Category Archives for "2015 Newsletters"

Dec 2015: Dairy~Chunky Vegetable Chowder~Lifelong Wellbeing

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, or research.

I exist to help you Have Lifelong Wellbeing!


This month I want to talk about Dairy. Yes, milk, yogurt, ice cream, cottage cheese, mozzarella, and cheddar! I believe it’s time to enlighten you with the exquisite details about why dairy is your enemy when it comes to your health.

Let’s get right to it. Did you know that legally there are allowed 135 million pus cells in one glass of milk? That’s right. Cows get mastitis and other infections and pass that right along to you, the consumer. AND it’s legally allowed! There is also 51mg of cholesterol in one glass of milk. Remember animal foods are your only food source of cholesterol as it is produced by the liver and plants don’t have livers. At 300 calories with 16gm of fat that means a glass of milk is nearly 50% fat! AND the fat you eat is the fat you wear. A study in Pediatrics named milk the #1 source of saturated fat for children ages 2 to 18. Even one serving of 2% milk has the same amount of saturated fat as a serving of french fries! And if you think fat free milk is a healthy choice, let me remind you it has the same sugar punch as soda with more than 55% of its calories from lactose (milk sugar). Speaking of lactose, at least one in eight adults in the US are lactose intolerant. This means gas, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation when consuming dairy products. Doesn’t that sound like fun? NOT!

Let’s take a peek at what milk does not do. It does not prevent bone loss or fractures. 77% of the scientific literature actually shows the opposite of what most people think when it comes to milk and strong bones. I recommend reading “Building Bone Vitality” by Amy Lanou. Milk has been shown (countless times) to increase fracture rates. This occurs because your blood pH needs to be at a very specific level (7.35 – 7.45) and when you eat high acid foods (like dairy and meat; especially cheese) your body releases the calcium in your bones to buffer the acid. The calcium, after being used to buffer your blood pH, is then eliminated from your body in your urine. You are literally flushing your bone density down the toilet! Women who drink three glasses of milk per day have a 60% increased risk of hip fracture. This same milk drinking habit actually increases overall mortality risk by 93%! Let’s look at diseases next.

Dairy consumption is linked to so many diseases it is hard to keep track but here goes. The first I will present is cancer. Yes, cancer. Dairy has been linked to prostate, testicular, breast, lung, and ovarian cancers. In a study of over 20,000 male physicians, those consuming more than two servings of dairy a day had a 34% higher risk of prostate cancer compared to those who consumed little or no dairy products. There are numerous studies that corroborate these findings. Ovarian cancer risk was seen to increase by 13% for every glass of milk consumed. Galactose, a component of the milk sugar lactose, has been under study as a possible culprit. A very interesting study of breast cancer and milk found a specific virus, bovine leukemia virus (BLV), may be involved. BLV in breast tissue was strongly associated with breast cancer diagnosis, as the virus appeared in 59% of those with cancer. The researchers found 84% of cows used for dairy were infected with BLV.

Moving on to other issues linked to dairy (and high animal food) consumption: cardiovascular disease (remember, this includes lumbar artery disease and resultant chronic back pain, degenerative disc disease, etc.), diabetes (type 1 and type 2), osteoporosis, obesity, IBS, and autoimmune issues.

Since this newsletter is aimed at providing solid information in a one page format, I will condense some data into the following:
• Dairy products contain lactose, are high in cholesterol, calories, and fat (cheese ~70% fat/mostly saturated).
• Cholesterol and fat are well known to be directly related to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
• Fat and calorie dense foods are directly related to obesity.
• Lactose intolerance is directly related to GI issues.
• Dairy products create a high acid load which requires calcium to be removed from bones to buffer the acid, decreasing bone density and increasing fracture risk.
• Dairy products can create GI inflammation leading to intestinal permeability (leaky gut) and molecular mimicry can trigger an immune response leading to autoimmune issues (RA, Lupus, Fibromyalgia, etc.)

I don’t believe in testimonials to provide proof about anything but I will share that I have seen many, many people relieve their lives of pain and misery when eliminating dairy from their plates. The bottom line is that there are no redeeming qualities in dairy that negate all the diseases and misery linked to its consumption. You will get all the calcium you need from plants and NOT lose bone density in the process. The fact that cheese releases opiates in your body as you digest it is why you crave cheese. PLEASE find a better way to feel good!

If you would like to learn how to enjoy your food and nourish your body from the inside out please contact me for more information. You will be fed extremely well, empowered with facts, discover how to be free of pain, and reduce/eliminate the need for medications as you restore your health.

Call 518-496-1265. You deserve a long, healthy, pain-free life!

HLW Recipe of the Month: Chunky Vegetable Chowder

Here is a perfect way to enjoy something creamy and delicious with no dairy required. Takes only 15 minutes to prep and 12 minutes to cook. This is one of my family’s favorites!! The fresh basil is what gives this an amazing flavor. We usually triple the recipe! Enjoy!



Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 12 minutes Servings: 4

See tips below before purchasing ingredients

  • 2 cups red potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 2 ½ cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup chopped yellow or orange bell pepper
  • ¼ cup unbleached white flour (or rice flour for GF)
  • 3 cups plant milk (soy, rice, or almond)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • green onions, thinly sliced for garnish (optional)

Put potatoes and 2 cups broth in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Set aside. Do not drain. Meanwhile, place remaining ½ cup vegetable broth in another saucepan. Add onion and bell peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 minutes. Stir in flour. Add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened. Add cooked potatoes and broth. Heat through, garnish (optional), and serve.

Tips: We tend to dislike green peppers so we only use red, orange, and yellow. We also love to add other veggies like: frozen sweet white corn, peas, carrots, broccoli, etc. Be sure you increase veggie broth and plant milk accordingly if you add lots more veggies. Add ½ cup plant milk for each ½ cup added veggie. If adding more than ½ cup plant milk increase flour by one tablespoon. This soup is addicting and you will wish you made more!

Serve with a large green salad and some crusty whole grain bread for a perfect winter meal!

HLW: Tip of the Month: Lifelong Wellbeing!

You may or may not have thought about why I chose these words to be part of my business name. This month I would like to “unpack” what these words mean to me and why I chose them. As a physical therapist I see people daily who struggle with pain, physical limitations, and serious health issues. When I did homecare I saw countless folks who needed family members to provide care for their daily needs; physically, financially, and emotionally. Most of my patients absolutely hated being dependent on others to provide transportation to endless medical appointments, and/or do food shopping, housecleaning, laundry, meal preparation, and more. They were concerned it was too much for their children who had their own families and jobs to handle. I watched these struggles and my heart always went out to all involved. This, in my humble opinion, is not lifelong wellbeing.

Lifelong wellbeing is maintaining health and mobility well into your nineties and beyond. Remaining independent and doing your own shopping, cleaning, cooking, and finances. You may think this is unrealistic, but let me tell you what I have seen. I have seen people over 100 years old still driving, shopping, cleaning, and cooking! Yes, I have met these people when they had an illness that required a short hospital stay; like pneumonia, and then were discharged home independently as they were living prior to their brief illness. While the body may become more fragile over time to illness, it does not mean life has to stop as we know it. As these folks showed me, independence and quality of life is possible to be maintained as long as we are above ground!

That said, let me tell you what may be required to do this. I observed and asked many questions of these independent centenarians. The answers lay in multiple issues with the most important being how you nourish your body, move your body, and think. You can learn how to nourish your body and move your body in my classes. The thinking part requires more room than is provided in this newsletter. I may just do a short series on those very topics in the near future as I am writing a book, “Be Ageless, 7 Simple Steps” and these things are part of the simple steps. Let me know if you are interested and stay tuned...

7 Simple Steps to Have Lifelong Wellbeing!

Nov 2015: Fountain of Youth~Pumpkin Puddingw/Coconut Whip~Self-Care


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, or research.

I exist to help you Have Lifelong Wellbeing!

This month I want to share with you the Fountain of Youth! Yes, there is such a thing and it is possible to achieve! If you have taken my Nourish Your Body Classes you learned that you can “turn back the clock” by thirty years!!! Take a look at this study done with male subjects at the age of 20 and then again, thirty years later, at the age of 50. You will be amazed at what was observed just by changing their physical activity.

20 year old men were given 3 weeks of bed rest to see how it would affect their aerobic capacity back in 1966. Thirty years later these same men, now 50 years old, were tested again. They were given an exercise program to follow for six months and then tested again. The exercise program was moderate and consisted of one hour of walking, jogging, or stationary bicycling 4-5 days per week. What was seen was quite staggering! Prior to the exercise, over 30 years, their weight had increased by an average of 25%, their body fat % had doubled, and their aerobic capacity had declined by ~11%. It is important to note here that 30 years of aging had done less damage to aerobic capacity than 3 weeks of bed rest did when they were 20 years old; however, the six weeks of exercise reversed the effects of aging and increased their aerobic capacity by 15%!

I don’t know about you, but I want to do all I can to maintain my health and delay going below ground as long as possible with good quality of life. If moderate exercise is shown to reverse the effects of aging I am all in! Let’s talk about the other ways exercise can reverse aging.

Have you ever heard of sarcopenia? That is when muscle mass actually begins to decrease at a rate of about 1% per year while body fat mass increases. This gradual loss is linked directly to lack of exercise. Here is a picture of what your thigh looks like when you keep working or when you stop moving. The picture on the right is more fat than muscle and will increase your risk of falling due to decreased stability, as well as make it more challenging to walk up and down stairs, etc. The picture on the left is what you want, more muscle than fat. This will keep you functional physically well into your nineties and beyond. A study done involving people with chronic kidney disease showed those who performed strength training increased muscle fiber by 32% and strength by 30% in just 12 weeks! Those who did not exercise lost 9 pounds of muscle!

Ok, hopefully I’ve convinced you to keep exercising, no matter your age or to get moving if you haven’t been exercising for a while. It is never too late to increase muscle mass. Your body was designed to respond well to exercise, no matter your age.

The most important thing is to do it wisely. You need aerobic movement, at least 2-3 times per week for at least 30-45 minutes. Walking, jogging, and bicycling are all great ways to do this. If you choose walking you need to be walking with purpose. A leisurely stroll is wonderful for stress but not an aerobic activity. You must work hard enough to have trouble singing (I can’t sing, but I’m not talking about talent here), yet still be able to talk. A long conversation would be uncomfortable, but talking is still possible. That is effective aerobic work that will help reverse (or delay as long as possible) the effects of aging in your body.

It is also important to perform weight bearing exercises 2-3 times per week to maintain muscle mass and prevent (or reverse) sarcopenia. You don’t need a fancy gym membership but it would be wise to seek guidance if you don’t have a clue where to start. Your own bodyweight can be enough when performing things like squats, lunges, or push-ups. There is also something called Core Chain Reaction that would provide you with the knowledge to perform weight bearing exercises in all 3 planes of motion AND resolve pain at the same time. Take a class and learn how it works for your specific issues. You will get two bangs for your buck; good muscle mass into old age AND regain pain-free movement!

Other benefits of exercise are that it:
• Increases metabolic rate (burn more calories at rest!)
• Improves digestion/energy/sleep/cholesterol levels
• Strengthens bones
• Reduces depression
• Lowers blood pressure
• Increases endurance/stamina
• Improves mental alertness
• Increases flexibility
• Improves self-esteem & positive attitude
• Has a major positive effect on your immune system

If you don’t know where to start, call me and I will ensure your success.

It’s what I love doing! 518-496-1265.

HLW Recipe of the Month: Pumpkin Pudding w/Vanilla Bean Coconut Whip

Holiday 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.”

Pumpkin Pudding makes about 3 cups

1 lb silken tofu (I used one pack of Nasoya silken tofu)
1/2 tsp salt (I used a pink salt)
2/3 cup maple syrup
1 cup canned pumpkin, unsweetened
3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on low -> high until smooth and creamy. The mixture will be watery at this point, but placing it back in the fridge or freezer will firm it up a bit. For quick chilling: pour pudding into tiny serving cups and place in the freezer for 15 minutes - then move to fridge until ready to serve.

Vanilla Bean Coconut Whipped Cream

  • 1 can of full fat coconut milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • pinch of vanilla bean specks (optional)

Place can in the fridge overnight. Open the can without shaking it or turning upside down and carefully spoon out the top layer of opaque white stuff that has gathered at the top of the can. Spoon into a mixing bowl. You will be left with about 1/2 cup of white syrup-y looking translucent liquid. Leave this in the can.

Note: I use this leftover liquid in numerous coconut-y recipes. Plus, it makes a great coconut syrup - almost like a hydrated extract of coconut flavor. Add powdered confectioners’ sugar to the white stuff.

Optional: add cinnamon, vanilla bean - any small amount of flavor you'd like. Use a hand beater (simple mixers work just as well as expensive ones) and whip the coconut milk froth until creamy. Start on low and move to a higher speed, move the beater in an up and down motion to infuse the mixture with as much air as possible.

HLW Tip of the Month: Self-Care!

Do you struggle with taking care of yourself? Do you put yourself last on the list of priorities? Or are you not even on the list!? I know firsthand how hard it can be to ensure your physical and emotional needs are being met regularly. I also know firsthand how being out of balance in this issue can create physical ailments and negative emotions. You may be surprised to learn that I attended a class on Anger Management years ago. I will share with you the most important thing I learned in that class. I learned that I was struggling with anger because my basic human needs were not being met. I was not getting enough sleep, enough exercise, or enough time to do things I enjoyed (reading, playing piano, painting, knitting, learning new things). When I understood this concept I made changes that involved making sure my basic human needs were not ignored for weeks at a time. This is not about putting yourself above others, it is about ensuring your basic human needs are met so you will be able to care well for others.

Basic physiological human needs include: whole foods, water, and sleep. If you are lacking in any of these areas you will be unable to move forward in other areas like strong relationships, achievement of goals, or healthy self-esteem. The consequences of not meeting your basic human needs can be quite severe. Your physical health will suffer, personal relationships may suffer, and you could battle anger, anxiety, and depression. You may develop resentment regarding those you care most about. That is not a good thing!

On the flip side; balancing self-care with your responsibilities will help you achieve improved health, more intimate relationships, and you will feel better about yourself. I know there are many of you right now wondering how on earth you can take care of yourself properly and still get done all that needs to get done. I will share some of the things I did to improve self-care.

I learned that my health is more important than:
• a clean bathroom
• crossing off EVERY item on my to-do list
• involving my children in every extracurricular activity that they ask to join
• saying yes when I really want to say “No.”

Figure out what is keeping you from being able to meet your basic human needs and then take steps to address the issue. Let me know if I can help. I have been there, done that!

Ensure Self-Care to Have Lifelong Wellbeing!

Oct 2015: Obesity~Raw Apple Crumble~Start Over-Again!

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, or research. I exist to help you Have LifeLong WellBeing!


This edition will focus on Obesity. Struggling with excess weight has become epidemic and age is no longer a factor as younger and younger children are seen to have serious weight issues. Are you aware that children who are overweight rate their quality of life as being similar to children who have cancer?! I say serious weight issues because this is not about judging, or even looks, it’s about health related issues. The list of negative health issues related to obesity is staggering! The most important being increased mortality risk. Yes, increased mortality! This means there is a higher death rate among people who are obese or overweight. There are many studies showing this relationship. Here is one that looked at 102,400 women and followed them for 12 years. If they were overweight at age 18 and at beginning of follow-up there was seen significantly increased risk of total mortality and mortality from cardiovascular disease. Another study of BMI (body mass index) and all-cause mortality in 527,265 adults aged 50-71 with 10 years of follow-up saw being overweight associated with 20-40% increase in mortality and obesity associated with 2- 3-fold increase (200-300%!) compared to those with BMI of 23 to 24.9. There is also an association between waist circumference and mortality. Each 10% increase in WC = 36% increase in mortality in men and 30% increase in women. I believe that premature death should shake us awake, don’t you think? On the flip side 6391 overweight and obese people 35 or older were studied and those who intentionally lost weight had a 24% lower mortality rate AND regardless of weight change, those who at least tried to lose weight had lower mortality compared to those who made no effort! Yay for effort!!

While there are so many complex issues involved in why obesity is epidemic in our world today, I want to shed light on what appears to be the most impactful.
• Wrong information
• Yo-yo dieting
• High tech world
• Accessibility
• Emotional issues
Let’s look at wrong information first. There are so many fad diets that claim success you would wonder why anyone would have any excess weight if even 10% of them were true! The fact of the matter is that pretty much ALL of these diets are not what is needed to achieve good health, even if they do lead to weight loss. You cannot maintain your life on tiny portions, calorie counting, low or NO carbs, etc. If you have taken my Nourish Your Body Series you have learned how your stretch and nutrient receptors need to be happy, so you need to fill your stomach AND nourish your body to be satiated and healthy. Eating the right foods multiple times each day and NOT skipping meals is what brings healthy weight.

Yo-yo dieting sabotages your body as most diets do not provide enough food for your body to function properly so your metabolism drops like a rock! You now need less and less to maintain and you end up gaining weight! The good news is that your metabolism can restore itself to an optimal level with the right nourishment and physical activity. It will take some time but it will happen.

Our high-tech world has provided so much convenience that we no longer need to do anything physical in life. Buttons are everywhere, escalators, elevators, appliances that vacuum for us, shopping delivery services for everything under the sun, and the list goes on. We go from sitting in our car to our desk- back in our car to our couch.

There is little to no physical activity required to live life anymore. Getting exercise is an absolute necessity and those who engage in exercise AND have a normal weight live the longest.


Accessibility can be a nightmare for those wanting to lose weight. There are countless restaurants that will deliver just about anything you could want right to your door and no one knows. If you eat a salad in front of friends/family and then hit the drive thru on the way home you know exactly what I mean. This leads us to the most complex of all; emotional issues.

When you relate food to love (mom’s cooking) or comfort (ice cream when upset) or reward (cookies for good grades) eating becomes a way to manage emotions, not just nourishment. When you binge eat until you are ready to throw up you are using food to not deal with emotions.

I am not writing this lightly. There is real heartbreak out there. I have led a support group for 16 years for women who have been abused. I want to help others be set free from pain in any way I can. Wellness Forum Health has a Permanent weight loss program, a plan for the rest of your life. You will learn new strategies through specific activities designed to change your way of thinking about food and ultimately to change your eating behaviors so that you can enjoy eating without guilt or fear. This program will also teach you how to get others to help you, how to stay motivated for the long term and learn some delicious recipes that will keep you excited about eating well. Includes CD’s that teach 24 key concepts and how to apply them easily to your daily life, a detailed 24-module workbook for note taking, journaling, and to keep you on track, and two 2-hour live conference calls per month for one full year for discussion and problem solving.

Call 518-496-1265. You deserve a long, healthy life!

HLW Recipe of the Month: Raw Apple Crumble

It’s apple season! This is a perfect way to enjoy a bountiful harvest of those crisp, delicious apples. No cooking required and you won’t believe the flavor. It’s absolutely decadent! Enjoy!



Preparation: 15 minutes Servings: 4

1 cup walnuts
4 pitted dates

Apple filling:
3 apples, peeled, sliced and large diced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 apples, peeled, sliced and large diced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 pitted dates
¼ cup raisins (optional)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Topping: Blend the walnuts and 4 dates in a food processor until the texture is a little smaller than Grape Nuts. Spoon into a small bowl and set aside.

Filling: Toss the 3 peeled, sliced and diced apples with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and set aside in a bowl. Next, in the food processor, blend the remaining 2 apples, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 6 pitted dates, raisins, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Toss this mixture with the sliced apples.

Serve: Place one-fourth of the apple filling into a small dessert dish and sprinkle with date-nut topping.

HLW Tip of the Month: Start Over: Again!

Hosting the monthly Advanced Nutrition class has shown time and time again that there are many who struggle to succeed. This is in spite of knowing what to do. It’s the how that’s difficult for many and for the rest it’s the why. Let’s start with the how. Whenever you are presented with something that is new or different you may experience a knee jerk reaction that says, “How on earth can I do that? It’s too much work. It’s too hard. No one in my family will want to do that! It costs too much. It takes too much time.” And the list goes on and on.

My personality always goes for the figuring out HOW to get it done. My hubby always sees why it CAN’T be done. Opposites do attract! If you are a ‘see the obstacles’ kind of person what will help is understanding why you are doing something, which leads us to the why issue.

If your why is not strong enough or defined specifically it may be difficult to stay on track with your health goals. Fuzzy goals like I want to lose weight won’t be 1/10th as powerful as I want to lose 20 pounds by December 30th so I can look and feel better for my daughter’s wedding. You get the idea. Then break it into smaller chunks. Today I will eat 5 meals that consist of tasty carbs (potatoes, whole grains, legumes), lots of veggies, and some fruit. I will drink at least 64 ounces of water. I will feel satisfied all day. I will not go hungry. The dairy, oils, and high fat foods will destroy my goal so I will not go there. (remember that cheese is ~70% FAT and mostly saturated) Focus on what you will be eating and doing, not what you know will sabotage your success.

I want to share my own challenges with reaching goals. Yes, I am like a bull with horns when I hear the word challenge; yet I have the same fear of failure that lives in most people. I have had to start again in many areas of my life. I didn’t go to college until I was thirty and I was a single mom!! What is important for you to understand is that starting over is a GOOD thing. It means you haven’t quit or given up! You still have hope you will succeed!

So get out a piece of paper and a pencil or pull up your laptop and start writing why you want to change your life for the better. Why do you want to eliminate your need for medications? Why do you want to wake up feeling refreshed? Why do you want to lose weight? Why do you want to eliminate pain?

Why do you want to Have Lifelong Wellbeing?

Sep 2015: Soy~Fettucine Alfredo~Cook Once-Eat All Week!




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 Soy. Soy is one of the most controversial foods in our society today. Many say to stay away from it because it increases breast cancer risk. Others say it is unhealthy for children, especially young girls as it will affect puberty in a negative way. Let’s see what science reports as valid facts.
Soy is a phytoestrogen. Some health care professionals think that because soybeans contain phytoestrogens, women who have estrogen-positive breast cancers, or are at risk for developing them, should not eat soy foods. It is interesting to note: while women are told to avoid soy, they are not instructed to avoid other phytoestrogen-containing foods. There are hundreds of them and dairy is loaded with estrogen.

There are 3 classes of phytoestrogens:
• Isoflavones: soybeans and garbanzo beans
• Lignans: flax seeds and whole grain cereal
• Coumestans: clover, alfalfa and soybean sprouts.

Poorly constructed rodent studies have shown that isoflavones stimulate estrogen receptive breast cancer in ovariectomized, athymic mice (no ovaries or thymus gland); estrogen-dependent mammary tumors in rats, and reproductive tissues in adult female mice. Problems with this research:
• Most foods have different effects on animals than humans. Baby rats fed human breast milk, for example, die, but virtually no one disputes the superiority of human breast milk for human babies.
• Studies used doses of pure isoflavones at least 5 times the amount found in traditional Asian diets (often 8-16 times the amount).
• Many involved direct injection of unconjugated purified isoflavones, which is significantly different than dietary intake of soy foods.

Breast tissue is regulated by sex hormones, particularly estrogens and progesterones. Epithelial proliferation in breast tissue is used as a marker for the effects of hormone exposure, which is often evaluated using a marker called M1B1, a nuclear protein. M1B1 correlates with higher grades of carcinoma, higher rates of relapse and worse survival rates in patients with breast cancer. Four trials, two w/ breast cancer patients, one w/ healthy subjects, and one w/ women undergoing breast biopsy or surgery for breast cancer. Breast biopsies were taken before and after exposure to soy isoflavones or isolated soy protein. None showed an increase in breast epithelial cell proliferation.

5 studies, three of premenopausal women, one w/ postmenopausal women and one w/ a combination of both, showed no abnormal cell proliferation, and no evidence of increased breast tissue density.

Most Asian populations consistently consume soy foods, yet have significantly lower rates of breast cancer than Americans do. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute examined soy as an isolated factor in Japanese women and concluded that frequent soy consumption was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that soy intake during adolescence and adulthood may reduce pre-menopausal breast cancer risk by an average of 40%. Risk reduction was 59% for those with the highest soy intake, and 56% for adults with the highest soy isoflavone intake. The study involved 73,223 Chinese women. The researchers found that soy consumption was associated with reduced risk. Researchers reported “This large, population-based, prospective cohort study provides strong evidence of a protective effect of soy food intake against pre-menopausal breast cancer. Women who consumed a high amount of soy foods consistently during adolescence and adulthood had a substantially reduced risk of breast cancer.”

The science continues to show benefits, and no evidence of harm, attributed to soy consumption, even when that consumption is in the form of isolated nutrients extracted from soy. Isoflavones are phytoestrogens which appear to act as weak estrogens in rodent models, which has unnecessarily raised concern about the consumption of soy foods by human females. There is little evidence that soy foods have a clinically relevant negative effect on human breast health. There is evidence that a plant-based diet, which can include soy, provides a protective effect.

All women should be concerned with estrogen levels and the best way to lower estrogen levels is through diet and lifestyle. Eat a high fiber diet – fiber helps the body to eliminate excess estrogen. In the absence of enough dietary fiber, estrogen will be re-absorbed through the intestinal walls back into the blood stream, contributing to elevated estrogen levels.
• Consume a low-fat diet
• Exercise lowers estrogen levels
• Reduce body fat to ideal levels, since body fat increases the production of estrogen

“Frequently, women who are overweight, eat a terrible diet, and do not exercise, are concerned about preventing breast cancer or avoiding a recurrence, and are confused about whether or not to consume soy. Removing soy from the diet and not addressing the other issues listed above is like “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.” In order to prevent breast cancer or to protect against a recurrence, ideal weight and body composition must be attained and dietary excellence and exercise are crucial. In that context, soy generally offers a protective rather than detrimental effect.” Dr. Pam Popper

To learn more join us for a Women’s Health Facts & Fun Day October 24. See events 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: Fettucine Alfredo

Alfredo sauce is something you would never expect to be vegan, low fat, and still taste rich, creamy and delicious. Well, prepare to surprise your taste buds! Don’t tell anyone it’s healthy. Let them enjoy it




3 cups sauce (about 4 servings)

  • 4 heaping cups cauliflower florets (1 medium head)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
  • Fettuccine pasta (preferably whole grain)

Cover cauliflower florets with water and boil for 3-7 minutes until tender. Drain well. Sauté minced garlic over low heat (scant amount of water if sticking) for 4-5 minutes until softened and fragrant, but not browned. Blend all ingredients until a super smooth sauce forms. Pour the sauce back into the pot and add cooked, drained pasta. Heat if needed and salt again to taste.

Tips: Feel free to add in your favorite sautéed, roasted, or steamed veggies. Think peas, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, or red bell pepper. You can also use this sauce to pour over veggies or baked potatoes and forget the pasta. You could even use roasted garlic instead of minced and powdered. See below. I must admit, roasted garlic is my new favorite. What a flavor punch!

Roasted Garlic: I can only say WOW!!!

Remove any loose outside layers. Cut the tops off exposing each bulb. Lay face-down on an unbleached parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10-15 minutes. Begin peeling each clove slowly, starting with the outer layers and working your way inward. Or you can just squeeze out the garlic if using right away. Will keep fresh in fridge for a week in a sealed glass jar.
Serve spread on bread, mixed in sauces or topped on your favorite meals.


HLW Tip of the Month: Cook Once: Eat All Week

So many people report the same challenge. Due to work, family, and everything else that demands our attention, there is NO TIME to cook and eat well. This strategy may be just what your health goals ordered! I am thrilled that I came across this picture when searching for an appropriate visual. This blog was begun by a young woman I consulted with some time ago; Holly Yzquierdo. If you are interested in reading how her health was restored and her life changed forever go to Holly is open with her experience and even provides contact information for me so it is ok that I share her name with you.

So, the goal is to prepare a few delicious dishes on a weekend day, or a day off, and enjoy them all week. When I did my first cooking class I made 3 meals in a little under an hour. For full disclosure, I did have the veggies precut and premeasured so the class did not have to watch me chop; so it may take you up to 2 hours depending on how fast you are with a knife (or a food processor). If you are interested in checking it out I put it on you tube here. If you would like to attend a cooking class I am open to scheduling one that allows you to bring home meals for your week.

Here’s the cliff notes on how to do this:
• Pick 3-4 favorite recipes
• Ensure you have all ingredients before starting
• Prep all the veggies and pre measure everything
• Plan cooking by having pots out for each recipe and the timing of each for cooking
• Start the one that takes the longest first
• Plan containers or ziplocs ahead if you need to freeze or refrigerate
• Also plan which can be reinvented into something else for lunch the next day: think chili becomes a veggie wrap.

Cook once & eat all week to Have LifeLong WellBeing!

Aug 2015: Back Pain~Creamy Potato Salad~Cheese Addiction

This edition will focus on Back Pain. The #1 reason to visit a doctor is for pain and back pain occurs in 80% of the population at some time. While there can be many reasons for back pain you may be surprised to learn that I have seen poor circulation to be a major contributing factor. Your body has many miles of blood vessels and they all matter. There has been a focus for many years on circulation to your heart and your brain; but what about your spine?

You have heard the term Coronary Artery Disease or CAD but what about Lumbar Artery Disease? I know, not another disease!! The issue is that they are all the same issue. Let’s look a little closer at the anatomy (form) and physiology (function) of your blood vessels.

Your blood vessels are lined with cells called endothelial cells. These cells are very busy little bees working hard at keeping things running smoothly. They are responsible for dilating your blood vessels (the opposite of constricting or narrowing) and keeping your blood flow optimal for providing oxygen and nutrition to all your cells as well as removing toxins and all the yucky stuff you don’t want sticking around. So, if these cells are so important, don’t you think you need to keep them protected from damage?

I hear you saying “Yes, but how do I do that?!” The answer is simple. A whole food, plant-based diet will protect those little buggers from damage. Limiting (or eliminating) saturated fats will help to keep your endothelial cells producing lots of nitric oxide which keeps your blood vessels open and working without any problems. In case you aren’t sure what saturated fats are; from a chemical standpoint, they are simply fat molecules that have no double bonds between carbon molecules because they are saturated with hydrogen molecules. What?!! Simply put, saturated fats are typically solid at room temperature and eating foods that contain saturated fats raises the level of cholesterol in your blood. These foods are also high in calories which will negatively impact your ideal weight goals. Saturated fats come mainly from animal sources, including meat, fish, and dairy products.

Anything with a face or that comes from anything with a face has saturated fat and cholesterol and NO fiber. This includes cheese which is typically 70% fat, most of which is saturated! This also includes salmon which is high in fat. Just 3.5 ounces of raw Atlantic salmon has 13 grams of fat ~25% of which is saturated fat and who eats just 3.5 ounces?! If you think salmon is a health food because of the media blitz regarding salmon, or ‘low fat’ cheese is good for you, please do your research. The lack of valid, scientific facts behind most of what the media reports would surprise you. There is a whole population of people who know otherwise and they have reversed their chronic diseases like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and much more by focusing on a whole foods, plant-based diet. ALA is the ONLY essential omega 3 and rich sources are: edamame, flaxseeds, walnuts, black beans/kidney beans, and winter squash.

I just came home from the PCRM Conference on Cardiovascular Disease in Washington, DC yesterday. The audience was ~90% physicians with specialties in cardiology, endocrinology, etc. These physicians have seen firsthand how food radically affects the biomarkers of disease, both in their own bodies and in their patients. They have a passion to get their patients well and know that food is the #1 way to do that. If you want to know more, sign up for the Nourish Your Body & Change Your Life Series. Your life will be greatly enhanced by the knowledge you gain.

Ok, back to back pain. When your lumbar arteries are not providing the blood supply necessary for health to your spine pain is the result. You can see the 1st through 4th lumbar arteries in this picture. Medical imaging of impeded lumbar circulation directly relates to pain. These arteries can be almost completely blocked by calcifications/plaques, resulting in dysfunction, disc/bone disease, and pain.

The specifics are: paraspinal muscle ischemia (decreased blood supply to muscles around the spine) with resultant pain related to exercise and muscle atrophy, bone ischemia (decreased blood supply to vertebra) with resultant dull, constant pain and disc degeneration, nerve root ischemia (decreased blood supply to nerve roots) with resultant sciatica and radicular pain, and posterior peritoneum ischemia (decreased blood supply to the posterior membrane that lines the abdominal cavity and covers abdominal organs) with resultant lateral back pain and pain related to hip muscle activity.

As if chronic back pain isn’t enough to deal with it’s very important for you to know that there is a very high correlation between chronic back pain and aortic calcification and atherosclerosis. This means if you have impeded blood flow to your spine, you have impeded blood flow to your heart, your brain, and EVERYwhere. My purpose is not to scare you, it is to inform you. As a physical therapist who specializes in manual techniques I have seen many, many patients who respond well to treatment, recover from pain and restore function. I have also seen many, many patients who do not. Those, I believe, were due to decreased lumbar circulation. The biggest challenge with diagnosis is that the lumbar arteries are ‘hidden’ behind the mesenteric arteries and difficult to observe with medical imaging.

The take away here is that eating to nourish your body and protect your endothelial cells just may resolve your back pain. The good news is that it took years to create the problem, but improvement can be seen (and felt) in just weeks for some and months for others. No amount of medications, tests, or procedures will restore circulation – BUT EATING A WHOLE FOODS PLANT-BASED DIET CAN!

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 Potato Salad

Potato salad is an American staple food at picnics and barbecues all summer long. This version is in line with what nourishes your body AND tastes delish!! Just wait until you try it! Don’t tell anyone it’s healthy. Let them enjoy it









16 (1/2 cup) servings

  • 8 cups (about 8 medium red skinned potatoes) largely diced / cut into cubes
  • 1 cup green onions finely chopped
  • 1 cup red bell pepper finely diced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup avocado dressing (or to taste) (below)

Boil potatoes about 10 minutes or until just done. Rinse with cold water and drain thoroughly. Transfer potatoes to mixing bowl and combine with chopped vegetables. Add avocado dressing and mix thoroughly. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Chill or serve at room temperature.

Avocado Salad Dressing

1 ripe avocado, pitted (about ¾-1 cup)
4-6 cloves roasted garlic (see below)
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
¼-¾ cup water, as needed Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper

Blend the first 5 ingredients in a blender until completely incorporated together. Add water 1/4 cup at a time to desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

Roasted Garlic: I can only say WOW!!!

Remove any loose outside layers. Cut the tops off exposing each bulb. Lay face-down on an unbleached parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10-15 minutes. Begin peeling each clove slowly, starting with the outer layers and working your way inward. Or you can just squeeze out the garlic if using right away.

Will keep fresh in fridge for a week in a sealed glass jar.
Serve spread on bread, mixed in sauces or topped on your favorite meals.



HLW Tip of the Month: Conquering Cheese Addiction!

Yes, cheese is addicting for many people! Cheese cravings may overcome your health goals if you don’t take charge. I hear from so many people how much they LOVE cheese. Those who have taken the Nourish Your Body & Change Your Life series have learned the facts about cheese; yet some share that they still eat cheese because they love it so. For those of you who have not taken the classes here are the cliff notes on cheese.
• It is ~70% fat and mostly saturated which is related to atherosclerosis decreasing your circulation (heart attacks, strokes, back pain) and preventing optimal weight goals
• It creates opiates in your body as it digests which is why it can be so addicting
• It is very high in estrogen which is related to increased cancer risk including breast cancer
• It contains casein which is a known cancer promoter
• Can be constipating; has NO fiber
• Some cheeses are sprayed with mold to create a white rind. Mold anyone?
I have personally seen many of my patients and class attendees report pain being eliminated when they eliminated dairy products from their diets. Of course, this includes cheese. When they eat dairy foods, like cheese, they experience the return of pain. This is due to multiple factors. One of which is that animal products are loaded with Arachidonic Acid which stimulates inflammatory processes. Another factor is damage to your digestive lining allowing undigested particles into your bloodstream creating a red alert for your immune system as food particles do not belong in your bloodstream.
The only way to beat addiction is to stop cold turkey. Replace cheese with something you love that nourishes your body. After just 30 days or so you will notice you no longer crave cheese. Think of your endothelial cells and your entire body being protected when you don’t give in and eat that “little piece” of cheese.
Say no to cheese and yes to Have LifeLong WellBeing!

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!

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!


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!


Copyright text 2016 by Have LifeLong WellBeing.