JUL 2015: Menopause~Mango BBQ Beans~Goal Success!

Have a healthy, pain-free life!

Welcome to the HLW Newsletter which provides accurate facts to enhance your knowledge. Enjoy the Recipe and Wellbeing Tips of the Month and see Upcoming Events. Send your questions about pain, nutrition, exercise, research.
I exist to help you Have LifeLong WellBeing!

This edition will focus on Menopause. I know guys, this may not interest you but you probably have women in your life greatly affected by this issue and this information may help you to help them.

Believe it or not, menopause does not create miserable symptoms like hot flashes and brain fog when you practice Dietary ExcellenceTM and optimal habits. Menopause is created by excess estrogen, not a deficiency in estrogen. I know, I know, this is the exact opposite of what is being reported out there in our sadly misinformed world! Here are the biological facts about menopause.

This is a stage all women go through and it signals the end of childbearing. It is technically defined as the final menstrual period. Perimenopause is a term used to define the transition period when menstrual periods become more irregular and scant as the production of some hormones are reduced. Menopause is a natural byproduct of aging, not a medical event, and in many cultures it is considered a liberating experience as contraception is not practiced everywhere and some cultures have unkind views of menstruating women. The fact is that there are many cultures that have few or no symptoms during menopause. This is due to low estrogen levels throughout their reproductive years and this continues during perimenopause and after menopause. Lifelong habits determine your menopause experience; yet it is never too late to make changes that can positively impact your current state.

Hormonal Changes of Menopause: The principle hormones are 3 types of estrogen, one type of progesterone, and several androgens (male hormones). Since fat cells produce hormones that convert to estrogen in the bloodstream, estrogen levels can remain high in menopausal women who are overweight; unopposed by progesterone. Weight loss will decrease hot flashes and night sweats. The ovary and adrenal glands synthesize male hormones which stimulate libido and help maintain vaginal tissues. Consistent testosterone levels result in many women enjoying sex more instead of less after menopause. Progesterone prepares the uterus for implantation of fertilized egg but production of progesterone drops at menopause. It is important to know that menopause is not an estrogen deficiency disease. In healthy women, estrogen levels fall just enough to stop reproductive capability but should remain high enough for optimal function. Abnormally high estrogen levels both before and after menopause actually create unpleasant symptoms and increase cancer risk. After menopause these high estrogen levels are “unopposed” by progesterone, which continues to cause unpleasant symptoms.

Symptoms of Menopause: hot flashes (over 75% of women), thinning of the vaginal tissues leading to pain with intercourse, nervousness, anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability, insomnia, night sweats, forgetfulness, weight gain and decrease in scalp and pubic hair. Western women are more likely to have unpleasant menopausal symptoms than Asian women. A population-based study of 1000 Chinese, Malay, and Indian women aged 45 to 60 years showed that only 7% of the women had noticeable symptoms of menopause. The Japanese diet is plant-based and includes soy foods. Most Japanese women have no symptoms during and after menopause.

Medicalizing Menopause: In 1943 Willard Allen at the University of Washington isolated estrogenic product from horse urine. The patent for “Premarin” was sold to Ayerst Laboratories and provided a rich endowment to the university. In the 1950’s doctors began defining menopause as an “estrogen deficiency” disease. Premarin was prescribed short-term for night sweats, hot flashes, and vaginal dryness. Feminine Forever, written by a NY gynecologist (Robert Wilson) sold 100,000 copies. This author claimed to have prescribed Premarin for thousands of women and he stated femininity was tied to estrogen. Women’s magazines printed articles promoting estrogen replacement therapy and by 1975 six million women were taking Premarin!

Better option: The bottom line is that menopause is a natural phase that offers both health protection and improved quality of life for women. It is not a disease that requires treatment and uncomfortable symptoms are a byproduct of unhealthy diets and lifestyles. Adopting a program of Dietary Excellence™ and optimal habits (including a commitment to lose weight and body fat) will reduce or resolve most symptoms without negative side effects. The human body was designed to produce all of the hormones needed for function for an entire lifespan.

A low-fat diet with more fruit, vegetables, and whole grains reduced hot flashes and night sweats. Women who adopted this diet were three times more likely to lose weight than controls. A study of Greek and Mayan women shows a sharp contrast in hot flash symptoms. Greek women who were subsistence farmers experienced menopause at 47 and 75% had hot flashes but not significant enough to warrant treatment. The Greek diet is high in vegetables and legumes, but also contains meat, fish, cheese, and milk. Mayan women, on the other hand, experienced menopause at 42 and no hot flashes were reported. They have no word for them, they are not mentioned in books on Mayan botanical medicine, and women, midwives and medical personnel reported that hot flashes do not occur. The Mayan Diet is corn, corn tortillas, beans, tomatoes, squash, sweet potatoes, radishes, and other vegetables with very little meat and no dairy products.

There are reams of information about Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), including Bio-identical (BHRT) and the negative health effects shown in studies. These issues are lengthy and involved and we will devote time and attention to them in a Women’s Health Facts & Fun Day Saturday, August 15. You will have the opportunity to learn valid, factual information regarding women’s issues; from puberty to menopause (including topics like osteoporosis, PMS, and more). See Events Page for more information.

Discover how to eliminate pain, the need for medications and regain your health. Contact Eileen Kopsaftis or call 518-496-1265 for a comprehensive pain/health consultation.

You deserve a long, healthy, pain-free life!





HLW Recipe of the Month: Mango BBQ Beans

Plain old BBQ beans are nice and everything, but mango gives them another dimension—a tart, tropical sweetness that makes them a bit more special. Barbeque flavors really benefit from a nice, long cooking time. Let these simmer on the stove for at least 45 minutes so that the beans absorb more of the flavor and the mango cooks down and melds with the tomato sauce. Serve with greens and rice. If you want to try some great BBQ foods, attend the Advanced Nutrition Class in July!

Serves 6
Active time: 15 minutes. Total time: 1 hour




3 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 mango, seeded and chopped small
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup vegetable broth
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or ¼ teaspoon if you want it less spicy
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
1 (25-ounce) can red beans, (or kidney) drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
2 to 3 tablespoons agave nectar

Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic in the broth with a pinch of salt for about 5 minutes, until translucent.

Add the mango, tomato sauce, broth, red pepper flakes, coriander, salt, and kidney beans. Turn up the heat and bring to a rolling boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pot, leaving a little room for steam to escape, and let cook for about 45 minutes, stirring often. The sauce should thicken and the mangoes should cook down a great deal.

Turn off the heat, mix in the agave and liquid smoke, and let the beans sit for about 5 minutes. Taste for sweetness and add more agave if needed. Adjust the salt and seasonings, and serve.


HLW Tip of the Month: Success with Written and Spoken Goals!

Yes, written goals actually increase your success! Hosting the monthly advanced nutrition classes has taught me that some of you struggle to stay on track and I am dedicated to resolving this struggle because your success is very important to me.
Many of you have commented that I am not human because I show so much discipline in my daily life. The fact is that I actually write down my goals. I also say them out loud (when no one is around!) which helps me to stay focused. I refuse to allow myself to sabotage my goals by speaking the opposite of what I desire. Let me explain. If you say “I will never lose weight” or “I always have pain” then you are right. Your brain hears everything you say and works diligently to bring those words to reality. Have you ever noticed when you are looking for a new car, you see the make and model you want everywhere? Your mind focuses on your spoken desires; whether they are good or bad. It doesn’t know the difference. There is actually science that proves this.

I want to provide you a step by step process that will enable you to achieve your dream of lifelong health and wellbeing. It will happen if you speak it! Your brain will work with you instead of against you.
Write down your goals. Be specific: “I want to weigh 130 pounds by September 30th.” OR “I will eliminate oils and dairy from my diet by July 1st.” OR “I will eliminate the need for medications by December 30th.” Set goals in multiple areas of life: health, work, education, relationships, and spiritual. They all matter! Don’t allow your mind to tell you it’s not possible. That is a lie from the pit of hell.

Record your goals on your cell phone. Read them out loud with conviction. You are the only one who will hear them, don’t be shy. Play your goals when you are alone (in your car, in the bathroom at work, etc.) and repeat along with them. Speaking your goals as you hear them increases success as your inner ear is active listening (more science).

You will be amazed how your brain directs your actions when you actually see and hear your goals on a daily basis. Your cravings will decrease. Your motivation will increase. There is nothing like the power of written (and spoken) goals! If you need help determining appropriate goals, email me and I will be more than happy to help.

Set goals to Have LifeLong WellBeing!

Jun 2015: Fats & Oils~Mayo & Aioli~Sun & Hormone D!

This edition will focus on fats & oils. If you have taken any of my nutrition classes, you have heard me say “The fat you eat is the fat you wear.” This phrase was coined by Dr. John McDougall and it is scientifically accurate (no big surprise!).

What about good fats vs bad fats?
If you have taken my classes you are already educated on the fact that there are no “good” fats, but if you haven’t you are now confused. I know, I know, you have heard for years that “we need SOME fat” and that has encouraged you to pour olive oil all over everything and include nuts, avocadoes, and coconut oil to your daily fare. So, what are the facts concerning fats?

Here goes…

Olive oil or any oil:
• Is concentrated fat and calories
• One tablespoon is120 cal and 14 gm of fat
• 3 tbls of ANY oil per day = 3600 extra calories every 10 days leading to a weight gain of 3 pounds each month or 36 pounds each year!
• Coconut, safflower, flax seed oil… ALL unhealthy
• Oil is NOT health food and needs to be eliminated from your diet

When you pour extra virgin first cold pressed olive oil on your salad you have turned your healthy live-giving food into an unhealthy, artery clogging, fat storing meal. If you are struggling to lose weight you may see your struggle end just my eliminating oils from your diet. Of course, it also depends on other factors like how much overall fat is in your diet, your medications, and your activity level; but oil is a definite opponent to healthy weight and healthy circulation.

Let me show you what happens to your blood when you ingest oils and high fat foods. The test tube on the right shows how fat coagulates in the blood. Just think how this affects your health! Dr. David Blankenhorn compared effects of different types of fats on the growth of atherosclerotic lesions inside the coronary arteries of people by studying the results of angiograms taken one year apart. The study showed that all 3 types of fat-saturated animal fat, monounsaturated (olive oil), and polyunsaturated (EFA)-were seen with a significant increase in new atherosclerotic lesions. Most importantly, the growth of these lesions did not stop when polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats were substituted for saturated fats.

Only by decreasing all fat intake--including poly- and monounsaturated fats--did the lesions stop growing.

Fatty foods are also linked to cancer and early death. Estrogen levels increase with a high fat diet. High estrogen levels create PMS and make menopause MISERABLE. They also increase your risk of breast, uterine, ovarian, and prostate cancer.
For optimal health, the percentage of fat in your food needs to be no more than 15% and less than 10% if you are serious about achieving ideal weight. This means if a food has 100 calories per serving the calories from fat needs to be 15 or lower. Look at the Nutrition Facts Label and use your math. Look at the ingredients label and eliminate added oils, no matter what kind they are.

Now, you ask, how to cook without oil?! Sauté your onions and peppers and add a small amount of water when they start to stick. Only add a small amount so you don’t steam or boil them and you can continue to sauté until they are done the way you like. You will be amazed at how good they taste! Add foods with low water content, like broccoli or mushrooms, after you have some liquid in the pan from the onions and peppers.

Here are some more tips for how to stop adding fat to your foods and prepare foods without added oils:
• use water or vegetable broth for stir-fries
• leave oil out for all recipes, you won’t miss it!
• substitute applesauce, banana, soy yogurt, or tofu for baked goods and desserts
• Use fat-free substitutes for vegetable oils (I have a class on healthy substitutes) If absolutely necessary, spray lightly.
• Nuts and nut butters should be used as a condiment at most and eliminated if you want to lose weight.
• Be aware of your serving size; it’s easy to overdo it.
• No more than 1 tablespoon chopped nuts per day (5 gm of fat & 50 calories. You don’t need them daily!

The fat you eat is stored quickly and efficiently in the same chemical composition as it was in your food.

The fat you eat is the fat you wear!

Discover how to eliminate pain, the need for medications and regain your health. Contact Eileen Kopsaftis or call 518-496-1265 for a comprehensive pain/health consultation.

You deserve a long, healthy, pain-free life!




HLW Recipe of the Month: Tofu Mayo & Red Pepper Aioli

With summer fast approaching the craving for all-American favorites like macaroni/potato salad comes upon us. Summer also brings the need for lots of tasty sandwiches and you don’t want all that mayo fat! Remember, the fat you eat is the fat you wear. These delicious options will satisfy your cravings AND keep you on track this summer. If you want to try some great BBQ foods, attend the Advanced Nutrition Class in June!

Tofu Mayo
Servings: makes ~1 ½ cups Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour or longer

1 package firm or extra-firm silken tofu ¾ tsp salt ½ tsp sugar 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 ½ tbl lemon juice 1 ½ tbl seasoned rice vinegar

Combine all ingredients in blender & blend until smooth.

Red Pepper Aioli

Servings: makes 2 cups Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour or longer

Use this as a dip for raw veggies, or as a spread for crackers or sandwiches. Use it for potato or macaroni salad and be amazed at the flavor!

  • 12 ounce package soft silken tofu
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • ½ cup roasted red peppers (NOT packed in oil) dash sea salt

Place the tofu in a food processor or blender and process until fairly smooth. Add remaining ingredients and process until very smooth. Refrigerate at least 1 hour for flavors to blend.

*Don’t tell anyone there is no mayo in your salads. They will ask for your recipe because of the taste, then you can tell them!


HLW Tip of the Month: You Need the Sun for Hormone D!

Yes, I said hormone, not vitamin. That’s what it is. Your body makes it from being in the sunlight. It is not meant to be eaten or supplemented. Why is everyone so afraid of the sun? You need the sun!


Your body makes vitamin D in response to sunlight. Sunlight activates a precursor, a form of cholesterol, in skin and converts it to vitamin D3. Vitamin D is stored in your liver, skin, brain, bones, and other tissues to be used as needed. The stored form of vitamin D must be converted to the active form when needed. The process starts in your liver > converted to 25-hydroxy vitamin D, continues in your kidney > converted to 1,25 dihydroxy Vitamin D (calcitriol).

The consumption of too much animal protein can cause a significant drop in 1,25 D levels by creating an acidic environment that blocks the action of the kidney enzyme that assists in converting it. High blood calcium levels can cause both a reduction in the activity of the kidney enzyme needed to convert vitamin D to its active form, and the activity of 1,25D.

Fortified foods with synthetic vitamins are found to have extremely inconsistent levels. One dairy’s vitamin-D-fortified milk showed concentrations of cholecalciferol ranging from undetectable to as high as 232,565 IU per quart. Should have been 400 IU per quart!

Symptoms of excess D: anorexia, weight loss, constipation, weakness, fatigue, bone pain, indigestion, malaise, decreased memory, failure to thrive, calcium imbalances, high blood pressure, reduced kidney function.

Institute of Medicine Report on Vitamin D: Almost 1000 studies were reviewed to determine how much calcium and vitamin D are needed and how much is too much. Concluded that most people get adequate calcium from foods and most people have adequate blood levels of vitamin D from sunlight exposure.

Sun Exposure is the Best Option: A sunscreen with SPF of 8 reduces the ability of the skin to make Vitamin D by 92.5%. Sunscreen with SPF 15 reduces it by 99%. There is a difference between Vitamin D synthesized from the sun and Vitamin D taken orally, since there are additional photoproducts made in response to sun exposure that are not in the supplemental form of Vitamin D. Just 10-15 minutes in the sun is the equivalent of taking between 15,000 and 20,000 IU’s of Vitamin D, but without the potential for toxicity. Use common sense, don’t burn!

Get some sunshine to Have LifeLong WellBeing!

May 2015: Be InforMED~Green Drink~All #’s for Success!

This edition will focus on Being InforMED. Your wellbeing decisions are directly affected by the information you have about your body, medical tests/procedures, disease conditions, medications, etc. How many times have you been to a doctor and felt like a deer in headlights when he or she told you to have a specific test or procedure based on your complaints or symptoms. Or worse yet, you felt fine and it was just a checkup and you were told something needs to be ‘checked’. How would you like to be informed regarding what works and what doesn’t work to bring any health benefits whatsoever? As many of you know I have been extensively trained by the Wellness Forum Institute for Health Studies. It is the only institute in the country that excels in teaching evidence based science regarding the reversal of chronic degenerative disease conditions with no industry support or bias. Wellness Forum Health has successfully taught people how to restore health for over 17 years. They are the largest organization in the world that does what they do and they are really good at it! I will share what Dr. Pam Popper articulated so well in a previous newsletter.

InforMED Decision Making: What is It?

Adults make informed decisions regularly; they decide which apartment to rent or house to purchase; which car to buy, what type of refrigerator they want, and the schools to which they will send their children. The process usually involves gathering information in numerous ways, including researching and asking others, until feeling comfortable enough to make a decision. Decisions are frequently made concerning products and services about which consumers are not experts. I know nothing about auto mechanics or engineering, for example, but I purchase cars; and I know nothing about construction and electrical engineering, but I purchase homes. Additionally, almost all consumers would be very upset if they were told that since they know nothing about cars, they will be assigned to drive one deemed appropriate by a person or a group of persons who are experts; or assigned to live in a particular house chosen by experts in construction and homebuilding. We want and expect the right to make our own choices.
This is not the case with healthcare. While there are exceptions, healthcare professionals take the stance that they know best; that consumers are not smart enough or educated enough to evaluate information and make decisions about tests and treatments; and that "good" patients are those who follow directions. Furthermore, consumers have been brainwashed to think that this is the way things should be.
The patient who treats doctors and healthcare professionals as consultants and employees, and makes his/her own decisions, is the exception not the rule. And many doctors don't like dealing with these patients. Dr. Kelly Turner wrote about this issue in her book Radical Remission, which reports the strategies used by terminal cancer patients to survive. One of the nine strategies used by all of these patients is "taking control of their health". And, she says, their doctors describe these types of patients as being "annoying."
Our main objective at Wellness Forum Health is to change the definition of informed consent. For most people, informed consent means that a health professional informs a patient that it's time for a test, drug or procedure, and the patient consents to it. Instead, we are proposing that the patient receive objective information about their health status and conditions; clear explanations of the risks and benefits of tests, drugs, and procedures; and then inform the doctor of his choices. This is the way that everything else in life works, and there is no reason it cannot work with healthcare.
One impediment to achieving this shift in thinking is that people have difficulty understanding what this really means. Below are some excerpts from emails I've received:
"I know you don't believe in mammograms, but my sister has breast cancer and I'm wondering if I should have one."
"I feel strongly about eating a plant-based diet..."
"I know you don't like the Paleo diet..."
"What do you think about vaccines?"
I don't "believe" in anything concerning health and medicine; feeling strongly is not a reason for making a decision about diet and health; and what I like, don't like, or think is irrelevant. The most important consideration is what the preponderance of the evidence shows to be true when making decisions about diet, health and medicine. Taking control of your health is not doing what I say instead of what someone else says; it is doing what you think is right after looking at objective information about the issue. And that's our main business; helping consumers to interact with providers for evidence-based, collaborative discussions about health in order to make informed decisions about care. It's a new model for healthcare, we are determined to make it the norm, and we have lots of programs and services to help both consumers and providers to shift to this new modality.
We are excited to announce that Wellness Forum Health now has a network of health professionals who are trained to offer services in alignment with this model. If you are a consumer and have decided it's time for you to become informed; or you're a provider and you want to learn how to have informed discussions with your clients/patients, send me an email at www.pampopper@msn.com . We can talk about how you can benefit from association with us.

Discover how to eliminate pain, the need for medications and regain your health. Contact Eileen Kopsaftis or call 518-496-1265 for a comprehensive pain/health consultation.

You deserve a long, healthy, pain-free life!




HLW Recipe of the Month: Eileen's Green Drink

This drink will feed your cells from within. Be careful, it’s addicting! Starting your day this way instead of coffee will ensure you are nourished and full of energy. If you don’t want to give up your coffee, add this to your morning and your body will be glad you did.


  • 1 banana (the riper the better)
  • 1/2 apple
  • ½ slice fresh pineapple
  • handful frozen strawberries
  • 2-3 Kale leaves, ‘zip’ leaves from stem
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • *1 scoop Vanilla Complete Powder
  • *1 tablespoon Brewer’s Yeast
  • *1 teaspoon food grade green tea
  • *1 tablespoon flax seeds

Add water up to 6 cup mark (ingredients are usually above this mark but the water is not) I make this amount because I share it at work. You can reduce it for personal consumption. Grind flax seed in coffee bean grinder first if you don’t have a Vita-mix. Put all ingredients in blender and add water. Liquefy. A steel thermos keeps it cold for work. Shake before drinking and share with friends!
Tips: you can use any fruits you like but the banana really makes a difference. If your bananas get overripe just peel and freeze them in a Ziploc. The frozen strawberries ensure it’s good and cold. You can also freeze grapes for cold and sweetness. If you use blueberries it will be purple/brown, not green!

*Note of wisdom: Don’t get caught up in having ALL the ingredients before you make this. The extras below (not including the pineapple) are to create a powerful immune and energy boost. They are not absolutely necessary. Also remember a habit takes 30 days to form. Once you make this a habit you will never go without it!

Pineapple: Save $ and buy whole. Easy to prepare (takes about 3 minutes): slice off bottom and top, stand on end and slice down the sides moving around to get all the peel. Then lay on side and cut into slices. The Vita-mix doesn’t need you to remove the center core. If using a regular blender you can stand the pineapple on end and cut from top down into 4 quarters. Then cut the center core off each 1/4 and then cut into slices. A sealed container will keep your pineapple fresh for a week or more.

*Food grade green tea: specially grown in China for Wellness Forum Health; the caffeine will not occur in your body if eaten (only occurs in hot tea) You will find no other tea like this anywhere in the world. A tremendous source of anti-oxidants. I see a difference in my energy when this is added to my morning!        614 841-7700 to order.

*Flax seeds: I buy at Honest Weight but they are also at Hannaford and Wellness Forum Health. Need to be ground in a coffee grinder before using if not using a Vita-Mix.

*Brewer’s yeast: important to get best quality for concentrated food source of B vitamins. B vitamins are depleted by stress. Who doesn’t have stress?! Available at Wellness Forum Health for only ~$5/pound and it has a great flavor! $13/pound at my local Co-op and not nearly as good. 614 841-7700

*JuicePlus+ Vanilla Complete Powder: the highest quality plant protein powder on the market. I would not use any other. Available at www.Eileen.juiceplus.com


HLW Tip of the Month: All #'s Needed for Success!

Have you made changes in your diet and not seen any positive results in your health? Have you taken steps to improve your health and failed? Have you wondered why? Read on…
Why do most diet changes fail to improve health? Unfortunately, many people make changes based on general knowledge that is considered valid but is completely false. People change to “healthy fats” like cold pressed extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). They switch to fat free or low fat milk. They eliminate red meats and remove the skin from their chicken. They cut carb consumption to almost nothing. They control their portions and limit their calories as long as they can stand the pangs of hunger. All of these things are completely useless at improving health outcomes! If you have taken my Nourish Your Body classes you have learned why all of the above is wrong. If you haven’t, here are the cliff notes. There are no healthy fats. Olive oil decreases circulation just like saturated fat. Yes, really, and the fat you eat is the fat you wear! All dairy products increase risk of cancer, diabetes, digestive disorders, etc. That includes cheese which is ~70% fat and most of that is saturated fat. Yogurt will not restore your beneficial flora either! All animal meats (anything with a face or a mother) contain cholesterol. Plants do not contain cholesterol. Chicken, turkey, and beef have very nearly the same fat and all, including fish, have cholesterol. Salmon outshines them all being almost half fat! Your body and brain need carbs and you will destroy your health living on animal foods and fats. Starving yourself lowers your metabolism and as soon as you ‘give up’ you gain the weight right back again and then some. If you are interested in learning these facts in more detail and how to apply them to your life in simple, practical ways, (enjoying all the food you can eat) sign up for a class. Enjoy a delicious meal and regain control of your health! It takes all the numbers to open the lock.

Use the combination to Have LifeLong WellBeing!


Apr 2015: Reductionism~Scalloped Potatoes~You don’t need vitamins

This edition will focus on Reductionism (and exciting news!). You say, “Whaaat!? What on earth is reductionism?” I’m so glad you asked! Reductionism, in the simplest of terms, is the misguided practice of focusing on leaves and forgetting all about the forest.

Remember when food was called potatoes and pasta? Now we say carbs. Remember when food was called steak or beans? Now we say proteins. Remember when we just wanted to sit down to dinner and nourish our bodies, enjoying our food? Now we worry about getting enough calcium, iron, and vitamin C.

Reductionism is when scientists do a study to see how taking calcium supplements affects one particular parameter, like fracture risk. The problem is that it is NOT seen to reduce fracture risk because everyone is missing the forest for the leaves. (I know it’s supposed to be trees but we are going even further than that!)

The totality of the diet is what has been taught by successful experts for many decades. By successful I mean people get well! People reverse heart disease and type 2 diabetes. People regain a healthy weight and stay that way. People lose the need for blood pressure meds and reflux meds and restore their health. I would say these folks are correct in what they teach by looking at their track record. It is imperative you understand taking a pill to ensure you get enough calcium will NOT ensure you get enough calcium. If your goal is to prevent (or improve) osteoporosis, protect your circulation (or restore it), prevent type 2 diabetes (or reverse it), radically reduce your risk for breast cancer (or a recurrence), achieve a healthy weight (and keep it), then adopting Dietary ExcellenceTM and an optimal lifestyle is the best choice you can make. As many of you who know me have heard me say “Look at their track record.” Yes, there are countless opinions in the world and they all contradict each other! Who do you believe? Well…


Who do you know who has restored their health and resolved the need for medications for chronic disease? I have seen this occur over and over in those who apply what is taught in my classes. I am not taking credit for this or my head wouldn’t fit through the door! The information that is presented in these classes is the same information taught by Dr. Pam Popper and Wellness Forum Health. It is based on SOUND science, not fads, opinions, or the reductionist thought of the day. Wellness Forum Health established Wellness Forum Institute for Health Studies to thoroughly educate (nearly 900 classroom hours) their students in the relationship between food and numerous issues (cancer, heart disease, digestive disorders, diabetes, etc) as well as how to restore health step by practical step. If you believe the lie that there is nothing you can do, you are right. If you believe, deep down, there must be a better way, keep reading.

I have been educated for the past several years by the most successful practitioners in the healthcare world. Their patients/clients get better! I have recently partnered with Wellness Forum Health in order to provide you access to the best there is in services, products, and education. What they provide is far beyond the scope of what I am able to offer you and I want you well!

Wellness Forum Health Membership Benefits:

  • Wellness 101 – this program teaches the science of diet and health, and the skills needed to adopt a program of Dietary ExcellenceTM and optimal habits. A curriculum book and DVD set is included and live instruction, with food/recipes, is provided by me locally.
  • Introduction to Informed Healthcare Decision Making – includes understanding the informed decision making process; how to find and interview health professionals including family practice doctors, pediatricians, mental health professionals, physical therapists, personal trainers; how to read basic blood tests, commonly administered tests, and other related topics.
  • “How to Get Started” Sessions provide all you need to begin your journey toward better health. This is an introduction to Dietary ExcellenceTM and optimal habits. The What, Why, and How are taught in a 4 hour class that also provides delicious food, recipes, and more.
  • Members-Only Website - in addition to recipes and other helpful information, you'll have access to a growing library of over 125 workshops on a variety of topics. New workshops are posted almost every week.
  • Preferred Pricing on select educational programs and national conferences
  • Free shipping on orders over $250 (continental US only)
  • “Wellness Bucks” for referring people to Wellness Forum Health.

Discover how to eliminate pain, the need for medications and regain your health. Contact Eileen Kopsaftis or call 518-496-1265 for a comprehensive pain/health consultation.

You deserve a long, healthy, pain-free life!


HLW Recipe of the Month: Creamy Scalloped Potatoes

Yes! Creamy scalloped potatoes can be healthy for you! Life is good again!!!
The smooth, creamy goodness of these potatoes will sing in your mouth! Your tongue will be so happy! Great as an entrée or as a side dish. Your family or guests will never guess these are without dairy and almost no fat! Enjoy:-)

4 to 6 servings

  • 3 pounds potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
  • ½ cup onion, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 16 ounce bag frozen cauliflower, cooked soft, mashed well, and mixed with plant milk that has been heated to scalding
  • sea salt
  • black or white pepper to taste
  • 3 cups plant milk (almond, rice, soy)

Heat oven to 350’ F. Spray 2-quart casserole lightly with non-stick spray (needed to keep from sticking). Arrange potatoes in 4-6 layers, sprinkling each of the layers (not the top) with onion, flour, salt, pepper. Pour ½ cauliflower/milk mixture when layered ½ way up in bowl and remaining on top layer. Sprinkle top with onion, salt and pepper. Cover: bake 30 minutes. Uncover: bake 60-70 minutes longer or until potatoes are fork tender.

Note: you can put the cauliflower/milk mixture in a blender vs. mashing.


HLW Tip of the Month:  You don’t need vitamin supplements.

A handful of pills will never bring you good health. Never. Only plants provides what your body needs on a daily basis. That will never change.

Why don’t supplements work? Supplements are man-made, fractionated, isolated nutrients. In other words, they are DEAD. There is no life in a vitamin pill. If you look on the label it reads Supplement Facts. If you look on the label of any food item it reads Nutrition Facts. What does this mean? Supplements are not food. Your body only recognizes food as a source of nourishment.

Let’s look at some facts. Vitamins are complex organic substances needed in very small amounts. They are crucial for life, metabolic processes, growth, and health. Your body cannot produce enough of them for function, so they must be consumed in foods; “essential”. Each vitamin has a specific function. Some are in precursor form, converted into required form. They are insoluble (absorbed with fats) or soluble (in water molecules of foods).

How are supplements made? Vitamin Complexes are first separated from food. Vitamins are then isolated from complexes. Some isolated nutrients require esterification (combining with alcohol) in order to increase shelf life. This highly purified nutrient is then encapsulated or pressed into tablets. These products are often labeled “natural” because they were extracted from food sources. Chemically “pure” (free from associated components) and in high concentration (“high-potency”). Hardly resembles the natural state of the original vitamin complex, does it?

A whole food choice. Studies do not support taking supplements. They do not bring health or prevent disease. Food does! JuicePlus+ is food. I, and my family, enjoy its benefits every day and wouldn’t go a day without it. It has a Nutrition Facts label, 30 different fruits, vegetables, and grains concentrated in capsule form. It has live enzymes! It’s food. When it comes to produce more is better!

Eat whole food to Have LifeLong WellBeing!


Mar 2015: Carbohydrates ~ Lentil Chili ~ Eat Breakfast!

This edition will focus on Carbohydrates and why they are good for you and not the evil disease inducing, fat-creating macronutrient you have been led to believe. I want to preface this edition by stating that many people, including well-meaning health care professionals, simply parrot what they have heard, or read, or seen on the internet. This would be ok if they were parroting accurate information; but more often than not it is misleading and keeps people from making good choices when it comes to their health. You have probably become dizzy with all the conflicting information out there! Carbs are bad! You need carbs for energy! White potatoes and carrots are bad carbs!

Let’s take a look at the actual evidence and see who is making sense and who is confused.
Truth #1: Your body uses carbs for energy. Truth #2: Your brain needs carbs to function. Truth #3: Your body does not turn carbs into fat.

#1: Carbs are the perfect source of energy for your body. Carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen are the building blocks of carbohydrates. There is no nitrogen (like proteins) so there is no toxic byproduct from over-ingesting carbs. Excess is stored as glycogen in your muscles and liver. Your body does not like to use proteins or fats for energy as it is very inefficient to do so. You need about 70% or more of your daily calories to come from complex carbohydrates (vegetables, grains, legumes, fruits). Some cells in your body ONLY burn carbs: red blood cells and kidney cells. When you don’t eat enough carbs for good health and overeat proteins or fats your body will perform something called gluconeogenesis which is a metabolic pathway used to survive. This is NOT a state of good health.

#2: Your brain needs ~140 grams of carbs a day to function efficiently. When forced to burn ketones (from metabolizing protein or fat for energy) brain function becomes impaired. Ever notice “brain fog” in the early morning? This is because you have fasted since supper the day before and your brain needs carbs, or worse yet, you are on a high protein, low carb diet!

#3: De novo lipogenesis is the process of turning carbs into fat. Pigs and cows are really good at this. Grains/grasses help to create fat in their muscle meat. We do not oink or moo! We do not turn carbs into fat! We are humans and this is very inefficient so we don’t do it. There are so many studies that prove this it would take me dozens of pages to show them all to you. Suffice it to say that carbs are used as energy and any excess carbohydrate calories are burned off as body heat, eliminated through the lungs and skin. Only by consuming VERY LARGE amounts of refined flours and simple sugars will the body resort to converting carbs into fat (de novo lipogenesis). High fructose corn syrup found in sodas and candies, is an exception in that this one form of simple carbohydrate is easily converted into body fat.

Otherwise, think: “Carbohydrates found in rice, potatoes, broccoli and bananas will keep me thin and healthy—just like they do for people living in Asia and Peru.” Those countries with starch based diets are the most trim and fit. No one told them that carbs are fattening! Fat is stored as fat. Its molecular structure is unaltered as it is stored. The fat you eat is the fat you wear, plain and simple. Starches are only ~1 calorie per gram. Proteins are 4 cal/gm and oils are 9 cal/gm. You are only satisfied with starches and carbs; not with proteins and fats.

That is why potatoes are considered a comfort food!

Discover how to eliminate pain, the need for medications and regain your health. Contact Eileen Kopsaftis or call 518-496-1265 for a comprehensive pain/health consultation.

You deserve a long, healthy, pain-free life!


HLW Recipe of the Month: Lentil Chili

This chili is the bomb! Every bite makes you look forward to the next bite! It’s great as is or to put on veggie hot dogs for an amazing chili dog! You could also pour this over baked potatoes. Yummy!


Servings: 6-8
Prep Time: 10-15 min
Cooking Time: 30 min

2 cups red lentils 2 quarts vegetable broth 2 cups diced onion 1 16 ounce can chopped tomatoes ¼ cup tomato paste 2 tablespoons chopped fresh garlic 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 teaspoon paprika ½ teaspoon thyme freshly ground black pepper to taste pinch of crushed red pepper dash of cayenne pepper ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro or sliced green onions (optional)

Combine all of the ingredients, except the cilantro or green onions, in a large soup pot. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer over medium-low heat for 30-35 minutes, until the lentils are tender, stirring occasionally, adding more water or broth if needed for proper chili consistency. Remove from heat, stir in the cilantro (optional) or top with green onions.

Tips: this recipe makes a good amount of chili. Only make half a recipe or make it for dinner one night and use the leftovers to make the chili dogs another night. This is also delicious over baked potatoes or brown rice, or used as a sloppy joe filling!


HLW Tip of the Month: Eat Breakfast Every Morning!

This Baked Banana Oatmeal is just one way to nourish your body and start your day right! For those of you licking your lips over this picture I plan to host another breakfast event and will serve this with recipe provided. Let me know if you are interested.

Why do you need breakfast?
Breakfast helps you keep your appetite control hormone, called Leptin, in good supply. Starvation will stop your body from making this hormone because it thinks you are at risk of dying when no food is coming in. When you no longer make this hormone you will have less control over your appetite. Leptin is discussed in more detail in the Weight Specifics class.

Your brain needs carbs to function (topic of this newsletter) and you have not eaten since the day before! Give your brain a good start to your day and eat a high fiber, high carb breakfast.
You will eat less all day long! Studies show an average of 75% less calories consumed all day when starting the day with fiber rich foods like bran cereal with banana and toast versus bacon and eggs.
You will enhance your body’s ability to maintain a healthy weight. Starving yourself will set you up for failure when it comes to weight loss.

A high fiber breakfast will help you break craving cycles.
Healthy proteins will help you block serotonin and sluggishness: breakfast burritos, scrambled tofu. Even a large bowl of oatmeal has 8 grams of protein!

If you have not made breakfast a habit because you are not hungry in the morning, I urge you to consider eating breakfast and before you know it you will actually feel hungry when you get up! You will break that unhealthy cycle and start your day with success for good health and lifelong wellbeing!

Eat breakfast to Have LifeLong WellBeing!

Feb 2015: Autoimmune Disease~Savory Brown Gravy~Stay Low Fat!

This edition will focus on Autoimmune Diseases and what you can do to decrease your risk as well as what to do if you have one already. A simple definition of autoimmune disease is when your body attacks itself, leading to pain, swollen joints, serious digestive issues, etc. The list of these diseases includes: arthritis (degenerative and inflammatory), lupus, ankylosing spondylitis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, Type-1 diabetes, and more.

8% U.S. population currently has at least one autoimmune disease (AID) and 250,000 new cases occur each year. 78% of these are women who are 2.7 times more likely to develop AID. While different forms are seen in those afflicted, many have more than one. The causes and the treatments are similar no matter the specific AID. Cow’s milk and animal protein consumption tend to be seen as associated with AID and eliminating these foods quite often leads to remission. While genetics are often touted as causative, those with a genetic predisposition have only a 10% occurrence of AID which leads us to the impact of other triggers (like food, drugs, or toxins). borne or triggered illnesses and occur in those who have are more susceptible been immunocompromised (. This is great news because this means if you ate your way into it you can improve your health by changing how you eat. I have seen nutrition class participants completely resolve symptoms (fibromyalgia, migraines, joint pain, digestive issues, etc) in just weeks and their ages have ranged from 30ish to 80ish. Please keep in mind it may take several months or even a year or more to see a real change if you have had your issues for some time.

Your immune function is greatly impacted by how you nourish your body. Let me show you how this works. If you are eating dairy products, animal foods 2-3 times a day, fats, and taking things like aspirin, ibuprofen, antacids, and birth control pills, your digestive tract has been assualted and is not functioning at an optimal level.

Your digestive tract is lined with cells that work to keep food ‘outside’ your body (not allowed into your bloodstream). When this lining gets inflamed and damaged it creates gaps that allow partially digested or completely undigested food particles into your bloodstream. The million dollar term for this is intestinal permeability or ‘leaky gut’. When this happens your immune system goes into “red alert” because those food particles do not belong in your blood vessels. Once your immune system has taken care of all those particles it then goes around your body carefully looking for any other food it may have missed. Here is when all heck breaks loose. Those food particles (usually animal muscle cells or dairy) look like cells that actually belong in your body. Think about it, you have muscle cells, too. These cells that look like yours is called molecular mimicry. When your immune system sees these cells it thinks it missed some of the intruders and begins to attack your body.

Without going way overboard on the details, the bottom line is that your digestive tract being inflamed initially is where all the havoc began. The foods that commonly create inflammation in your digestive lining are dairy and animal products. If you have diarrhea, constipation, gas, bloating, etc. then your digestive tract is not in optimal health. Your body will heal itself in time; however, but it can take time. Things like aspirin or ibuprofen can create enough damage to your gut lining requiring about four months to heal completely.

Learning how to eat to nourish your body can radically change your life, yet it requires some basic knowledge to be successful. If you have taken the Nutrition Class Series you are armed to make the necessary changes with your meals and have seen benefits in many areas.

You may need a probiotic regimen specific to your symptoms to restore an optimal level of flora. I am available for consultations to guide you in this area. The products on shelves are not therapeutic levels necessary to resolve dysbiosis. You also need to know which formulas to take as some can increase your symptoms.

Discover how to eliminate pain, the need for medications and regain your health. Contact Eileen Kopsaftis or call 518-496-1265 for a comprehensive pain/health consultation.

You deserve a long, healthy, pain-free life!


HLW Recipe of the Month: Savory Brown Gravy

I served a savory gravy at the last Advanced Nutrition Class and some did not eat it thinking of gravy being a very negative food (rightly so)! I have been beating myself up for not emphasizing how this gravy was nothing like others!
No animal sources, very low fat, and no gluten! Really! Low fat gravy!!

Make your mashed potatoes with unsweetened almond milk and top with this amazing gravy! It’s easy and delicious!!!

Yield: ~3 cups Prep Time: 5 min
Cooking Time: 10 min

2 medium onions, chopped                                                                                                                                              3 teaspoons garlic, minced
3 cups low fat vegetable broth
2 tablespoons Bragg’s Aminos or worcestershire sauce                                                                                               ½ teaspoon rosemary
½ teaspoon thyme                                                                                                                                                                ¼ teaspoon sage
sea salt and black pepper to taste                                                                                                                                     4 tablespoons corn starch

Sauté onion in skillet with scant amount of water for 3-4 minutes, add garlic and continue until onion is soft and translucent. Place onion/garlic in blender with all other ingredients and blend until smooth. Place in pot and heat to boiling. Simmer on low heat until thickened.

For a faux chicken or turkey gravy, eliminate the Bragg’s (or worcestershire), rosemary, thyme, and sage and add 1½ teaspoons of poultry seasoning. Mmmm, good!

FYI: the ‘poultry’ version was served with my Thanksgiving Pot Pie recipe.


HLW Tip of the Month: Stay Low Fat!

If you have taken the Have LifeLong WellBeing Nutrition Class Series you have learned all the ins and outs of olive oil and fats and how they all do the same damage to your circulation AND create body fat. This is a reminder for you! If you haven’t taken these classes you are in for a surprise! Olive oil is not a health food! I know, I know, everyone tells you it is. Most are just parroting what they have heard or read. Those who have read the evidence know different. Here’s the skinny on this fat!

Adding just 3 tablespoons of olive oil to your daily fare, without making any other changes, will add ~360 EXTRA pure fat calories a day, ADDING 36 pounds of FAT to your body in just one year!! Having trouble losing weight?!

The TRUTH is that olive oil is concentrated fat and calories and the fat you eat is the fat you wear. Olive oil does the same thing to your circulation that saturated fat does; it constricts your arteries. Study after study has shown this to be true. The little cells (endothelial) that line your blood vessels produce something called nitric oxide which dilates (makes bigger) your blood vessels. ALL oils damage these cells leading to less nitric oxide and constricted (smaller) blood vessels. This means higher blood pressure among other issues that you do not want.

There is no such thing as a healthy oil. Not olive oil, canola oil, coconut oil, hemp oil, flax seed oil, or motor oil. They are all concentrated fat and calories that you would never get naturally from food. It takes ~7.6 lbs. of olives for a 500 ml bottle (~17 oz). This translates to ~3/4 lb. of olives for that 3 tbls on your salad, not to mention how much you use when cooking. Yes, you can sauté onions and peppers without oil! They are high in water, so just use a little bit of water when they begin to stick and keep stirring. It’s easy and the flavor is so pure and delicious!! Just ask those who have tried itMy Greek husband, who is also a cook, does not use olive oil when cooking. You can learn to do this, too! Oh, and that Omega 3 thing does not lower your risk of heart attacks or strokes. Studies show there is no risk reduction. Only reducing omega 6 foods does that.

If you would like to learn more come to the Have LifeLong WellBeing Nutrition Class Series. Your health will benefit in more ways than you can imagine!

No Added Oils to Have LifeLong WellBeing!



Jan 2015: Stress~Cream of Celery Soup~Happy Chemicals

This edition will focus on Stress and its chemical war on your body. It seems an appropriate health topic at this time of year, don’t you agree? Are you aware that your body releases chemicals every time you experience emotion? Yes, that’s right! Every time you feel happy, sad, angry, or afraid, your body releases a chemical cascade that affects your organs and systems for better or for worse.

There is the appropriate acute response to stress with adrenaline and norepinephrine which both work to help you run or fight when you are under attack!. Know that your body, after the event, may take a half hour or more to return to normal (unless you refuse to let go of the event mentally).

Let’s walk through the chemical cascade as you feel scared or angry. When you begin to think about, or tell someone about, something that really hurt you or scared you (no matter how long ago) your body physically experiences that event as happening right now. Your body believes it is in danger and starts to release chemicals in an attempt to keep you safe or even save your life.

Ok, here’s the cascade. First, the part of your brain called the amygdala sees a threat. It then sends a message to your hypothalamus, which releases corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). CRH stimulates your pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), which stimulates your adrenal glands to produce cortisol. Whew! This system is actually in place to keep you alive during things like famine or being a prisoner of war. Cortisol is called the “stress hormone.”


Optimal levels of cortisol regulate body functions, putting emphasis where needed and away from what is not necessary to protect you, like digestion or your immune function. Now you can see where I am going with this. If you remain in constant ‘cortisol drips’ those systems that aren’t considered necessary to save your life begin to suffer. Replaying old hurts can suppress your immune system, increase blood pressure and sugar, decrease libido, produce acne, and contribute to obesity and short term memory loss.

Obesity you say?! Yes, obesity! Specifically trunkal obesity. This has actually been termed “toxic fat” as belly fat is strongly correlated to heart attacks and strokes in both men and women. We feel things like fear and anger to help keep us safe; yet when we act out because of them or we are unable to move past them, they harm us physically. Think about this every time you start talking or thinking about an old hurt. You are initiating fresh cortisol ‘squirts’ and the chemical rollercoaster continues to wreak havoc on your health! Just in case you may think I am unfeeling, I have led a weekly support group since 1999 (Choose Freedom) for women who have been abused. My heart breaks for every wound you have suffered yet you can learn to look at the event without the chemical cascade! The memory remains as it is a fact; yet the feelings attached to the memory will not occur as your body learns it is no longer in danger. You may find this surprising but you are in control of what you think about. Think about that for a moment!

Forgetfulness happens when cortisol attacks your hippocampus which is where short term memory is stored, so learn to forget about stress! 

To learn how to stimulate the “good chemicals” by reading the Wellbeing Tip of the Month.


Discover how to eliminate pain, the need for medications and regain your health. Contact Eileen Kopsaftis or call 518-496-1265 for a comprehensive pain/health consultation.

You deserve a long, healthy, pain-free life!


HLW Recipe of the Month: Cream of Celery Soup

This soup is pure in flavor and so simple to make. I remember savoring a Celery Consommè years ago made by a French Chef. It sang in my mouth. This is even better! No fat! Serve with some crusty whole grain bread and a green salad for a great meal. You could also pour this over baked potatoes. Yum!


Servings: 4
Prep Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 15 min

1 onion, chopped
5 ribs celery, chopped
2/3 cup water
3 tablespoons unbleached white flour
1 ¾ cups vegetable broth
1 ½ cups non-dairy plant milk
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspon sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Saute onion and celery in a pot with the water until soft, about 10 minutes. Stire in the flour and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook gently for 5 minutes. Remove 2 cups of the soup form the pot and place in a blender. Puree, return to the pot, and mix well. Serve at once.

I like some stock in my soup but if you prefer you can blend all of it.

You may also want to try adding 3 large diced carrots, or 1 cup of chopped broccoli, or 1 cup of chopped cauliflower, or 2-3 leeks (instead of the onion) to switch up the flavours in this soup.


HLW Tip of the Month: Release Your Feel Good Chemicals!

You can actually stimulate the release of chemicals that are designed to bring you feelings of happiness. Dopamine, Serotonin, Oxytocin, and Endorphin are all chemicals your brain releases to make you feel better. Please note this may take some effort in order to create a lasting change and in no way replaces appropriate treatment from your healthcare provider. Some of the following is paraphrased from a book, Meet Your Happy Chemicals by Loretta Graziano Breuning, PhD.

Dopamine: Feelings of bliss and pleasure, euphoria, appetite control, controlled motor movements, feel focused. Loves it when you take on a new challenge. Go ahead, set a goal and go for it, one step at a time. With each success you will feel good because of dopamine.

Serotonin: Promotes and improves sleep, improves self- esteem, relieves depression, diminishes cravings, prevents agitated depression and worrying. Loves it when you feel important to others. Think of how people actually like and respect you behind your back. That will give you a real chemical boost!

Oxytocin: Promotes sexual arousal, feelings of emotional attachment, desire to cuddle. Counts on social trust to become triggered. Develop relationships that deserve your trust slowly. Give people a chance and see how good it can feel. Stimulated by Dopamine.

Endorphin: Mood elevating, enhancing, euphoric. The more present, the happier you are! Natural pain killers. Gives you actual euphoria but it is mostly to mask pain; especially if you have exercised beyond your limits. Small bursts of endorphin occur with laughter and varying your appropriate exercise routine.

Exercise boosts your happiness in multiple ways! If you have any of these issues; exercise has been shown clinically to:
• Increase happy chemical production
• Decrease your stress
• Increase your energy level
• Decrease your anxiety
• Decrease insomnia

This begs for a shameless plug for the all new Chain Reaction Exercise Class starting January.

Release Your Happy Chemicals to Have LifeLong WellBeing!


Dec 2014: Connective Tissue~Coconut Macaroons~Healthy Starches

This edition will focus on Connective Tissue. Are you aware that you have an amazing body?! In terms of The MELT MethodTM you have an Autopilot which greatly affects longevity and optimal aging.
Your Autopilot is that aspect of your nervous system that keeps you upright against gravity and maintains your postural balances (or imbalances). If you are unable to lay on the floor without pain you need this!

Your connective tissue is the most abundant tissue in your body. It is embedded with the majority of your sensory nerve endings; more than your muscles! On an architectural level, your connective tissue is your support system. It is what holds you up against gravity using something called tensional integrity. You would be a heap on the floor if not for your connective tissue providing tensional support. When damaged anywhere in your body you can have pain, dysfunction, and postural imbalances anywhere else in your body. In other words, your area of pain may be caused by a completely different place in your body. Where you think it is, it ain’t.

Look at this body model of tensegrity (tensional integrity) by Tom Flemons. If you put stress in one area you will deform another area. That is what happens in your body.

You have a neurofascial system (your nervous system and connective tissue system working together) that provides connection, repair, and protection. It has been only recently studied (past five years) in depth. On a cellular level, this system provides your body with the ability to adapt, anticipate movement, and respond to vibrations.


Look at the beauty of this nerve cell that is capable of profound communication throughout your body! This complex structure is injured by: poor nutrition, inadequate water intake, lack of proper sleep/rest, exercise habits, stress, injury, pregnancy, and aging. When cellular injury occurs in your connective tissue your overall efficiency to move and adapt to your physical environment is hindered; creating pain and dysfunctional postures.


You have phenomenal cells called fibroblasts (see below) that are responsible for creating fibers like collagen, extracellular fluid components, and microvacuoles.

Microvacuoles ensure there is space between structures to protect them during movement. Your fibroblasts are directly affected by compression and dehydration and die when the compression is prolonged, like sitting for hours at your computer. The good news is that they can be stimulated to actually increase in number for optimal pain-free function. When you MELT anywhere on your body you stimulate the production of fibroblasts which produce fluid which then hydrates and lengthens your fasica (a type of connective tissue).

Fascia surrounds all your muscles, bones, vessels, and more. You literally have one muscle separated by ~700 compartments made up of fascia. When your connective tissue has efficient connection you have a major component to optimal health and pain-free function. To put it simply, you need to hydrate and lengthen your connective tissue (MELT) to ensure your neurofascial system is fit for a pain-free life. Learn how to MELT today!

Eliminate pain, the need for medications, and reclaim your life. Contact Eileen Kopsaftis or call 518-496-1265 for a comprehensive consultation. You deserve a long, healthy, pain-free life!


HLW Recipe of the Month: Coconut Macaroons w/ Chocolate Ganache


These are my family’s favorite cookies every Christmas! Use chocolate ganache to drizzle or dip or just use a chunk of non-dairy chocolate to push into the top just after baking. What goes better with coconut than chocolate?!

Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-12 minutes
Servings: ~ 48 cookies


1/3 cup Earth Balance, softened (vegan butter)
1 package (3 oz.) vegan cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
½ small banana, mashed well
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 teaspoons orange juice
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
5 cups MOUNDS Sweetened Coconut Flakes, divided
Preheat your oven to 350’F.

Beat Earth Balance, cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Add banana, almond extract and orange juice; beat well. Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in 3 cups coconut.

Cover; refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to handle. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll balls in remaining 2 cups coconut. Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven. Cool 1 minute; carefully remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache

2 tablespoons vegan butter
2-4 tablespoons non-dairy milk (less for more firm chocolate, more for a softer result)
6 ounces vegan chocolate chips

Heat butter and milk over low heat, until butter is melted. Stir constantly. Add chocolate chips, still stirring, until melted. Once melted, remove from heat immediately and let cool for ~10- 15 minutes, where the ganache can be handled without getting burned, but not yet set.

Pour ganache on top or dip cookies and place on waxed paper until set. Store in air-tight container. Be careful, these cookies can be addicting!


HLW Tip of the Month: Center Your Meals Around Healthy Starches!

You have heard from a myriad of sources to stay away from starches. “They are bad for you. They make you gain weight. Stop eating them and you will lose weight.” These are lies from the pit of hell! Healthy starches are just what your body and your brain need for optimal functioning and good health. Oils and fats make you fat! Healthy starches provide fiber, nutrition, and carbohydrates that are needed without fat and excess calories. Your body goes through very unhealthy processes to use excess proteins and fats to provide energy when you are not eating enough healthy starches. Yes, there are unhealthy starches: cookies, cakes, donuts, white bread, etc. You need WHOLE PLANT foods for good health.

• Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes
• Whole Grains (brown rice, millet, etc)
• Unrefined Flours
• Whole Grain Pastas (rice, corn, wheat)
• Roots (turnips, beets, yams, parsnips)
• Winter Squashes (butternut, acorn, spaghetti)
• Beans (canned are ok & time saving)
• Lentils
• Vegetables
• Fruits

The evidence is profound. Whole food, plant-based eating is how to nourish your body for good health. You can actually reverse common conditions like cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes. Experts have shown their patients how to do this for decades! There are fabulous websites with reams of information to show you how and why to do this. My favorite site that is loaded with research, videos, and recipes (all free) is www.DrMcDougall.com

If you have no idea how to do this I will be happy to show you how. Sign up for Nourish Your Body for Life Series and you will get to taste all kinds of delicious foods, learn the details behind food, health, and disease, and be empowered for lifelong wellbeing. In just four weeks you can decrease your Chronic Disease Risk Score by ~50%! I have seen this happen in every class series I teach.

Eat Healthy Starches to Have LifeLong WellBeing!




Nov 2014: Sugar~Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes~You Must Exercise

This edition will focus on Sugar. Sugar has been both sanctified and villainized in our society; depending on the source and agenda. I intend to clarify the pertinent facts and show the science; but please remember I only have one page to do this.

First, let’s be perfectly clear, sugar is not a health food! It is highly refined, has no protein, no vitamins, no minerals, no essential fatty acids. Sugar is empty calories that can be toxic when ingested in high doses. Let me explain. Excess sugar (including fruit juices) increases your triglycerides which increases your risk of heart disease. Excess sugar suppresses your immune system. Ever notice that cold & flu season occurs around the “candy holidays”? And, can you say tooth decay? However, science has proven sugar does not cause obesity or diabetes. The fat you eat is the fat you wear and fat leads to insulin resistance, not sugar.


There are levels of sugar consumption that are ok. Staying at or below 6 tsp/day (18 lbs/year) is not shown to confer illness and disease. Unfortunately, average sugar intake is 22 tsp/day (69 lbs/year)! As you can see from the graph, we have certainly increased the sugar we eat! Average insulin levels are 3x higher than normal. There are 56 names for sugar and 80% of our foods have sugar added. This is one very important reason to eat whole foods, not processed foods!

Let’s look at some science about artificial sweeteners: Sweet n’ Low, Splenda, and Equal. If you are consuming these thinking they will protect you from weight gain think again! Studies show increased risk for cancer, diabetes, neurological disorders, and weight gain! They actually cause what you want to prevent; weight gain! Glucose dysregulation occurs when you eat artificial sweeteners. They change the composition of your gut bacteria leading to altered glucose metabolism. This means glucose levels in your body rise higher than normal after eating and decline more slowly than normal leading to weight GAIN vs weight loss. These sweeteners also stimulate your appetite! Sugar does not.

The only natural sweetener with no negatives is Stevia. It comes from a plant, is 200-300x sweeter than table sugar and has no calories.

The experts I study under agree that “a little” sugar used so you will eat and enjoy healthy starches is perfectly ok. A little molasses in your baked beans or BBQ sauce on your potatoes is ok. A teaspoon of brown sugar on your bowl of oatmeal, a little syrup on your whole grain pancakes, or a little jam on your whole grain toast in the morning will keep you on track with fiber-filled nutrition setting you up to eat healthier all day long. Remember studies show you will eat 987 calories more during the day when you don’t start your day with fiber!

An occasional dessert (no dairy, low fat) with some form of sweetener (not artificial) is ok. We are not talking moderation! We are talking maybe once a week, birthdays, and holidays (the actual day of the holiday, not for weeks before and weeks after!)

Sugar (glucose) is meant to be eaten in the form of starches, vegetables, and fruits. These foods lead to wellness, not illness. Satisfying your natural urge for something sweet is easier after eating energy rich, fiber-filled starches. A meal full of animal flesh and fat actually increases your craving for sweets and makes it harder for you to resist!


HLW Recipe of the Month: Maple Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Wonderful excerpt from Dr. John McDougall. “This time of year, the Thanksgiving and Christmas Holidays frighten many people who eat a healthy diet. They wonder how to socialize with friends and how to prepare a meal in their home. These two days are supposed to be the largest feasts of the year. Yet in fact, both dinners are the healthiest, most vegetarian-like, most McDougall-like meals people eat all year long. Traditionally, these holiday dinners consist of mashed white potatoes, roasted sweet potatoes, a bread stuffing, butternut and acorn squash, cranberries, and a variety of green vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, and green beans. For dessert, pumpkin pie ends the feast. That's a cornucopia of starches and vegetables. The turkey served is the leanest of all common meats. The truth is that every other dinner consumed by Westerners all year long is far richer in fat, cholesterol, salt and sugar than is eaten at these two traditional festivals. Therefore, if you are a healthy eater you will find Thanksgiving and Christmas the two most comfortable times of the year to socialize with all of your family and friends.”

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30-45 minutes
Servings: 6

3 pounds sweet potatoes
1/2 cup plant milk
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
dash sea salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
Peel, cut and cook potatoes in water on the stovetop. Drain water, add plant milk, maple syrup and seasonings. Mash with a hand masher or electric beater (do not use a food processor).
Holiday Hints: Prepare your traditional dishes without the dairy (use plant milk), cut down on the fat (bake with applesauce/other fat replacers, eliminate butter in cooking, use veggie broth/plant milk in mashed potatoes) and don’t tell anyone I bet they won’t even notice!
Your guests will be asking for “more veggies please!”


HLW Tip of the Month: You Must Exercise 4-5 Days a Week!







You have learned a great deal about how food affects your health in the LifeLong WellBeing Nutrition Class Series. You may come to the monthly Advanced Nutrition Classes to continue learning as well as for support. It’s important you also have a clear understanding of your body’s need for consistent activity and movement. If you are not exercising regularly, you will have trouble achieving your ideal weight and you will age faster! Yes, you will age faster. Remember the study showing exercise was the Fountain of Youth; turning back the clock thirty years?!
Exercising 30-60 minutes, 4-5 days a week is as non-negotiable as drinking 64 ounces of water each day.
Exercise is critical because it:
• Changes/maintains good muscle to fat ratio
• Increases metabolic rate (burn more calories at rest!)
• Improves digestion
• Increases energy
• Improves cholesterol level
• Improves sleep
• Increases muscle strength
• Strengthens bones
• Reduces depression
• Lowers blood pressure
• Boosts your immune system
• Increases endurance/stamina
• Improves mental alertness
• Increases flexibility
• Improves self-esteem
• Increases positive attitude
• “demagnetizes” your fridge

Not exercising can lead to:

• Constipation
• Sarcopenia (loss of lean muscle)
• Slower metabolism/excess weight
• Increased risk of cardiovascular disease
• Sluggish immune function


“The best exercise in the world is the one you’ll do & a 30 minute workout is only 2% of your day!”

You Must Exercise to Have Lifelong Wellbeing!


Oct 2014: Beneficial Flora~Pasta Sauce~Drink 64 oz Water

I want to begin this first edition on the topic of Beneficial Flora. It has been brought to my attention there is a lack of clarity on this issue and I intend to correct that with more detail presented here.

Beneficial bacteria are necessary for digestive health (including regular bowel elimination), an effective immune system, proper absorption of vitamins and minerals, an acidic environment to keep pathogenic bacteria (the bad guys) in check, production of tiny amounts of some vitamins, and a barrier to keep matter that doesn’t belong out of your bloodstream.
The two most important types of bacteria are Lactobacilli – in your small intestine and Bifido bacterium – in your colon. When your “good guys” are not at a therapeutic level many issues can develop:

• Diarrhea
• Constipation
• Malabsorption of nutrients
• Chronic infections, including C-diff
• Stomach pain, gas, bloating
• Foul breath
• Hormone level imbalance
• Increased cholesterol levels
• Increased cancer risk
• Decreased production of digestive enzymes
The medical term for this imbalance is Dysbiosis which occurs when the pathogenic bacteria outnumbers the beneficial bacteria. This imbalance happens for several reasons. The most common is when using an antibiotic. Antibiotics are indiscriminate killers of bacteria, both good and bad. Other causes are NSAID’s (aspirin/anti-inflammatories), diets lacking in fiber and high in animal products, and birth control pills. C-sections and formula feeding create this issue in infants, often leading to colic.

Supplementing with a probiotic will resolve this problem. A probiotic is the actual beneficial bacteria in a supplement form. To be effective a probiotic needs to be of therapeutic dosage, protected from light and heat, and taken with food. There are many products out there and some are not the human strains necessary (or a high enough number of CFU’s/Colony Forming Units) to restore you to Eubiosis (a healthy, efficiently functioning population of beneficial flora).

A Prebiotic is an indigestible sugar (FOS, GOS) that ‘fertilizes’ the probiotic (beneficial bacteria) causing it to multiply and re-establish sufficient levels more quickly. You never want to take a prebiotic without a probiotic as it will increase your pathogenic bacteria and exacerbate your problems. Only take a prebiotic with a probiotic (to enhance repopulation) and then only if you do not have gas or bloating.

I do hope this has helped to clarify your knowledge. If you feel you would benefit from a probiotic I am happy to discuss this with you and recommend a brand that has proven research as well as the proper formula for your issues. I also offer individual in-depth consulting for a reasonable fee and have helped many people resolve their issues with correct nutrition and beneficial flora.

HLW Recipe of the Month: Quick and Easy Pasta Sauce

So easy and much better tasting than jar sauces. You can tailor it to suit your own tastes as well. Spice it up with red pepper flakes, sauté chopped red/green peppers with the onion, add chopped roasted peppers, chopped stewed tomatoes, or with whatever mood strikes you! It is without oil or sugar. Of course you want to put this delicious sauce over whole grain pasta for healthy fiber.


Minutes to Prepare: 5-10

Minutes to Cook: 20-30

Yield: 1 ½ quarts

Number of Servings: 8

Serving Size: ½ cup

1 12 oz. can of tomato paste                                                                                                                                   1 15 oz. can of tomatoes: crushed, diced, etc.                                                                                                     3 cups water (2 12-oz. cans; no dirty measuring cup)
2 tbl minced dried onion (OR ¼ cup minced fresh onion)
1/2 tsp dehydrated garlic (OR 3 cloves minced fresh garlic)
2 tbl dried parsley  (OR same of minced fresh parsley)
1/2 tsp dried oregano  (OR 1 tsp minced fresh oregano)
1 tsp dried basil (OR 1 tbl minced fresh basil)
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper                                                                                                                                               Optional: 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

If using fresh onion and garlic:

Sauté onion in a medium saucepan in just enough water to keep from sticking for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add tomato paste, water, and remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.

If using dried onion/garlic/herbs start here:

Put tomato paste in a pot big enough to hold at least 2 quarts. Gradually stir in the water. Add all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and then let simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.

A great alternative to expensive pasta sauces!


HLW Tip of the Month: You must drink 64 oz of water every day.

You have learned a great deal about what foods to eat and not to eat. It’s important you have a clear understanding of the liquids you put into your body as well. The #1 drink of choice must be pure, filtered water. If you have municipally provided tap water it has chlorine and other toxins that do not bring health to your body. If you have well water it most likely does not need to be filtered. If in doubt, have it checked.

64 ounces of water every day is non-negotiable. Add 8 ounces for every extra 25 pounds you are carrying.

Water is critical because it:

  • Transports nutrients
  • Transports/excretes metabolic wastes
  • Supports cell shape and structure
  • Sustains normal body temperature
  • Cleans stomach/intestines: aids digestion
  • Improves nutrient absorption
  • Lubricates friction-generating surfaces

Not drinking enough water can lead to:

  • Constipation
  • Retaining water
  • Build-up of toxins circulating in your body
  • Kidneys losing some filtering function
  • Slower fat metabolism
  • Worsening Allergy/asthma symptoms
  • Flu-like symptoms and/or headaches
  • Fatigue

“Dehydration slows down the fat burning process.”

Only water functions as water. If there is anything in it digestion is required. Drinks that contain caffeine cause increased water loss. Caffeine inhibits your ADH (a hormone that keeps you from losing water) so it makes you go to the bathroom more. Coffee, tea, colas, energy drinks all contain caffeine. Alcohol does the same thing to your ADH as caffeine.

Try to drink water between meals, not with meals, as it can dilute your digestive juices making it harder to digest your food.

Drink 64 ounces of water daily to Have Lifelong Wellbeing!