Create Your Own Skincare

I’m excited to share some insights from one of the most dedicated, intelligent and loving people I know, who also happens to be an expert on skin health using natural means–Rachael Pontillo of Create Your Skincare. Rachael is about to roll out the latest version of her personalized, in-depth teaching around creating your own, healthy skin care (isn’t that just the best??) Watch the great talk below on what you need to steer clear of in commercial skin care lines—and how you can learn from Rachael PERSONALLY!

Brain Support and Recovery Trifecta–Ground, Relax, Circulate and Recover

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is a term that is being used increasingly, thanks in part to the recognition of the consequences of concussions sustained in amateur and professional sports, notably American football. Beyond injuries in sports, however, the consequences of falls, car accidents, traumas incurred in and around the house, at school, even at work–how many ways can we hurt our heads?–the effects of severe and continued episodes of concussion have presented as major factors to health, happiness and vitality going forward in life.

It’s easy to enjoy grounding and earthing on a warm summer’s day in Sedona–rejuvenation for body and mind!

So, I’ve been keeping my eye on what I have seen to be some of the most promising support once a person has sustained an injury like this (and, in at least one of the items I’ll be mentioning, actually protecting the brain from greater injury if such an accident happens!)  While healthy nutrition, a balance of sleep/exercise/meditation and other adjunctive therapies such as acupuncture and medicinal grade essential oils are all part of what I would consider as part of this picture, the following modalities really, really shine in their support of brain health.

CBD Oils Cannabis oils (which I’ve referenced in another post), have shown tremendous support to the neural system both before injury, and after brain injury has occurred.  As mentioned before, this type of nutritional support is about pain relief and recovery–the use of standardized CBD oils from the hemp plant do not impart a psychoactive effect–but they do offer wellness support like nothing else I’ve seen.

(From the Medical Marijuana, Inc. educational portal): Cannabinoids have been shown to act on the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannibinoid system, which in turn prevents the release of proinflammatory cytokines that are released after brain trauma and cause damage (Panikashvili, et al., 2006). Activating of the CB1 and CB2 receptors also has been shown to stimulate the release of minocycline, which reduces brain swelling and neurological impairment, and diffuses further injuries to the brain’s axons (Lopez-Rodriguez, et al., 2015) (Biegon, 2004).

In one study, cannabinoid administered to mice with brain injuries caused a significant reduction of brain swelling, as well as better clinical recovery, reduced infarct volume, and reduced brain cell death compared to the control group (Panikashvili, et al., 2001). In another, CBD was found to reduce acute and apoptotic brain damage (Castillo, et al., 2010). Piglets with brain injuries given CBD experienced less excitotoxicity, oxidative stress and inflammation (Pazos, et al., 2013).

Mice that had suffered an impact brain injury showed marked recovery in object recognition and in performing a specific task after CB1 receptors were activated (Arain, Khan, Craig & Nakanishi, 2015). Cannabinoids have even shown to be effective at offering neuroprotection in newborn babies that have experienced a brain injury (Fernandez-Lopez, Lizasoain, Moro & Martinez-Orgado, 2013).

Often, when there is a brain injury, there may be a spinal injury in conjunction–again, from the Medical Marijuana, Inc. education portal:

Cannabinoids have demonstrated that they can help limit the neurological damage if administered shortly after a spinal cord injury. Following trauma, a series of pathological events contribute to the spread of spinal cord damage and further provokes neurological losses (Arevalo-Martin, Garcia-Ovejero & Molina-Holgado, 2010). However, administering cannabinoids soon after the injury has been shown to reduce proinflammatory cytokines and delay neuronal atrophy and degeneration, thus preserving the white matter around injured area and protecting the myelin sheath that surrounds the cord (Latini, et al., 2014) (Arevalo-Martin, Garcia-Ovejero & Molina-Holgado, 2010).

In one study, a reduction in swelling and a preservation of white matter and myelin were shown when cannabinoids were administered 20 minutes following a spinal cord injury (Arevalo-Martin, et al., 2012). In another, rats with spinal cord injuries saw improvements in locomotor functional recovery (Kwiatkoski, Guimaraes & Del-Bel, 2012). A third study found, in addition to an improvement in neurological function, saw a decrease in compression lesion volume (Hong, et al., 2015).

By acting through the CB1 and CB2 receptors of the endocannabinoid system, the cannabinoids provide a neuro-protective response, prompting researchers to conclude that they can be a useful treatment for acute spinal cord injuries (Arevalo-Martin, Garcia-Ovejero & Molina-Holgado, 2010) (Arevalo-Martin, et al., 2012) (Arevalo-Martin, Molina-Holgado & Garcia-Ovejero, 2016).

In addition, cannabis has long been determined as effective for addressing neuropathic pain. Its use has been found to be among the most effective pain relief treatments for people with spinal cord injuries (Wilsey, et al., 2013) (Heutink, Post, Wollaars & van Asbeck, 2011)…For spinal cord injury patients experiencing spasms, cannabis may offer relief. Along with pain, muscle spasm is the most common reason that medical cannabis is recommended and prescribed by medical professionals (Borgelt, Franson, Nussbaum & Wang, 2013).

Studies have demonstrated that medical cannabis offers significant improvements in muscle spasticity, both in mice trials and in human subjects (Borgelt, Franson, Nussbaum & Wang, 2013) (Baker, et al., 2000). Spinal cord injured persons have reported that cannabis use decreased spasticity (Malec, Harvey & Cayner, 1982).

If you wish to purchase standardized, nourishing, purity-tested and potent CBD oils from hemp, you can do so here.

LED and Near-infrared Light Therapy: This is a non-invasive, comfortable therapy that I use with all my patients, whether there is TBI or not. It is a unique therapy that harnesses the healing powers of infrared light, emitting noted wavelengths of light energy that dramatically increase circulation to injury sites and areas of chronic pain, resulting in a rapid relief of discomfort, improved sense of wellness, and regeneration of damaged tissues. 

Flexible pads embedded with multiple infrared and visible red and blue diodes, are placed directly in contact with the skin over the area of pain or injury. Light energy from the diodes penetrates beneath the skin and is absorbed by proteins within cells that lay beneath the skin, which releases nitric oxide, the body’s natural vasodilator. After just 20 minutes of treatment, blood flow is increased to nerves and other tissues, and this boost in local circulation persists for several hours after the pads are removed.  My patients LOVE this therapy–and thankfully the units are available for home purchase.  Please send me an email if you’d like information on having your own system.  Here’s an incredible video showcasing the power of the lights when there has been injury to the brain.

Earthing  As was shared in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health in 2012, the impact of connecting with the earth’s surface electrons is one of the most healing activities we can undertake.  And while this seems easy enough to do, how many of us actually walk barefoot outdoors, or lie in direct contact with the earth (both activities our ancestors did daily–and so our bodies are expecting this connection) on a regular basis?  Personally, I live, sleep and work in a second-story setting–and for a good portion of the year it is so chilly that I wouldn’t dream of stepping out without my shoes.  So, my contact with the earth in this manner is GREATLY impacted (and I know better!)  Thankfully, there is technology that works with the actual electrical model of our homes and workplaces that can help us stay grounded through the electrons of the earth.  One company that has a great selection of well-made products is Earthing.

From yoga mats to bed sheets, their product selection will offer up a way for you to have direct contact of skin to Earthing product, to help you reap the benefit of a healthy dose of electrons.

Whether you’ve experienced a bad concussion at some time in your life, or you are wishing to support someone in your life who has, I hope these novel and impactful suggestions help to recover the health and vitality that is the birthright of each of us–injury or none.

Hemp-based CBD Oil, Pain, Appetite–and Not Being High!

High points of our endogenous Endocannabanoid System (ECS)

I love plant medicine–I am an herbalist by trade–and I am thrilled that the powerful-but-long-forgotten hemp plant and its CBD oils are shining brightly as the champions of helping recover from so much of what is hurting us.

The predecessor to the pharmaceutical age we live in was an intricate, respectful and rich relationship and understanding of our place in the world and its various substances and elements.

While that sounds pretty heady, all I’m trying to say is that we worked with what was available to us–whether that be for shelter, sustenance, pleasure, or recovery from injury or illness–we learned from our elders and community how to best use what was in our space to make the most of our innate vitality and live to our fullest capacity.  And we understood that the influences of season, elemental considerations– these all had a profound play on us, because we ARE part of this warp and weave of the quilt of our earth and our universe.

Likewise, the plant kingdom is part of that wonderful quilt of life. Medicinal plants were recognized until recent times as an integral part of our health and welfare–our “brothers-in-arms” of navigating seasonal changes, birth and child-rearing, illness–the compounds and energetics in these plants have been used strategically to help bring humanity to the place we find ourselves today.

Unfortunately, the last hundred years or so has seen quite a shift in this respect, understanding and relationship.  The pharmaceutical age we live in, while INCREDIBLY powerful and potent in many respects, has also been an age where we’ve lost that connection and understanding of the plants and our relationship with them.

Thankfully there have been people in our midst who’ve maintained this understanding as best they can, from text books, mentorship with herbalists, formal education in traditional herbal medicine (the route I’ve taken), and today, from what is handed down on the Internet, both on blogs, and in the research and studies found on such sites as PubMed.

It takes a village!

One of the most potent plant medicines out there is found in the hemp plant (a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant, grown for nutrition and industrial purposes).  From Wikipedia:

It is one of the fastest growing plants and was one of the first plants to be spun into usable fiber 10,000 years ago. It can be refined into a variety of commercial items including paper, textiles, clothing, biodegradable plastics, paint, insulation, biofuel, food, and animal feed. Although cannabis as a drug and industrial hemp are both members of the species Cannabis sativa and contain the psychoactive component tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), they are distinct strains with unique biochemical compositions and uses. Hemp has lower concentrations of THC and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), which decreases or eliminates its psychoactive effects.

This mention of CBD has especially important impact for us humans.  Around 1990, the human body was found to have what is now known as the Endocannabinoid System.  Again, from Wikipedia:

The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a group of endogenous cannabinoid receptors located in the mammalian brain and throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, consisting of neuromodulatory lipids and their receptors. Known as “the body’s own cannabinoid system”, the ECS is involved in a variety of physiological processes including appetite, pain-sensation, mood, and memory, and in mediating the psychoactive effects of cannabis. The ECS is also involved in voluntary exercise and may be related to the evolution of the runner’s high in human beings and related aspects of motivation or reward for locomotor activity in other animals.

This system is a relatively new finding to the scientific community–and in the wake of it, there have been numerous studies looking at ways to nourish and support this natural part of who we are that has such a profound influence on:

  • Appetite
  • Pain modulation
  • Degenerative conditions such as Type II Diabetes, multiple sclerosis and atherosclerosis
  • Memory and neuro-cognitive concerns
  • Physical movement
  • Healthy stress response
  • Motor activity of the nerves supporting digestion, reproduction and elimination
  • Temperature regulation
  • Sleep

As  you can see, this relatively new kid on the block of our understanding of bodily functions covers A LOT!  It really can be considered an integral component of our neurotransmitter system, regulating rest, sleep, appetite, mood and physical expression.

And the hemp plant, rich in naturally-occurring cannabinoids, is one of the best sources of nourishment of this system.  Unfortunately, hemp has fallen off our collective radar screen for the last hundred years or so in the West.  From Wikipedia:

Until the early 1900s industrial hemp was a valuable crop used all over the world for its strong fibers and oil seeds. Today, however, the common perception of the industrial hemp plant is generally negative and associated with the drug marijuana. This perception is the legacy of a century of powerful influences construing hemp as a dangerous drug, even though it is not a drug and it has the potential to be a profitable alternative crop. In the United States, the public’s perception of hemp as marijuana has blocked hemp from becoming a useful crop and product.

The recognition of the endocannabinoid system in our bodies has only helped us to recognize the nutritional value of this unjustly maligned crop.  I will be the first to say that the “buzz” of marijuana is not my idea of a good time (but to each, his own)–and I certainly don’t want my kids nor my patients experiencing this aspect of marijuana through my recommendation.  That buzz arises from another active constituent in the marijuana plant called THC–it is the source of the “high”.

In addition to the therapeutic essential oils, magnesium oil, acupuncture, LED light therapy, laser, near-infrared lights, moxibustion, gua sha, cupping and ultrasound I use in helping with pain and bringing balance to the body, I’ve also used oils topically for pain that have been derived from the marijuana plant, but I’ve found that I’ve needed to use quite a lot at the site of pain before the pain went away.  This is costly (I’ve found this type of plant medicine to be on the high-end of expense), but eventually effective–and I do mean effective–the pain is not masked, it just stops.  Unfortunately, it has just taken too much to reach the destination of pain relief, as the ratio of CBDs to THC was weighted too unevenly.  And if I’d wanted to use it internally, the psychoactive “high” would be strong and completely NOT what I would want for myself, my family nor my patients.

Thankfully, there is now a company that has made its sole purpose the  availability of potent, nourishing CBD oils that are created for health, without the psychoactive effects of high THC concentrations.  And, the price-point and availability of these products make this type of supplementation available to more people than any other delivery system I’ve seen.  The company is called Kannaway and I am excited to offer their products as a Brand Ambassador.  Ordering their products is easy and they are shipped directly to your home–you can order retail, or set up a wholesale account, or join me in sharing this “grass-roots” (sorry, I couldn’t resist!) effort as a Brand Ambassador as well.  In all transparency, this is a direct sales company and as a Brand Ambassador I stand to earn through sales of their products–but for the hassle I’ve experienced trying to find CBD-rich oils that are effective, reasonably-priced and that are easily shared with people in all 50 states, this company has been an incredible find.  I’d be remiss if I didn’t share with you, too.

Here’s a link to a webinar I recently recorded, where we discuss some personal outcomes with the use of the Kannaway products–it’s very informal, but the stories are moving.

I hope you’ll look into the research around this incredibly important topic and consider this as a safe, effective and well-rounded form of plant medicine for you and your family–Take care!

Vitamin D3 – Dangerous! Unless You Are Doing It Right

An Interview with WellnessWiz Jack Tips

  1. Vitamin D supplementation can hurt you if you don’t do it right.
  2. Don’t take Vitamin D by itself! It should ALWAYS be accompanied by certain key nutriments.
  3. Important to test your Vitamin D (There’s a home test! – Special Offer!)
  4. The best flu-preventative program (not a shot!)

Q. What’s this “dangerous” situation with Vitamin D?

WWJ. Because of its importance and amazing health properties, Vitamin D3 deserves to be the molecule of the year. It’s a pre-hormone, a cellular function activator and regulator, steroid, essential for bone health, and necessary for proper immune system function. Further, it supports body composition (fat to muscle ratio), and activates some 3000 genes—ones that impact blood pressure, insulin production, brain health, and numerous disease-preventative cellular functions, thus is considered “anti-cancer”.

Over the past few years, Vitamin D3 has been researched, touted, and marketed like crazy. The problem is, without it’s supportive co-factors, there can be dire consequences of taking supplemental Vitamin D3 by itself. This is such an important point, I actually consider companies that market Vitamin D3 as a single ingredient without properly educating people to be unscrupulous.

Q. What kind of consequences?

WWJ. Heart disease, calcified arteries, hypercalcemia (turns tissues to cement), calcium deposits in the joints, kidney stones, causes magnesium deficiencies, and creates relative deficiencies in other fat-soluble vitamins such as A, E, and especially K2.

Q. Why would so many companies sell Vitamin D products that could potentially cause damage?

WWJ. Well, I can’t speak for the companies and where their hearts are, but historically the nutrition supplement business has been caveat emptor—buyer beware. Because the credo of Natural Health established by it’s father, Hippocrates, is ‘First Do No Harm;’ it’s incumbent on practitioners to provide patients with high quality, well thought-out supplements. But many people read an article—such as the terrific ones in the New York Times or Time Magazine—that reveal the critical importance and benefits of Vitamin D3, and then order the cheapest product they can find. So there are manufacturers that cater to the quick, make-a-buck sales—and what they are doing is perfectly legal—but it’s not right.

Q. So what makes a good vitamin D supplement?

WWJ. First and foremost is the sun. Okay, I know you’re asking about supplementation. But the best Vitamin D is sunlight on the skin. There is no substitute for sunlight. Supplements help, but they don’t accomplish exactly the same thing. Ex: Sun-vitamin D (7-dehydrocholesterol) is processed in the skin [before it goes to the liver to become 25-hydroxy vitamin D, and then to the kidneys for processing into the steroid hormone 1,25 dihydroxy vitamin D] and creates and new molecule called cholesterol sulfate—a much-needed, valuable molecule for heart and cell
membrane health.

Q. So why so much frenzy about supplementing with Vitamin D?

WWJ. Not only is it critically important for hundreds of aspects of health, there’s a pandemic deficiency of Vitamin D in children (and also adults). The synthetic Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) added to milk is of little value, and children have been admonished by doctors to stay out of the sun.

Sadly, people have been taught to fear the sun instead of learning common sense respect that sunlight is an essential “nutrient” for a healthy life. People have become sun phobic and avid uses of toxic sunscreen lotions. The true and responsible teaching would be how to get the proper amount of sunshine safely, thus to avoid sunburn, damaged DNA, aging skin, wrinkles, melanomas, and carcinomas. This situation is an example where the purported “cure” of hiding from the sun (which causes Vitamin D3 deficiencies) is generally worse than the diseases that damaging exposure could cause – both sun damage and Vitamin D3 deficiency leads to cancers, but with Vitamin D3 deficiency, the person’s quality of life is diminished over the 20 years it takes for sun damage to develop into a

Historically over thousands of years, the human body adapted and developed a beneficial relationship with the sun (e.g. the creation of Vitamin D3 and cholesterol sulfate). The fear of sunshine increased in the 1980’s with the alarming rise in skin damage occurring after humans destroyed part of the Earth’s ozone (O3) layer via aerosol can propellants, industrial air pollution, and air conditioner refrigerant. The sun’s less-filtered ultraviolet-B and cosmic rays starting hitting the skin with more force as holes in the ozone occurred resulting in more skin cancers. This phenomenon, coupled with poor nutrition (people started avoiding dietary Vitamin D3 in meat, milk, and eggs based on doctors’ errant advisement), created iatrogenic-driven seeds of destruction for human health.

Fortunately, people rallied, consumers changed, manufacturer- and environmental-protective laws have helped stop the destruction of the Earth’s protective ozone layer—a tremendous example of people working together to help solve a global crisis! Science predicts that by 2080, the Earth’s ozone layer may return to its 1950 level. Right now, the ozone hole is over Antarctica and is contributing to warming and climate change there, so we’ve not yet escaped the consequences.

Q. So people turned to supplementation.

WWJ. Right. And, on a personal note, because I work indoors all day, I supplement with Vitamin D3 and test my levels every 6 months to maintain an optimal blood level of 25 Hydroxy D, which for me is: 70 ng/ml. I grab some sunshine whenever I can in the mid-morning whenever my schedule allows. Even down here in Texas, the ability to make Vitamin D3 from sun is greatly reduced in the wintertime.

Q. What about getting sunshine on the skin in the wintertime?

WWJ. The fat-soluble vitamins are squirreled away in the body for winter, but if the person did not store enough, there won’t be enough; and low Vitamin D3 in the winter is the perfect recipe for catching colds and flu.

The issue with winter is that the sun’s rays are more slanted and our bodies do not generate Vitamin D from sunlight so well in the winter, if at all. And it’s too cold to wear a bikini or speedo in Bismarck in January. Another reason why savvy people take a good vitamin D supplement in winter – and that’s actually better flu prevention than the flu shot for many reasons.

Q. Thanks for the historic perspective. Now, what makes a good Vitamin D formula? How do we “do it right?”

WWJ. In Clinical Nutrition, we know that all the fat-soluble vitamins— A, D, E, F, and K – work together as a team that in the body, they function best within certain ratios. So here’s the problem with supplementing Vitamin D3 by itself. It creates a “relative deficiency” in Vitamin K2. Simply put, Vitamin D3 mobilizes calcium, but it’s vitamin K2 that takes it to the bone matrix for strength and storage. (Vitamin K1 supports blood clotting.) Without a balancing Vitamin K2, a protein called osteocalcin fails to activate and transport calcium to the bones. Thus the calcium can build up in the soft tissues (breasts, thyroid, brain), arteries (atherosclerosis), and heart; and interfere with health.

All too often people tell me, “My functional medicine doctor put me on 5000 iu of Vitamin D3 per day.” I’ll ask, “What about the Vitamin K2 that’s essential to prevent damage to your heart and arteries?” The person replies, “Oh, I’m not taking any Vitamin K2.” Not good!

Then I’ll ask, “Are you taking magnesium?” Why? Because increasing Vitamin D3 also increases the need for magnesium which is used in Vitamin D3 metabolic processes. All too often the answer is, “No.” So magnesium already in pandemic deficiency, the supplemental Vitamin D3 creates a further deficiency by demanding and using more of the limited supply. This can result in muscle cramps and heart rhythm concerns as well as mitochondrial energy production problems.

Further, studies show that if a person is deficient in Vitamin D3, that the inclusion of magnesium with Vitamin D3/K2 supplementation will hasten remediation of the deficiency over just taking vitamin D3 alone. Because magnesium works to balance calcium, people who are deficient in Magnesium are more prone to depositing Calcium in the arteries. Increase the D3 via supplementation with Vitamin K2 and magnesium and all is well, but without those synergists, you can see where there’s a double or triple whammy where errant supplementation of Vitamin D3 by itself can create problems.

Q. What about Vitamin D toxicity?

WWJ: All fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body, especially the liver. If too much is taken supplementally, it can reach a “too much” or toxic level. Not good!

Vitamin A was one of the first vitamins cited for toxicity concerns, but the toxicity levels were obtained with synthetic Vitamin A which is not the same as the natural Vitamin A. People are documented thriving on eating polar bear liver and getting doses of 200,000 iu of natural vitamin A in a meal, but if taking that amount via a synthetic supplement, it would be quite toxic. Just think of the Rx Retin-A side effects (liver damage) caused by prescriptive synthetic Vitamin A. This would not have happened if natural Vitamin A were employed.

Vitamin D also has a toxicity level—largely because too much will calcify tissues and can cause death. In fact, there is a super-killer rat poison that is nothing more than simple Vitamin D for that reason. But, no worries. Please understand, a person would have to take a ginormous amounts of Vitamin D by itself to reach toxicity and some 50% of the population is deficient, so regarding taking supplemental Vitamin D, a person would have to eat the entire bottle every day to get to that amount. But still, some people are indeed taking huge amounts, e.g. sometimes doctors recommend 50,000 iu in a “loading dose” and use high amounts to manipulate blood test results. Or they take 5000 iu/day every day for a long time.

Q. What is too much Vitamin D?

WWJ. Generally it’s a blood level of 100 ng/ml or higher. Because there is a toxicity issue, the responsible position is to test your blood levels.

I do believe that people need to supplement with Vitamin D3. Actually, I’m certainly on the supplemental Vitamin D3+synergists bandwagon. We’re just not getting enough sunshine on our skin and the body’s demand for Vitamin D3 is so critically important. A “naturalist” person can get free Vitamin D3 from the sun by exposure of 30% of the skin surface to 15 minutes of gentle morning sun, and a wholesome diet provides the other vitamins and minerals to make sunshine-D work just fine.

But most people need to supplement and not live in deficiency which is tantamount to being prone to
getting cancer, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue, mental decline, etc. Here’s some key reasons it’s important
with the right kind of Vitamin D supplement:

  • Pandemic deficiencies exist throughout the world
  • The toxic environment increases the need to support the body’s innate anti-DNA-damage faculties. Supplementation.
  • People do not get enough from dietary sources.
  • People do not get enough safe sunshine on their skin.
  • Vitamin D supports normal immune system activities.
  • Vitamin D is, imho, more effective than a toxic, short-sighted flu shot for preventing colds and flu.

Q. Are their other considerations regarding Vitamin D3 supplementation?

WWJ: So we mentioned Vitamin A. It’s also important to supplement Vitamin A if you are taking Vitamin D3. In fact, Vitamin A helps prevent Vitamin D toxicity! And in reciprocity, Vitamin D helps prevent Vitamin A toxicity. Further, Vitamin A plays an important role in preventing calcium from building up in the soft tissues. So this drives home the point that all the fatsoluble vitamins work together. They really should not be fractioned out in supplements, but work synergistically together. Balance in all things!

Q. Now for the simple solution, please.

WWJ: First, test yourself! Find out if your Vitamin D3 is less or more than optimal. This is best done by a simple do-it-yourself at home blood spot test for 25 hydroxy vitamin D. That’s the best test. Knowing your blood level is important for determining the optimal daily dose.

Q. Thanks so much for sharing the reasons behind what you do. It just makes sense to do it right. Any other thoughts?

WWJ: Hummm. Think I’m going to go take my daily one capsule right now. Best wishes in your natural health endeavors!

The 5 Pillars of Health with Health Coach Carmen Hunter


If you are a health coach, or if you’re someone who could use the support of a caring, engaged wellness expert in your own care, you’ll want to take a few minutes to watch the interview I taped with Carmen Hunter, Health Coach extraordinaire! And do plug into this interview soon–there is a little contest we offer, and if you enter by 9.20.16, you could win a FREE consult with Carmen–a $225 value! But you have to watch the video for the details…and Carmen’s Facebook page is here.

Is Your Toothpaste Poisoning You?

jack-tips-quest-postGuest Post by: By WellnessWiz Jack Tips, Ph.D., C.C.N.

Our mutual journeys to be good stewards of our bodies are certainly a multifaceted endeavors! It often seems that everything we encounter in life is diametrically opposite to truth, a 180° topsy-turvy, catawampus, engagement with a skewed perspective. Here’s but one.

As scientific research reveals new horizons, we often find that even our natural health perspective can be shortsighted. We get blind-sided by errant beliefs despite our best efforts to embrace practices and products that support health and prevent disease.  Often it takes detailed investigation to uncover the shenanigans, and who’s got time to research ten thousand topics to see through the spin-doctor’s craft, foregone-conclusion research studies, and cagey subterfuge of hidden agendas?

Gut Instinct—Essential For Survival. Nature’s immutable law, “Ignorance is no excuse” means that each of us must develop a trusting relationship with our gut-instinct.  Pursuant to that, I’m noticing clinically that people who optimize their gut-microbiome actually develop better gut-instinct that impacts many areas of life including romance, finance, and common sense. Improving human relations with bacteria is a major game changer!

We’re learning that the ORAL MICROBIOME is the incubator (seeding ground) for billions of bacteria to enter our intestines and impact our gut-microbiome daily. It’s not a small player in our immunological health – it’s astronomic!


After a lifetime of brainwashing by commercial toothpaste companies, we now understand that we need the right kind of plaque on our teeth to protect them; we need bacteria in our mouths to protect our gums from inflammation; and we need beneficial oral species to produce compounds, nutrients, and brain-signaling molecules that support our health.

Proctor & Gamble, Tom’s of Maine, GlaxoSmithKline, Colgate, and others have been lying to us for years to sell toothpaste and mouthwashes based on fear-mongering, e.g. scare people about bacteria and then sell them a product to kill bacteria. Further, the ingredients in those companies’ and others’ commercial toothpastes are tantamount to poison.

statutueSwords Into Plowshares. It’s time to put the killing concept to rest and, instead, support the oral terrain that encourages the beneficial bacteria species to flourish. Once that’s accomplished, we’ve reinstated a powerful ally to its proper position in our health portrait.

Image at birth each child receives a 20-gallon barrel of a poison with the instructions to use a small amount every day for life. That’s essentially what’s happening now that human beings have been taught the skewed rules of ‘oral hygiene’ which, if were truly valuable, would put 90% of the dentists out of business, and that’s not happened one iota.

Further, you can’t really take probiotics to support the oral microbiome because it’s a rapidly shifting, ebb and flow melting pot based on your personal genetics, immune system, diet, and even stress level. Your individual oral microbiome can automatically reestablish itself when you stop using bactericidal toothpaste/mouthwash, eat a healthy diet and employ the simple approach cited later in this report.

Here are some of the poisons in commercial toothpaste.  Check your tube’s label; then throw it away.

danger-poisonSodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate – A surfactant (detergent) that strips all bacteria off the teeth and gums.

Sodium Saccharin – Formerly suspected of causing cancer, now considered a glucose metabolic disrupter that causes weight gain.

Stannous Fluoride & Sodium Fluoride – Fluoride is banned in many countries because it’s a thyroid disruptor, and linked with low intelligence. A toxic by-product of the aluminum industry, it’s being filtered through human bodies (municipal water, mouthwashes, and toothpastes) instead of being dumped into a to die.

Colgate Triclosan – A powerful, non-biodegrading antibiotic that is a thyroid hormone disruptor and is forcing bacterial-adaptations in the body to become more virulent thus increasing inflammation. Now it’s being found in municipal water supplies, rivers, lakes, and newborn babies bodies.

Microbeads – Tiny plastic spheres to help scrubbing. They are an environmental hazard in the waste waster system where they accumulate toxins and then come back to you via tap water (too small for municipal water to filter out.) They are linked with gum disease because they harbor bad bacteria and become trapped between the teeth and gums.

Red, Blue, Yellow Food Dyes – Contain compounds including benzidine and 4-aminobiphenyl, that research has linked with cancer and behavioral disorders in children.

Propylene Glycolaka antifreeze. A solvent, humectant, and surfactant. Linked with eye, lung, and liver toxicity. Penetrates easily through the gum tissue into the body.

Diethanolamine (DEA) – A foaming agent that is a powerful hormone disruptor. It combines with other compounds to cause esophageal and stomach cancer.

Carrageenan – A derivative of red sea weed which sounds natural, but in this case it’s linked to gut inflammation, colon ulceration, ulcerative colitis, disrupted insulin/glucose metabolism, fetal toxicity, and cancer.

Artificial Flavors — Known to cause: depression, dizziness, chest pain, headaches, fatigue, allergies, brain damage, seizures, genetic defects, tumors, bladder cancer, nausea, etc.

Tea Tree Oil – An antimicrobial that disturbs the beneficial oral microbiome. Not for daily use.

Neem Oil – An antimicrobial that disturbs the beneficial oral microbiome. Not for daily oral use.

Xylitol / Sorbitol – Alcohol sugars. Often from genetically-modified from corn. Disturbs the oral and gut microbiomes; kills beneficial species. Often fatal for dogs. Causes gas.

Whitening Agents – Usually a form of hydrogen peroxide, an oxidative agent that kills bacteria indiscriminately and damages gums with free radicals that can lead to oral cancer.

Preservatives – Linked with cancer and skin reactions; Bromopol, Bronidox, Diazolidinyl urea, DMDM hydantoin, Imidazolidinyl urea, Glyoxal, Methenamine, Polyoxymethylene urea, Quaternium-15, Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate. These do not belong in your mouth!

Parabens – Estrogen Mimics/Hormone Disruptors! Used as preservatives. Includes Butylparaben, Ethylparagen, Isobutylparaben, Isopropylparaben, Methylparaben, and Propolparaben.

Genetically-Modified Ingredients: Glycerin & Lecithin – From GMO soy or canola oil. Contain the deadly pesticide, RoundUp™, supports destruction of agricultural soil, and introduce xenobiotic DNA to the body. It’s turning up in breast milk.

woman-with-smileNow For The Good News

Okay, ‘nuff of the bad stuff. Here’s the really terrific news. It’s easy to rebuild the oral microbiome.  Here’s the 2-part recipe:

  1. Brush with Revitin™ toothpaste – a beneficial microbiome-supportive paste that provides the pre-biotic and nutritive ingredients that support beneficial bacteria and gum health. And yes, it’s fine to swallow it. You can learn more and order by CLICKING HERE:
  2. Use fermented foods, ala The Funky Kitchen. Crunch some lively sauerkraut and drink kefirs several times a week. Learn more at:

revitinNow’s the time to get rid of the commercial and even “natural” toothpastes (that aren’t natural at all), and give your mouth (and body) the Revitin advantage. Just makes sense.



Want to Learn to Make Skincare Properly

Have you ever tried to make your own skincare? Many, many years ago I found these recipes for homemade creams and lotions that looked really good – and I did everything just as told, thinking I was going to make the most delectable, jasmine-scented gifts for everyone over the holidays.  Well, the 2+ months in the jars from creation to gifting gave an unexpected surprise to my Mom and sister—moldy fluff in lieu of homemade delights!  It was one of my first real experiences of recognizing how important it is to study with people who really know their craft, who have vetted the techniques and direction they give. As  pertains to my rather painful memory, it turns out, there are some pretty important ground rules for making skincare products in your own kitchen – and a lot of free recipes ignore them.

My friend Rachael Pontillo is an expert at making handmade skincare products – she’s been making them for years after discovering that being in control of the ingredients herself was the only way to give her skin what it needed to glow healthily year-round. 

She mastered skincare making so well, that she even started making customized products for her health coaching clients – and they got better and faster results than ever. 

Rachael’s compiled her knowledge into a free 7 day skincare making course: Boutique Skincare Basics.

In this class, you’ll get:

  • Essential info you need to know about making skincare before you even get started
  • How to create TWO simple, free recipes AND how to customize them to your skin type
  • Crucial do’s and don’ts when making skincare
  • And more!

Access to Rachael’s brain like this is too good to miss if you’ve ever wanted to make your own skincare. She offers this class for health practitioners as well as for individuals who want to learn more for themselves.  If you are a healthcare professional, click here to get access to her course.  If you are interested in Rachael’s class for yourself or your family, click here.



Here’s a snippet of a terrific article that Rachael wrote about Cystic Acne.  It’s called “Cystic Acne? Here are 6 Possible Solutions from Integrative Skincare Pros” and you can read the full article here.


acne-cystic-rachael-pontillo-199x300Out of all the forms of acne, cystic acne often stands out as the most difficult to treat. While other forms of acne such as pustules (inflamed “whiteheads” surrounded by redness) might be more visible, cystic acne can be longer lasting and more painful. Of all the types of acne I used to have (and I had them all…for more than 2 decades), cystic acne was my most formidable foe. I’d get these cysts right at the bottom of my chin so that it looked like I had one side of my chin longer than the other, and I also sometimes got them on my cheekbones (making me look like I had Maleficent cheeks). While other forms of acne were easily manageable with topical skincare ingredients and deep cleansing facial treatments, the cystic acne did not respond.

So I picked. And squeezed. Hoping that pus would come out (as gross as that sounds), because that would indicate that I could get the infection out so that healing would commence. Nope, all I got was lymph (clear liquid), and sometimes even blood. So then, what was once a colorless–albeit painful–bump was now an even more painful bump with a gross scab on top, surrounded by redness. Awesome.

I knew I could always go to the dermatologist to get a cortisone injection or other pharmaceutical treatment to make the bump go away fast–but I also knew that I had not had results from dermatological treatments and medications for any of my acne in the past. It wasn’t until I figured out that I had imbalances inside my body, and addressed those with diet and lifestyle changes (and laid off the picking and aggressive spa treatments), AND adopted a gentle and individualized boutique skincare regimen, that the acne cysts went away for good.

Handling Stress, Meditation and You… Bringing it all Together Effortlessly! An Interview with Ajayan Borys of Effortless Mind Meditation – Part 2

How many of us have read of the benefits of meditation—and may have even tried it?—only to find ourselves stymied, frustrated, bored, wondering if we are “doing it right”? Well, enter Ajayan Borys–Ajayan is someone who has spent much of his life practicing, learning and teaching meditation–nearly 50 YEARS–and in this time, he’s come away with a few key insights about the practice and role of meditation.

Here is Part 2 of the interview I did with Ajayan Borys and his insights into the ease of a regular practice of meditation, as presented in his book, Effortless Mind Meditation.  

Click on the video to listen and learn – meditation can be a regular, joyful part of your life, and Ajayan shares how.

To see Part 1 of our interview, click here.

Ajayan’s website ( is dedicated to helping people learn how to meditate regularly with ease, he’s written a book (which I have gifted with love to share this message!), Effortless Mind Meditation: Meditate with Ease—and he has just opened a membership site dedicated to meditation practice!

Urban Farming: Grow Fruits & Veggies in Your Backyard in 3 Simple Steps

I am so excited to share this interview I recently taped with my favorite man-about-the-garden, Greg Peterson of The Urban Farm! Greg’s ease and joy with gardening (even in the HARSHEST of climates—summertime in the Mojave Desert!) is absolutely INFECTIOUS!

He makes gardening so do-able, and that is incredibly important as it’s one of the best ways we can take care of ourselves–by getting out in the soil and the sun and harvesting the freshest of produce from our own yards. And don’t be swayed from this prospect if you have a tiny lot, live in the city, or even have a purported “black thumb” – Greg makes it all come together in the seemingly most challenging circumstances. So, take a few minutes and join Greg and me in his urban backyard oasis in Phoenix, AZ and learn about the possibilities of growing in your own yard!

Greg is offering a webinar, coming up soon, called 3 Simple Steps To Grow Fruits And Veggies For A Healthier Life (click HERE for more information). He has dedicated his life to learning how to grow healthy, nutrient­ dense food and transforming the global food system.

He is one of the leaders in the Food Revolution and I absolutely love what he does. Below is an article that he wrote about a day on his farm:

There is something to eat in my yard every day, 365 days a year. Last Thanksgiving it was a wonderful salad that included: Six different greens such as Nasturtium leaves and sorrel (a surprise find growing in the back ‘wild’ area); ruby red pomegranate seeds; an incredible citrus called limequat that was sliced up skin and all for a tangy/sweet sensation; and a little bit of the herbs tarragon and fennel, with a smidge of that pretty little three­leaf clover you see growing in some yards called sour grass. The flavors were so diverse and striking that I chose
not to add any dressing at all.

I have spent a large part of the past 27 years integrating edible plants into my landscape, from the Thanksgiving salad and my farm soup, to the occasional snack as I work through my weekly urban farmer tasks. All the hard work and experimentation has netted an incredible, edible yard and a hard­knock education about how and what grows best in my yard.

When I was in the eighth grade my family moved into a home with a very large yard where the back 1/3­ acre became our garden. We planted, the seeds grew and a spark ignited inside of me…I decided to be a farmer. Over time, my dream became farming 200 acres out there somewhere, and when I went back to school for my bachelor’s degree I was required to write a vision for my life. In that vision, “farmer” showed up, but with a twist: Instead of 200 acres, The Urban Farm was born on a 0.4 ­acre property in Phoenix, AZ and I was a farmer. My gardening hobby of 10+ years was in reality urban farming, an incredible canvas on which to paint my dream.

One outlet for my passion has been to re­landscape my entire yard with the notion that everything that I grow is either edible, or supports the plants that are edible. Over the past 27 years I have planted trees that produce edible fruits, nuts and beans such as mesquite; perennial herbs including basil, rosemary and oregano that I use a hedge trimmer on periodically; along with the standard annual vegetables – broccoli, snow peas, and cucumbers to name just a few.

Because of our name, visitors to The Urban Farm have an expectation that they will see long rows of corn and beans, and a full working traditional farm. To the contrary, much of what we have accomplished lives in standard garden beds, and if a person visiting did not know any differently they would just see a nicely landscaped yard.

Magic happens when I stand back and watch the natural processes that exist in my yard. A couple of decades ago I was fighting a basil plant ­ it wanted to bloom, I wanted the basil leaves ­ as if I KNEW what was best for it. After a long battle, which I finally learned that I could not win, I gave up and let the basil bloom, and boy did it bloom. What happened next was one of those secrets that nature only whispers if you stand back and watch. The bees arrived by the hundreds, and since then pollination has not been a problem on The Urban Farm.

My job these days has become helping others transform their outdoor living spaces into edible wonderlands. Offering a plethora of classes on a diverse list of topics is the most natural way for me to express my passion. Over the years topics such as vermiculture (cultivating worms for their manure), desert gardening, edible landscaping, fruit trees, and the always popular Keeping Chickens in Your Yard” have begun to reconnect Phoenix residents to the roots of where our food comes from.

Urban-Farming-Grow-Veggies-In-Your-Backyard-Sarica-CernohousNow I’ve expanded my reach to the global community by offering online classes, both free and paid, to inspire and empower people from around the world to grow their own healthy, organic food and join the food revolution. My latest free webinar, 3 Simple Steps To Grow Fruits And Veggies For A Healthier Life, will cover how to choose the right space to plant your edible garden, how to determine what to plant when, why soil is your most important asset and gardening hacks that will make growing your own food easy and successful. If you are excited to join the revolution and start creating your edible yard or patio but have little to no experience, this webinar was designed for you! Click here to learn more.

Farming the city spaces around us presents a whole new paradigm for growing our own food and reigniting our connection to nature. The tools are here, and the knowledge is available, you can kindle your desire by getting your hands dirty, taking a chance and spreading some seeds. The fruits of your labor are much tastier (not to mention cheaper) than what you find in the grocery store and come along with the satisfaction that YOU grew them. Many people tell me of their “black” thumbs as they admire what is grown on The Urban Farm. I reflect back to them the years of experimenting that I have done, noting the countless plants that did NOT make under my care… and that is how I learned.

Greg Peterson
Your Urban Farmer
May 2016

Handling Stress, Meditation and You… Bringing it all Together Effortlessly! An Interview with Ajayan Borys of Effortless Mind Meditation

I’ve recently returned from the National Association of Nutrition Professionals (NANP) annual conference for holistic nutrition professionals. If you were to take a guess, what do you think the common thread of discussion would be?

Nutrition, right?

Meditation-DP_16255355Well, that was the case. But surprisingly, EVERY discussion I sat in on started out with the importance of helping people bring their stress levels under control. The research around this incredibly important factor is growing every day—an inability to handle life’s stresses plays a MONUMENTAL role in our wellness, every bit as profound as our dietary choices and other lifestyle habits. Thankfully, there are tools at our disposal to help us handle all that life tosses our way, not the least of which is a regular meditation practice.

However, how many of us have read of the benefits of meditation—and may have even tried it?—only to find ourselves stymied, frustrated, bored, wondering if we are “doing it right”? I know that is how I felt about meditation for years—I knew it was a good thing to do (the research says so!), but I could never find my groove with it, and so would give it up sooner or later, only to try again and still be left scratching my head.

Well, that all changed when I met Ajayan Borys. Ajayan is someone who has spent much of his life practicing, learning and teaching meditation–nearly 50 YEARS–and in this time, he’s come away with a few key insights about the practice and role of meditation. His website ( is dedicated to helping people learn how to meditate regularly with ease, he’s written a book (which I have gifted with love to share this message!), Effortless Mind Meditation: Meditate with Ease–and he is about to launch a membership site, open to all levels of meditation practitioners (newbies encouraged to join!) I have had the GOOD fortune of taking an hour’s time from his busy schedule to interview him on his insights on meditation and how it positively impact so many areas of your life—the first half is right here.

Audio Only:

Download Audio to Your Computer:  Right Click Here to Save To Your Computer

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Register for my newsletter (enter your name and email below) and you’ll receive the second part in my next newsletter. Don’t worry, I won’t keep you waiting too long… the next one will be out in about 2 weeks!