best health model is  keeping life simple, learn the true value of your health, and feel empowered and connected by nature and nurture.  Know and practice what is natural and nurturing to the body. Healing is a word derived from wholeness.

Healing vs. Wholeness


To heal is to  become whole again. Curing  only relieves symptoms of the disease, not necessarily restoring wholeness.

Treat The Cause

Treat The Cause

Apply the six principles to your life every day. These tenets of naturopathic medicine are changeless and true to health and well being. Modern conventional medical philosophy is empty of a true healing philosophy.

America’s Secret Addiction – SUGAR!




Sugar is America’s Number One Addiction

I confess my fondness for sweetness in my food has existed for a long time. Even being natural medicine doctor for many years, it has been a challenge to not have sugar of some form in my daily diet.  Back in the 1970’s my interest in eating better began while raising my two sons. I carefully read all label ingredients and refused to buy any package foods containing chemicals, other unrecognizable words and more than 2 sugars (i.e. breakfast cereals). It was my great start to understanding good nutrition.

Currently, the more research I read about the dangers of food loaded with sugar, the easier it is to remove sugar laced foods.  I’d like to reveal to you how these “sugars” have crept into our everyday food intake.  First one has to recognize what actually is a sugar: AKA simple carbohydrate.

Sugars In Disguise:

  • Words ending in ‘ose’ are sugars. Sucrose, fructose, maltose, dextrose & monosaccharaides are more popular types found in almost all packaged food.
  • Common sugars includes: raw sugar, brown sugar, beet sugar, cane sugar, confectioner’s (powdered) sugar, molasses, turbinado, maple syrup, sugar cane syrup, cane juice, invert sugar, malt syrup, and high fructose corn syrup.
  • Flour: the most common one used is white bleached wheat flour, which is a simple starch found in the American diet. This simple carbohydrate readily converts to sugar.
  • Gluten free foods for example contain rice, corn and potato flours which also readily become simple sugars.
  • Fruit juices and lactose in milk contain sugar.
  • HFC = high fructose corn syrup is a cheap sugar manufactured and found in most soft drinks.

Food manufacturers have been very creative in luring people like yourself into buying packaged foods. Prepared foods often taste so good because of the many different starch/sugars. You eat them and  inevitably want more – creating a sugar craving and addiction cycle. Plus the evidence is now clear: high sugar/carbohydrate intake leads to increase fat storage in the body.

So what can I eat?

There are  many foods without high amounts of sugar, and it’s imperative to know what is in food you are eating. Best policy: avoid all package foods! If you have to travel plan your food ahead – seriously.

Read more:  “Sugars Maybe Killing You”  

What you CAN do:

cashewsI carry nuts and seeds with me. Nut butters (excluding Nutella) are wonderful snacks. Buy your organic veggies, wash and carry cut up carrots, celery, radishes, zucchini and/or some roasted vegetables. All these foods travel well without refrigeration.

Drink water and stop all canned drinks. They all contain some type of sugar or artificial sweetener.

See my recipe blog for more health ideas.

Reducing sugar will improve health and wellness. Sugar, as it is now better understood, is a key player in causing inflammation in the body which is the crux of many chronic diseases today.

Next blog, I will discuss sugar and its association with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Here’s to YOUR health….



Fun Facts About Wheat Grass

Have you ever eaten grass? Maybe as kids we did, and now you can eat some for greater health.

Why is wheat grass good for you?

Wheat grass according to WebMD is the young plant that contains dense nutrients. In other words more vitamin/mineral bang per blade of grass!

The nutritional value of wheatgrass surpasses many foods. It is lauded for prevention of many chronic illnesses. Wheatgrass is reported to help stabilize blood sugar and help diabetes.

Green foods everyday is an important ingredient for good health!

Here is a simple recipe to enjoy wheat grass each day.

Purchase wheat grass at your local healthy food market. Also you can grow wheatgrass easily in your home indoors or out.

wheatgrass cutting

Cut a small portion as shown in the photo of wheat grass and place in high speed blender.

Add: 1 cup water

other fruit such as apple, pear or grapes.

Process for 1 minute and you have a blended wheat grass/fruit smoothie.


Eating On The Wild Side!

dandeliongreensHow has food farmed today evolved over the last few centuries? This is an important question especially in light of increasing chronic illnesses currently facing so many people in our nation. Through spontaneous mutation and laboratory genetic changes, food grown today is very different than how it was grown fifty to one hundred and more years ago.

In my own eating habits, I notice my preference to sweeter and often “softer” foods that are easier to chew and swallow. Food that is not cultivated, in other words, that is grown wild, is more fibrous and contains less readily available sugars. But the tendency is to eat what is grown for us by our local farmer. Farmers sell what people want to eat. We want to eat sweeter and softer foods, not higher fiber, less sweet food.  Gradually Americans have been lured into the sweet low fiber food trap.

 A New York Times article reports that corn has been bred to increase its sweetness but at the cost of lost nutrients. As an example, deep yellow corn has beta-carotene along with anthocyanin – two very important nutrients for health, not found in sweeter white corn so popular now. The article encourages us to eat blue cornmeal in our pancakes for greater nutrient density. A very good idea!

Here are a few starter food tips:

  • Eat more scallions but use the green part of the plant as well as the white bulb.
  • Eat arugula which is a richer salad green and close to its ancestor plant.
  • Dandelion greens are definitely very good for your health.
  • Bitter greens like  mustard greens and Swiss chard can be added to regular salads or stir fried with mushrooms.
  • Add fresh herbs to salads and soups; make vegi/herb-burgers or add herbs to smoothies for added nutrition.
  • Parsley either flat leaf or curly leaf plant, along with cilantro are excellent due to rich plant nutrients like chlorophyll, minerals and iron. Use regularly.

We can no longer depend on food manufacturers, farmers or the government for best practices for our food consumption.  Be your own advocate and do your own research. Know what is best for your health. Here is an excellent book as a food  resource that gives you the qualities of  nutrients in foods, how to select them, identifying foods that enhance health: The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, by Michael Murray, ND.  Every kitchen should have this book right along with the cookbooks we love!

As a naturopathic physician there is no doubt in my mind about the relationship between food and health. Eat more wild grown foods for excellent health. Make a promise to yourself and family to add a new wild food to your diet at least once a week. Experiment and have fun!

wild greens

Water as Medicine: How Does Water Heal?

How does water heal?  First let’s look at the word ‘heal’. It is derived from the ancient word ‘hal’ which means to make whole or restore.

Often taken for granted in modern society, we don’t place much value on water particularly as a healing agent much less water as medicine.  Conventional medicine lost its wisdom by completely moving away from water as a healer and focusing on pharmaceuticals as the mainstay for treatments.  But water truly is an essence that helps the body with its own natural healing ability.  In this writing I will explain the basic qualities in water that make this so.

Qualities of Water

Here is a little review: water has the ability at different temperatures to be in three states: ice, liquid and steam (or vapor).  In each of these states, water can release or absorb heat into or away from the body.  This transfer of energy is where healing can occur making water a powerful medical tool. As the body temperature is changed, so is metabolism, circulation and cells of the immune system.

The body is also a heat organism always working to maintain a certain temperature for all its cell operations (a good thing).  Each individual cell becomes a part of heat production and collection, which maintains our core temperature somewhere between 98 to 99 degrees Fahrenheit.  Heat regulation, a very important part of health and wellness, enhances enzymes and bio-chemical reactions that have their peak performance at the proper internal temperature.  Keep in mind that our body’s water content is about 60% depending on a person’s age.

With high percent water content,  the body has to do three basic things with fluids: heat it up, cool it down or keep it neutral.  In some situations warming the body can enhance a healing process, by calling forth certain cells to do healing work (white blood cells for example).  There may be a need to bring heat to a specific area, like a hand, arm or foot to heal a wound or infection.  A warm heating compress can be the treatment of choice for issues from sore throats to general detoxification.

Cold therapy

In Naturopathic medicine, cold water therapy can be useful in a number of ways.  For instance, as in the case of injury and fluid collection, cold applications improve circulation, reduce a very high fever and stimulate the body to warm itself.  This useful and wise application of water has been and still is practiced by knowledgeable healers.

Neutral therapy

water therapyNeutral water therapies have been well known to calm the nervous system. Newborn babies bathed in tepid (neutral temperature of 98 degrees) are soothed as they were in the womb. We have excitable nervous systems that can be restored to balance with a neutral bath. Before pharmaceuticals were available, neutral baths were recognized therapy AKA hydrotherapy.


How Does Water Heal?

Water is an agent for healing when we know how to use it.  There is something magical about being in water. One of the most healing experiences I gave to myself during a particularly difficult time in my life, was to go to the ocean.  While living on the coast in Florida, I would ride my bicycle to the beach in the very early morning, go into the calm water and just allow the seawater to float me.  I’d float and float and feel the support of the earth mother’s liquid, which was neutral and comforting. It is a memory of water healing that still comforts me today.

Take time out and be in the water; it is really good medicine. As a naturopathic physician, I use water as a natural treatment of choice.  Water therapy can help when there is a lack of sleep, hormonal imbalance and during menopause. In the next writing I will explain the types of water therapies that can be used.



Water as Medicine – Part 1

Water is a natural resource and it’s easily accessible and practical for self-care and comfort or for medical therapy, however it is often overlooked for its valuable aspects in wellness care or as a healing therapy. Since water is plentiful in most parts of the U.S. we take its availability for granted. In current medicine the first line of therapy could easily consist of a simple treatment instead drugs, which are used for a quicker fix. Our culture is less healthy today in part, due to the heavy use of drugs both over-the-counter and prescription; we should avail ourselves to the simpler remedies first and use drugs as a last resort.

Earth’s water sources are healing, whether it is soaking in hot mineral springs, swimming in river water or seawater or drinking from natural spring waters. Water is the source for supporting life in so many ways. In our modern culture, water is often taken for granted because we can access it so easily from the faucets in our homes.  In subsequent articles I will expand  specifically on water’s many uses for healing.

But first, here is a little history. As an example, 100-150 years ago many people commonly practiced using water as a healing agent and recognized it as medicine. Its regular use was appreciated by applying to the body a variety of baths, douches (a spray of water designated to a body part), water sheet wraps, poultices (wraps with herbs or earth clay), steams, etc.  People took time to soak, shower and then rest after therapies.

Practitioners of that era were varied and plentiful. The “regular” doctors scoffed at “hydropaths”  the water healers, who did get great health results. The water therapists, or hygienists and naturopaths of that era cured serious cases of infections such as pneumonia.   Recorded cases in the 1930’s and 1940’s document successful treatment in cases of pneumonia as an example. Patients with pneumonia and associated high fevers completely recovered using wet sheet wraps, colon clearing and fasting.  In this time period before antibiotics, the death rate for pneumonia was 25% when treated by the allopathic doctors.  Many alternative hydro-therapists claimed a 100% success rate. [1]

The point here is that water therapies can work very well in simple and also in complex illnesses. As the failure of drug therapies and antibiotic resistant bacteria grow stronger, we may need to rely on the “old ways” once again.  A well-trained naturopathic doctor can hold the key to your recovery when conventional drugs are failing.

In my practice as a naturopathic physician, I have recommended these simple therapies many times.  Bathing can be the perfect medicine for anxiety, painful muscles, menstrual disorders or joint pain. Spending time by or in the river or ocean can allow stress reduction and rejuvenate the spirit.  Water as medicine is simple and effective.

bagby hot springs

 Water is a natural healer; use it frequently.

In the next writing of this series I will reveal how the water affects the body helping it heal.


[1] Water Cure Journal, Pneumonia, John Wilson, MD, ND, Birmingham, England, May 1944.

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