5 Natural Ways To Sleep Better That Really Work

Everyone is looking to improve their amount and quality of sleep. Here are 5 natural ways to sleep better that really work.
5 natural ways to sleep better than really work

Sleep Is So Important

You can’t be optimally healthy without enough quality sleep. But, you can’t get good quality sleep unless you are healthy. It’s the epitome of a Catch-22. And really, what is more frustrating than not being able to fall asleep or waking in the middle of the night and having a hard time going back to sleep? Not much. But, don’t lose hope. There are many things you can do to help yourself sleep better, which will in turn give you more energy during the day and keep you healthier and feeling awesome.

Yes, I did say that there are many ways to improve your sleep. And there are. But, as with everything else involving food, herbs, and supplements, each person reacts differently to each method, each product, and each ingredient. This article focuses on 5 natural ways to sleep better that really work for almost everyone.

I would love to share all of the other ways with you too, but that’s better for a personalized one-on-one session so I can really delve into what’s going on in your wonderfully unique — albeit tired — body. We can even chat about it in a free phone consultation (I just love meeting all of you this way). So just CLICK HERE and you’ll be taken directly into my calendar where you can fill your name into a time slot that works for you.

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Meanwhile, let’s get to these 5 natural ways to sleep better that really work.

Oh, and the reason I am specifically repeating that these are 5 natural ways to sleep better that really work, is because if you are like me, you’ve already tried a bunch of things that claim to do the trick, but…. ummmmm…. not so much…

Ugh. Sleep deprivation is the pits.

Let’s get this under control now.

Try All 5 Of These Natural Sleep Methods

1.  Practice Sensory Deprivation In The Bedroom

5 natural ways to sleep better that really work

Yeah, this sounds all sci-fi and tech-y, but it’s actually the opposite. In order for your body to be able to get into a completely restful sleep, your mind needs to be quieted. Quieting the mind is the hardest thing for many people to do. We spend our days running around, fixing problems, putting out fires, trying to be as productive as possible. And when we take our minds to a high level of thinking and productivity, it’s not possible to just turn them off.

So, what should you do?

First, examine your bedroom. Cover up any and all light sources. Cover the neon numbers on your cable box, the blinking light on anything that’s turned on, and make sure that there are no openings in your curtains or shades. Really, I mean NO light. Then, I want you to take it one step further: go buy a sleep mask. And wear it. Every night.

Next, put your cell phone outside of the bedroom. I know, this is hard for a lot of people, but here’s a way to make it easier: go into the settings on your phone and set the important people you are worried about missing an emergency call from as favorites. Then go into your privacy settings and set it up so that between the hours of 10:00pm and 8:00am, only calls and texts from favorites are allowed to come through. Now, you can turn the volume up on the phone so you can hear it from the bathroom, the hallway, or a nearby room. This should ease your mind so that you won’t be afraid of missing an urgent call.

Now, here’s a harder one, but try it: Get into bed about no more than an hour before you want to actually fall asleep. Don’t turn on the TV. Don’t bring your computer or phone with you. Read a book or a magazine, or meditate. The blue light from electronics activates your brain too much for sleep-prep. The longer you can cut yourself off from electronic screens before bedtime, the better you will sleep. And, just as an aside, you can buy a pair of blue-light-blocking glasses and use them for the latter part of the day when you are looking at a screen… this will help calm your mind also.

2.  Take A Magnesium Supplement At Night

This really works if you are magnesium deficient… and so many people are. If you are already taking a magnesium supplement, you don’t need to take more, just simply take the supplement before bedtime at night instead of some other time during the day. If you are sure you are not magnesium deficient, then there’s no need for you to take magnesium.

There are many different kinds of magnesium supplements on the market. For sleep purposes, my favorite lately is Neuro Mag. I find that it helps promote sleep without effecting the digestive system. Be sure to check with your doctor to find out if there is a better type of magnesium supplement for your needs.

3.  Drink Dark Cherry Juice

5 natural ways to sleep better that really work

Dark cherries contain melatonin, which helps promote sleep. Sure, you can eat a bowl of cherries during cherry season, but my favorite thing to do is to buy a bottle of organic pure dark cherry juice, and drink an ounce or two before bed. Not only does this help with sleep, but it tastes really good and satisfies those nighttime sweet cravings.

In Chinese medicine, we also know cherries to be a longevity food that promotes general health.

4.  Take Reishi Spore Oil At Night

Reishi is amazing. It’s a Chinese herb and a mushroom that acts as a superfood. In Chinese medicine, we use it for longevity support and we take it every day in many different forms. The Chinese name for reishi is Ling Zhi. It’s also known as Ganoderma. But, whatever you call it, it is like the rockstar of Chinese herbs. This medicinal mushroom calms the mind, reduces anxiety, relieves restlessness and boosts the immune system. Yup, it’s quite the multi-tasking shroom.

Reishi comes in many forms. I use a powdered form in teas and smoothies. There are also elixirs and tinctures available. But, for sleep, I recommend taking a reishi spore oil capsule before bed.

5.  CBD Oil

CBD oil is being touted as the greatest thing since sliced bread. I’m kind of new to it. When clients started asking me my opinion about it, I knew it was time for lots of research and testing on my part. CBD oil is derived from the cannabis plant and has long been used for various types of pain relief. The main psychoactive compound in cannabis is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — this is not a part of CBD oil; there is no “high” associated with CBD.

So, I researched. And I tested.

And I tested again.

And again. Using myself and others as guinea pigs.

And, I’m here to tell you that CBD oil as a sleep aid is an awesome thing.

When taken in the correct amount, CBD can calm the mind and stop all of those racing thoughts. And if you can do this, you can sleep.

There is really no danger to trying it. I do know one person who didn’t like the way it made him feel, but there are no real side effects and, in almost every case, myself and my test subjects, slept better. A lot better.

You just need to play with the dosage a little bit because CBD oil is a multi-tasking oil. Whenever something is great for a variety of conditions, it will require different dosages to help with the condition you are aiming to help. You wouldn’t take the same amount of CBD for pain relief as you would for sleep. But, there are no hard and fast rules — you kind of have to play around.

The most common best dosage for sleep that I found, in the brand of CBD oil that I chose to use and test, was about a half of a dropper under the tongue before bed. For me, I tend not to have much trouble falling asleep, but I sometimes wake in the middle of the night and have some difficulty falling back asleep. I found that I didn’t need to take the CBD oil before bed, but if I take it when I wake up at 2:00am, it’s easy to fall back to sleep.

Please, if you decide to jump on the CBD bandwagon, look around and do some research because you need to make sure you buy a quality product from a reputable company. I’m happy to share my favorite brand with you — just ask me in the comments below and I’m happy to share.

Be Patient And These Sleep Aids Will Work

I know how hard it is to be patient. Especially if you are sleep deprived. But, like anything that’s worth it, these things take a little time to build up in your body. Some things, like the CBD may have a more immediate effect. Others, like the cherry juice, will have a great effect if you use them consistently every night.

So, be patient.

And, also, remember, I’m here to help. You can ask me a question in the comments below, or you can sign up for a free phone consultation with me. Either way, I’m here for you. Now, go get some rest. And relax.

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10 Best Foods And Herbs To Boost Memory And Concentration

Are you forgetful? Is it hard to concentrate? Do you need help focusing? This list of the 10 best foods and herbs to boost memory and concentration will make your life so much easier!

10 best foods and herbs to boost memory and concentration

Eating the correct foods and herbs will help you with memory, concentration, and focus. We all have trouble focusing sometimes. And, how frustrating is it when you forget what you were just about to say, or when you walk into a room to get something but you forget what that something is? Ugh… I just hate when that happens. But, and this is a big but (no pun intended…), when you add the correct combination of foods and herbs into your daily routine, your brain starts to perform at its highest level. Like when you were younger. Or like before you had kids. Remember when you could sit and focus on one task before moving onto another one?

If any of the above scenarios resonates with you, then this list of the 10 best foods and herbs to boost memory and concentration is for you.

First, let me tell you that I use my brain all the time. I laugh when people call me a professional student, but it’s kind of true. I went to college and got a degree in Journalism. Three years later, I went to law school. After practicing law for about 15 years, I went to cooking school. Then, several years after that, I went back to school for my Masters degree in Oriental medicine and a license in acupuncture. And now, I’m combining everything into what I’m so passionate about: food as medicine. So, yeah, I’m kinda sorta a professional student and I’m always studying, reading, and learning.

Each time I went back to school, it became harder and harder to hold the information in my brain. Exams seemed to be getting more difficult and it took me longer to study than it used to.

But, hey, I was studying Chinese herbs and eastern nutrition… hmmm…. a lightbulb went off. Physician, heal thyself!

So, when I tell you that these 10 foods and herbs to boost memory and concentration are the ones you should use, I know from where I speak.

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I always relish the chance to test everything I learn out on myself before I recommend these things to my clients. And this was an awesome opportunity for that honor. After years of testing (literally — see what I did there?) I came up with this list. My status as an “A-student” did not suffer, and just this past week, I got a call from one of my favorite clients who told me she has been incorporating what she called the “Smart Ten” into her diet for 3 weeks, and already she’s noticing a huge difference.

I just LOVE this kind of success!

Food is brain medicine!

10 best foods and herbs to boost memory and concentration

Here’s The List Of The 10 Best Foods And Herbs To Boost Memory And Concentration:

1.  Collagen

Collagen strengthens bones and muscles, keeps your joints healthy, improves flexibility and mental concentration, keeps your digestive system running smoothly, and helps keep you looking and feeling youthful. I put collagen in my coffee, tea, and smoothies. You can use this daily… yup, every day.

2.  Huang Qi (Astragalus)

Huang Qi is a Chinese herb. It’s like magic; it builds qi/gives you energy… you can really feel it working while you are eating. Like many herbs, huang qi is an adaptogen. This means it works with your whole body; it helps your whole body deal with stress and it works exactly as your body needs it to at the time you are taking it. It works especially well for your brain’s neuron health.  My family makes fun of my excitement for herbs, but they also are happy to reap the rewards when they eat my herb-infused foods, so think about tossing in some herbs the next time you boil a pot of something…

3.  Coconut

In Chinese medicine, we use coconut to strengthen the body, reduce swelling, and stop bleeding. Coconut kills viruses, bacteria, and parasites. It’s good for all types of infections and viruses in the body, including the flu, bronchitis, tapeworms, urinary tract infections, and herpes. And perhaps most importantly, it helps you keep your mind sharp and it makes it easier for you to focus.

4.  Long Yan Rou (Longan Fruit)

Long Yan You is a Chinese herb that strengthens your qi and blood. This means it gives you energy when your body is weak. This fruit is a little bit like a lychee. It’s particularly good at remedying forgetfulness and at calming the mind. The fruit is most often sold dried and is a little sweet and a little smoky tasting. It can be eaten raw or cooked. I used to love to sit with a bag of longan fruit next to me when I was driving for a long distance — it just seemed to wake me up and perk up my brain just the right amount.

5.  Egg Yolks

Eggs are nature’s perfect food — they come in a perfect container and are so nutritious. I truly wish people would stop splitting them up and eating just the whites. I am a big proponent of eating the whole egg. So many of the nutrients and the taste are in the yolk; I’ll never understand separating nature’s perfect food.  The yolks contain vitamins A, D, E, and K, and they protect the health of our neurotransmitters. They also contain choline which can help keep your brain in tip-top shape.  All of these benefits are associated with the yolks, not the whites! Eggs sometimes get a bad rap because of cholesterol, but it’s been shown that in 70% of people, eggs do not raise cholesterol, so don’t assume they are bad for you. Buy organic eggs and you are really doing the right thing.

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6.  Bone Broth

Bone broth is filled with bone marrow and essential fatty acids — these things promote optimal brain health. It also contains glycine, which is an amino acid that helps with memory, concentration, stress, and focus.  You can make your own bone broth, but you don’t have to anymore. Bone broth is now available in tons of markets. It’s sold in boxes just like chicken or vegetable broth. The glucosamine in bone broth can reduce inflammation and strengthen the bones. It’s also great for your skin, hair, and nails. This is a great thing to use for a quick soup base, or to just sip on during the day. Sometimes I’ll have a hot cup of bone broth first thing in the morning for a quick healing pick me up.

7.  Beets

Beets are SO good for you. I try to find ways to fit them into my meals as much as possible. Really… many times a week. Beets nourish blood and tonify the heart. They help with blood flow to the brain and recent research has shown that they may help fight against dementia.  Athletes are starting to drink beet juice as a form of endurance therapy. They are anti-carcinogenic, good for anemia, and they can relieve constipation. I also think it’s a great idea to eat them raw sometimes because their amazing goodness is even more pumped up this way.

8.  Blueberries

Blueberries are filled with antioxidants and have been shown to help fight  Alzheimers Disease and dementia, as well as cancer, diabetes, heart attacks and strokes. In some circles, they are known as “longevity berries.”  They help improve memory and also protect brain tissue.

9.  Royal Jelly

Royal jelly is a combination of bee pollen and honey. It contains a huge amount of acetylcholine, which helps with concentration and focus.  This bee product has been shown to have good results in Alzheimer’s patients. Aside from brain health, royal jelly will also boost your immune system. I like to take a spoonful of royal jelly with a little bit of bee pollen sprinkled on top… here’s to my brain health!

10.  Kelp

Kelp noodles are all the rage now. I love them. You can buy a package in the refrigerated section of many markets now. All you do is rinse them in cold water, drain them, and then add your favorite sauce — I like a nice thick spicy curry sauce with mine. Kelp is a vegetable from the sea. It contains a lot of great minerals, including iodine; many people are iodine deficient these days. We need iodine for proper thyroid function, weigh control, brain health, and organ function. Kelp also contains fucose, which is an essential sugar that helps with memory.


So, What Should You Do Next?

This Paleo Blueberry Cobbler is brain-healthy and delicious!  Keep scrolling for more ways to use this list of the 10 best foods and herbs to boost memory and concentration…

10 best foods and herbs to boost memory and concentration

There are lots of recipes that optimally use the brain boosting foods in this list. But, the easiest way for me to help you get your memory, concentration, and focus in top shape, is if you join me in a free phone consultation. We can chat about exactly what your unique issues are, and I will suggest some great fixes for you. So, CLICK HERE to be taken directly to my calendar and pick your time slot now… really, I can’t wait to meet you!

This recipe for Beet Sweet Potato Soup has beets to feel the blood in your brain, and you can add Chinese herbs to the soup while it’s cooking for extra brain-boosting power.

beet sweet potato soup

These 5 Chinese Herbal Teas Will Heal You

Healing yourself naturally is one of the nicest things you can do for your body. These 5 Chinese herbal teas will heal you. So, read on and see which ones you need right now.

10 teas you didn't know you should be drinking

Tea Is One Of Nature’s Best Medicines

I never used to be a huge tea drinker. I always thought it tasted like water and I didn’t find it satisfying. Ugh… what was I thinking? It wasn’t until I began practicing Chinese medicine that I fully began to understand the amazing benefits of healing teas.

When you learn to combine different tenets of the various healing modalities available, you can truly heal yourself with food, herbs, supplements… and teas. The combination of principles from western medicine, Chinese medicine, Ayurveda, and Mother Nature allows us access to everything the body needs. But, I know how hard it is to sift through all of this research and all of these ideas.

But, that’s what you have me for…

There are so many teas with so many healing super-powers that it was hard for me to choose my top five.  I tried to choose the ones I think will benefit most people and heal some of the most common health concerns. But, if you want more information for some of your more specific concerns, be sure to sign up for a free phone consultation with me and I’ll be happy to suggest a tea more specifically geared toward your needs… I love to do this!

I’m aware that some of these ingredients will be foreign to you. That’s okay. Trying new things is one of the things that keeps our minds and our bodies healthy. Don’t be hesitant to ask me any questions you have or to ask me where to purchase an ingredient you can’t find… just leave a comment below or CLICK HERE for a free phone consultation… can you tell how much I really want you to try these awesome healing teas???

Below, you’ll find a list of 5 Chinese herbal teas that will heal you. Really. From the inside out.

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Chinese Herbs Are Incredibly Healing — Which Ones Do You Need Now?

1. Honeysuckle (Jin Yin Hua)

10 healing teas you didn't know you should be drinking
The Why: This Chinese herb has traditionally been used for swelling and sore throats, but recently there’s been a lot of talk about it’s chemo-protective abilities.

The How: Take a handful of these dried flours, pour boiling water over them and let steep for about seven minutes. Drink it as is, or you can add honey or lemon.

Optional Combinations: If you are feeling like you are getting sick, steep some dried mint leaves along with the honeysuckle.


2.  Jujube Fruit (Da Zao)

10 healing teas you didn't know you should be drinking

The Why:  Da Zao is an amazing fruit.  Sometimes I eat them straight from the bag… but the healing power created by steeping them in tea is extraordinary. These Chinese dates give you energy, while simultaneously calming your mind. It’s good for when you are feeling weak and lethargic and also when you are feeling really irritable.  Caution: don’t use Da Zao if you are exceptionally bloated or have an intestinal parasite.

The How:  Using a sharp knife, make a few slits in 2 of the dates. Pour boiling water over them, let stand for 5 minutes, then drink up and eat the fruit when the water is gone.

Optional Combinations:  Put a few slices of fresh ginger into your water as it boils (let it boil for 15 minutes), and pour this ginger water over the Da Zao — this can be a great tea if you are feeling weak and a little out of sorts. Another thing I like to do sometimes is to add about a teaspoon of goji berries (Gou Qi Zi) to the dates and let them steep together. This super red tea is great for energy.

3. Chrysanthemum Flower (Ju Hua)

10 healing teas you didn't know you should be drinking

The Why:  This is a magical tea  for eye problems. If you have tired eyes, a stye, pink-eye, red eyes, etc., this is a tea for you. It’s also great if you are feeling week with low energy.

The How:  Boil some water and pour it over 5 or 6 of these beautiful dried flowers.  Let steep for about five minutes. If you have an active eye irritation, put a 3 or 4 flowers into a small ramekin and let it sit about 15 minutes. Soak a cotton ball in this mixture, then dab your eye with it. Soak the cotton enough so that you can squeeze some of the liquid into your eye, then close your eye and place the soaked cotton on the closed eyelid for about 10 minutes.  Repeat this a few times a day.

Optional Combination:  Add some goji berries (Gou Qi Zi) if along with the eye problem you also have a headache or dizziness.

4. Scallion And Ginger (Cong Bai And Sheng Jiang)

10 healing teas you didn't know you should be drinking

The Why:  The roots of scallions are a very powerful Chinese herb (Cong Bai). Fresh ginger is another powerful Chinese herb (Sheng Jiang). When you combine these two together in a tea, you have one of the strongest immune-boosting, cold-and-flu-busting potions available. This tea, will make your body sweat out the sickness. This works amazingly well at the first signs of sickness; if you are already a few days into the sickness, then this won’t work as well. Caution: do not use this tea if you have a fever.

The How:  Fill a small pot with about three cups of water. Cut up 2 scallions into 2-inch pieces, making sure you use the root (I know, this is usually discarded, but it’s the most important part of this healing tea). Slice up a finger of fresh ginger root — you’ll need about 6 quarter-size slices (no need to peel it). Add these cut up scallions and ginger to the water and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain into a large mug and drink it while it’s hot. It’s best to do this right before bed at night. Drink the tea, put on some warm clothing, including a sweatshirt with a hood and a pair of socks. Then get into bed and let the tea work it’s magic.  You will sweat; this is good. In the morning, take a shower to wash off all of the toxins, and you will feel so much better.

5. Reishi/Ganoderma (Ling Zhi)

5 Chinese Herbal Teas You Need Now


The Why:  Reishi mushrooms are a longevity superfood. They truly are incredible. They are good for sleep disorders, they help calm the mind, boost your immune system, and nourish your blood and qi. These mushrooms nourish your brain and help with memory. Recent research has show them to be effective at fighting cancer and at detoxifying your liver… so what are you waiting for?

The How:  These mushrooms are available in many different forms — capsules, tablets, powders, and teas. Have a cup of tea before bed and it will do you wonders. I suggest buying this in one of the now readily available powder elixir forms on line. All you do is pour some boiling water into a cup, stir in the elixir powder, and drink it up.  This is also good first thing in the morning. Sometimes I’ll brew a cup and then blend it up with a little coconut oil and ghee for a real boost of energy.

Chinese herbs are amazing. They are truly healing. And, if you combine them with the right food and supplements, you really have a powerful healing protocol. One of my favorite things to do is to introduce newbies to Chinese herbs because they help so much with so many things. If you’d like a free phone consultation, please go to my calendar now and pick a time slot that works for you. We can discuss herbs and food that will help whatever your concerns are. It’s only food — it’s not rocket science — together we can help you live your best life.

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Another article you may be interested in is: How To Fight Seasonal Allergies With Food And Herbs.

Instant Pot Spring Vegetable Soup

Soup still hits the spot even when the days start to get warm.  This instant pot spring vegetable soup is perfect for those days — it will boost your immune system and make you feel good! Read more

How To Fight Seasonal Allergies With Food and Herbs

You can fight seasonal allergies with food and herbs… and you can win this fight! You often hear me say that food is medicine… but food is also the best allergy medicine! Read more

Flourless Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies

Looking for a grain-free cookie that’s as good as the original? These flourless chocolate chip walnut cookies fit the bill… Read more

Beet Sweet Potato Soup

This Beet Sweet Potato Soup is so creamy and it will boost your energy and keep you healthy!

beet sweet potato soup

Last week I went to my favorite event of the year: The Longevity Conference. It was soooooo amazing! My head is still spinning from all of the awesome new things I learned and of course I came home with big bags filled with new superfoods, herbs, and ingredients to test out for you. I’m bursting at the seams with new info for you… yay!

Each year I feel so lucky to be able to meet so many awesome people at Longevity, and this year was no exception. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was being able to meet Solla Eiriksdottir, a vegetarian chef who I just love. She is so much fun, so creative, and so practical in the kitchen. Beet Sweet Potato Soup is a recipe in her Raw cookbook, so I just had to make a big pot.

First, I have to tell you that beets are one of my favorite ingredients. When I was younger, I used to hate them — I thought they tasted like dirt. Years later, when I became immersed in Chinese medicine and I learned the value of beets, I began playing around with them to make them taste good to me. It’s funny, because my daughter used to say that beets tasted like grass (I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…) and now, she’s a lover too.

Okay, so what’s so great about beets? What am I rambling on about? Well, in Chinese medicine, we know that many illnesses and conditions in the body are caused because the body is not making good quality blood. Beets help the body make high quality blood. Beets are great for energy. They increase athletic performance. They are good for your heart. They help ward of cancer. Need I say more? And, as an added benefit, they just make everything look beautiful — I mean, just look at the color of this beet sweet potato soup!

Now I use beets whenever I can. For this soup, there’s no beet preparation involved except peeling them and cutting them into chunks. Easy peasy. Sometimes I roast them. Sometimes I ferment them. Sometimes I slice them really thin. And, don’t even get me started on beet powder…

Here’s a really simple recipe for the most awesome roasted beets ever: Pomegranate Glazed Beets

beet sweet potato soupbeet sweet potato soup

Here are the healing powers of some of the ingredients in this beet sweet potato soup recipe:

Beets are SO good for you. I try to find ways to fit them into my meals as much as possible. Really… many times a week. Beets nourish blood and tonify the heart. Athletes are starting to drink beet juice as a form of endurance therapy. They are anti-carcinogenic, good for anemia, and relieve constipation. I also think it’s a great idea to eat them raw sometimes because their amazing goodness is even more pumped up this way.

Sweet potatoes are good for your digestive system. They can be good for both constipation and diarrhea. These orange gems also help rid your body of excess water, are good for breast health, help people with diabetes and actually can help ease night blindness. In olden times, it was common in China to rub mashed sweet potatoes on poison insect bites to remove the toxins. I haven’t tried this, but if you see me looking a tad orange, this will be why…

Onions are great for your immune system; they are a natural antihistamine. Recently, I recommended that a patient with bronchitis put sliced raw onions in her socks when she went to sleep… she woke up so much better; they actually can rid the body of bacteria. (I know I’ve told you this before, but it really is awesome!) Onion is a superhero in the food world!

Turmeric is actually a Chinese herb (Jiang Huang). It is great for reducing inflammation throughout the body. If you suffer from aches and pains in your joints, try turmeric. It can help relieve menstrual pain and some other abdominal pains but, if you are pregnant, ask your doctor before you eat too much turmeric.

When you add olive oil to foods, it actually helps deliver the nutritional benefits of your food to your body in a better way. All of the benefits of the food’s color pigments get transported where they need to go. I drizzle a good quality extra-virgin olive oil on top of everything.

beet sweet potato soup

Beet Sweet Potato Soup
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: vegan, vegetarian, paleo, whole30
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
This is the creamiest, most delicious soup! It's an energy booster that's great for your heart and your digestion.
  • 2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on the individual bowls of soup
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 6 small beets, peeled and cut into chunks
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 Tbs cumin
  • ¼ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup unsweetened, plain non-dairy yogurt (I used cashew yogurt)
  • ¼ cup sprouted pumpkin seeds
  • Optional raw Chinese herbs: Shan Yao, Huang Qi
  1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook, stirring often, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add beets, sweet potatoes, turmeric, cumin, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
  5. Pour in the vegetable broth.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45-mins or until the beets are softened.
  7. Transfer the soup, in batches, to a blender and blend until completely smooth and silky.
  8. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a big dollop of yogurt, a sprinkling of pumpkin seeds, and a drizzle of olive oil.
  9. Enjoy!

beet sweet potato soup

Healing Slow Cooker Chicken Soup

healing slow cooker chicken soup

I make some form of a healing soup every time anyone says they feel they might be getting sick. So, last week when Steve was past the point of “almost” getting sick — I mean way into the multi-tissue phase of a cold, I brought out the big guns and made this healing slow cooker chicken soup.

Usually when I make chicken soup, I let it simmer on the stove and go about my business. This time, I just didn’t have the time to stay in, so I broke out the slow cooker. And let me tell you, not only is this soup delicious, but this healing slow cooker chicken soup really lives up to its name! Steve had a bowl that night for dinner, then another for breakfast (this surprised me because, although I would easily do this, I was shocked that he actually ate soup for breakfast), and then again for dinner. This stuff really is better than any cold medicine you can buy.

This is not you mother’s chicken soup. The broth is filled with garlic and ginger and scallions — a whole arsenal of germ and bacteria fighting warriors! I used lots of veggies (I even substituted turnips for potatoes), kicked it up with some Chinese herbs, and made it paleo-friendly by using zucchini noodles instead of traditional pasta.

This healing slow cooker chicken soup is so easy to make, so potent, and so delicious, you’ll never so back to your mother’s soup… ssshhhhh, don’t tell mama….

I’m on a big customized-recipe-creation kick right now (okay… always…), so let me customize a recipe for you that will work for whatever’s going on in your body now… I’m such a geek that I really do get excited about doing this. I’ve got a healing soup recipe with your name on it…  So CLICK HEREto be taken directly into my calendar to sign up for your free phone consultation.

And, now that fall is just about here, you should also make my Butternut Squash And Apple Soup!

healing slow cooker chicken soup

Here are some of the amazing things this soup does:

Chicken is something I push people to buy organic if possible. Organic chicken is a great, healthy protein to give you energy, lessen the pain of some types of arthritis, and boost your system when you are particularly weak — like after surgery or childbirth. People who have some conditions that we consider “excess heat” conditions should limit the amount of chicken they eat. So, if you have an illness that gives you a bright red tongue or severe dryness in your body, check with your doctor first. For example, if you have a lot of burning stomach acid, you should avoid chicken for awhile…

Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc….

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

GingerChinese herb (Sheng Jiang). It’s especially good during cold weather and also during seasonal changes. So, when winter is trying to turn into spring, and we (those of us on the east coast) get some of those cold, raw, damp days, ginger will make you feel better and will help boost your immune system. Old folklore shows that ginger was rubbed on scalps to stop baldness. And, in some circles, a ginger paste is still rubbed on arthritic joints to stop pain (don’t try this at home unless you are diagnosed with a cold-condition by an acupuncturist).

Turnips are great for indigestion. They help relieve that horrible bloated feeling we all get sometimes and they reduce excess gas and diarrhea. Research shows that turnips contain a substance that may reduce your risk of colon, prostate, and lung cancer. These bulbous vegetables contain a good amount of vitamins B and C and they provide calcium and potassium, and they can help your cough. In Chinese medicine turnips (wu jing) are known to help reduce inflammation and phlegm.

Dill is considered a chemoprotective herb that can help neutralize some carcinogens and it’s also an antibacterial herb.

Zucchini cools your body off and makes you feel better during those hot days of summer. It helps your body release excess heat and it will make your mind feel more calm.

healing slow cooker chicken soup

If you make this Healing Slow Cooker Chicken Soup recipe, please be sure to let me know in the comments below. I love hearing how you like a recipe, and I love to answer your questions! If you make it, be sure to take a photo and tag me and post it on Instagram.

Healing Slow Cooker Chicken Soup
Recipe type: paleo, whole30, gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free
Cuisine: soup, one-pot meal
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
This soup really lives up to its name. Make a pot of this when you are feeling sick and let the healing begin! It's filled with garlic, ginger, scallions and other healing ingredients.
  • 2-1/2 lb. bone-in, organic chicken thighs (about 6 thighs)
  • 1 qt chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 turnips, peeled and diced
  • 3 celery stalks, sliced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into thick slices
  • 3 large (or 6 smaller) garlic cloves, smashed
  • 5 slices of peeled ginger (about ¼-inch thick)
  • 3 scallions, sliced (add the roots of the scallions too)
  • 1 Tbs fresh dill, chopped (use more if you like)
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 cups zucchini noodles (use a spiralizer or a vegetable peeler, or buy them pre- "zoodled")
  1. Add all ingredients, except zucchini, to the slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high heat for 4 hours.
  3. Remove the chicken to a plate and remove the meat from the bones.
  4. Discard the bones and add the chicken back into the soup.
  5. Add zucchini and cook for another 30 minutes.
  6. Ladle into bowls and let the healing begin.
  7. Enjoy!

healing slow cooker chicken soup

Chopped Broccoli Salad

This chopped broccoli salad is delicious, can be customized with your favorite ingredients, and can be made in advance!

chopped broccoli salad

Almost every time I buy broccoli I end up roasting it in the oven until it is nice and charred — burnt broccoli is awesome! Now that I’ve said that, this chopped broccoli salad has nothing in common with burnt broccoli… but it’s my new favorite side dish.

So, while I was making this recipe, I kept thinking to myself that if there’s no burned edges and blackened stalks, how good could it be? Well, let me tell you, it’s excellent. What this chopped broccoli salad does have is lots of fruit, nuts, and seeds. And a delicious creamy dressing. This is so good, you have to try it instead of cole slaw or potato salad the next time you need a quick side dish.

I even chopped up some Chinese herbs and tossed that into the mix. So, if you are a newbie with the herbs, this is a great recipe to start with…

I served a big bowl of it alongside some roasted salmon the other night for dinner. The next day we ate it with some chicken. I still have a bit left in my fridge and I’m going to dive in with a spoon and finish it off as soon as I’m done writing this post!

For another delicious idea for broccoli, check out my recipe for Creamy Broccoli And Mushroom Casserole.

chopped broccoli salad

This recipe has a bunch of healing ingredients:

Broccoli has a lot of potassium and is great for brain function; it also has magnesium and calcium to help regulate blood pressure. It’s also good to clear your body of excess heat and it actually can help your vision too. I love foods that make you feel better mentally as well as physically, and broccoli is one of those foods — it can lessen feelings of irritability.

Scallions, as I tell you often, are one of my favorites. In Chinese medicine, the root of the scallion is a healing herb (Cong Bai). I always keep scallions on hand in my refrigerator so that I can whip up a batch of cold and flu fighting tea (scallion roots and ginger) the second anyone feels that scratchy throat coming on. It helps the body sweat out toxins. Scallions are antiviral and antibacterial; they are good for the common cold and general nasal congestion — just don’t eat too many if you have a fever.

Cherries are one of the best foods to combat many types of arthritis and joint pain. Also, because cherries help improve circulation, they can be helpful for post-stroke patients. In Chinese medicine, we also believe that cherries help to maintain the body’s “essence” or life-force. I always keep a bottle of organic black cherry juice in the fridge and I often drink a few ounces before bedtime or put a little in my smoothies. I also keep bags of frozen cherries in the freezer. And when fresh cherries are in season, you can always find a big bowl in my kitchen. This recipe uses tart dried cherries — I love them and use them as a substitute for raisins in many recipes.

In Asian medicine, nuts are known to be good for your brain, heart, skin and reproductive system. Almonds are particularly nutritious. They are a good source of protein and they give you energy. And, they are gluten-free. Almonds will help relieve a cough and asthma and are also good for constipation.

Long Yan Rou (Longan Fruit) is a Chinese herb that can be found in many Asian markets. They are small, like berries and have a delicious and slightly smoky and sweet flavor. This wonderful herb is great for insomnia, heart palpitations, and memory.

Sunflower seeds help lower blood pressure and can relieve headaches and dizziness. In Eastern medicine we recommend eating sunflower seeds if a person is troubled by certain severe intestinal symptoms like dysentery, or intestinal worms or certain parasites. These seeds also contain calcium and magnesium and have anti-aging properties. In Chinese medicine they are often prescribed to get rid of rashes.

Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the most amazing ingredients available today. My husband and I really do take a big spoon of it every day along with our other supplements. It helps you maintain a healthy alkaline level in your body, detoxifies the liver, and is good for your heart. This vinegar helps intestinal function, much the way probiotics do. It also acts as an antacid and can help break down mucous in the body.

chopped broccoli salad

Chopped Broccoli Salad
Recipe type: salad, vegetables,
Cuisine: raw, vegetarian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
This is the perfect side-dish. The broccoli is chopped and combined with delicious and healthy fruit, nuts, and seeds. It's so easy and it's so much better than traditional cole slaw or potato salad!
  • 1 head broccoli, florets placed in food processor and chopped (stems saved for another use)
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened dried tart cherries
  • ¼ cup raw almonds, chopped
  • ¼ cup Long Yan Rou (Longan Fruit), chopped (this is an optional Chinese herb)
  • 2 Tbs raw sunflower seeds (here are some organic ones)
  • 3 Tbs of a healthy mayonnaise (I love this one)
  • 2 tsp raw apple cider vinegar (this is the one I buy)
  • 1 Tbs coconut sugar (here's a good one)
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the chopped broccoli, scallions, cherries, almonds, Long Yan Rou (if using), and the sunflower seeds.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, and coconut sugar.
  3. Add the dressing to the broccoli mixture, stirring well, until combined.
  4. Enjoy!

chopped broccoli salad

Sweet Potato Strawberry Arugula Salad

This sweet potato strawberry arugula salad has everything your body needs to feel awesome!

sweet potato strawberry arugula salad

We are in the process of trying to sell our house so there are strangers walking through at all times. It’s hard to keep the house perfectly clean for all of the potential buyers stopping by! Especially the kitchen! Now, when I cook I try to be mindful of the cleanup, which is a real challenge for me because I use a lot of equipment and ingredients when I create recipes.

I went to the market the other day with absolutely no idea of what i was going to prepare when I got home. So many things looked so good… this might have been because I was hungry when I got there, which is probably not the best time to food shop…

It’s much more of a challenge to put my food together into a cohesive meal if I’ve shopped before breakfast. If I shop hungry, everything looks great. I feel like I get one of those cartoon bubbles above my head with experimental recipe ideas written out. Sometimes when I unload the bags at home, I can’t imagine what I was thinking. But sometimes, it just works.

So, I bought a bag of produce filled with beautiful colors. I bought beautifully orange sweet potatoes, huge firm strawberries, perfectly ripe avocados, fresh arugula and spinach, and oranges the size of your head.

When I got home I was starving! And, I still hadn’t eaten breakfast. And, let me tell you, this NEVER happens — I always eat breakfast. But, the fridge was bare… even my smoothie ingredients were severely lacking.

I heated the oven and put the sweet potatoes in to roast. Then I layed out all of my other ingredients on the counter. The colors were beautiful, but they didn’t seem to be conducive of a cohesive meal.

Salad to the rescue! Sometimes beautiful fresh ingredients come together in the most unexpected ways, like in this colorful, sweet potato strawberry arugula salad. I don’t want to call this a breakfast salad, because I’m well aware that a lot of people don’t like salad for breakfast, but if you’re game, you should try it because this is an awesome breakfast!

If you like salads with out-of-the-ordinary ingredients, try my Tomato And Herb Salad With Roasted Lemons too.

sweet potato strawberry arugula salad

This salad is delicious and so good for you:

Sweet potatoes are good for your digestive system. They can be good for both constipation and diarrhea. These orange gems also help rid your body of excess water, are good for breast health, help people with diabetes and actually can help ease night blindness. In olden times, it was common in China to rub mashed sweet potatoes on poison insect bites to remove the toxins. I haven’t tried this, but if you see me looking a tad orange, this will be why…

Strawberries help get rid of excess alcohol in your body and they are good for your heart. They even help reduce plaque in your mouth and can make you feel better if you have an annoying dry cough or if you feel bloated from eating too much. So, if you’ve overindulged, strawberries are great for you.

Avocados are one of my favorite foods, both for their health benefits and because they taste great. In Chinese medicine, some practitioners recommend avocados to raise the sperm count. I like them because they are good for anemia, dry skin, palpitations and hot flashes due to menopause.

Oranges will help boost your levels of vitamins A, B and C. In Chinese medicine oranges have been used for many years to help coughs, colds and anorexia. Lately, oranges have been widely touted for their ability to help heal colon cancer. I peel my oranges and lay the rinds in the sun to dry, and save them for tea or for cooking because the rinds are an actual Chinese herb. I dry out the peels of oranges, tangerines, clementines… whatever I have. Dried tangerine peel, or “chen pi” as it’s known in Chinese medicine, is one of the greatest and most easily accessible herbs around. It’s especially good for digestive issues like abdominal discomfort, distention, fullness, bloating, belching, and nausea. It’s also great if you have a cough with a heavy or stuffy chest.

Arugula has a good amount of calcium and it also contains vitamins A, C and K. It is rich in potassium and it’s extra beneficial in the summer because it actually cools the body down. This delicious peppery green is also believed to be a libido booster. One of the first things I learned when I started really taking care of my health through proper nutrition, was to substitute dark greens for lighter greens whenever possible. One of the easiest, tastiest, and healthiest switches you can make is to swap out some of your lighter salad greens for peppery, dark arugula.

It is true that spinach contains iron, but it’s this vegetable’s lesser-known qualities that really hold my admiration. Spinach contains a substance that helps eliminate prostate cancer. It’s also great for your bones and also for memory loss. Diabetic patients may find that eating spinach helps combat excessive thirst and can even be good for night blindness. Spinach can inhibit the body’s ability to absorb calcium, so calcium-rich foods should be avoided when eating this leafy green.

Basil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial capabilities. It also is good for settling your stomach, and it’s good at lessening the symptoms of the common cold and its accompanying cough. Basil is a spiritual herb — the scent actually calms you; you can boil some in a pot and let the aroma fill the air, you can just leave some around the house, you can toss a bunch in your bath water (yes, really), or you can use an essential oil with basil to get some great calming effects.

sweet potato strawberry arugula salad

Sweet Potato Strawberry Arugula Salad
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: American, vegetarian, vegan
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
The colors in this salad are beautiful and the taste is even better! This salad is filled with ingredients that will heal you and make you smile!
  • 1 cup arugula
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 8 basil leaves, torn into large pieces
  • 1 orange, peeled and sliced, slices cut in half
  • 6 large strawberries, sliced
  • 1 large roasted sweet potato, roasted and then sliced
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • For Balsamic Vinaigrette:
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar (or other healthy sweetener)
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Arrange all salad ingredients on a large platter.
  2. Whisk all dressing ingredients together and drizzle onto salad.
  3. Enjoy!

sweet potato strawberry arugula salad