Eat Well, Avoid Toxins, Be Happy!
January 2014
Wendy Kuhn, Holistic Health Coach
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Happy New Year! What are your dreams for 2014? I love this quote from Carl Jung "“Throw the dream out in front of you and walk into the dream.”

Do you work for a company that has or is implementing a corporate wellness program? I'd love to talk to them about how my services could support such a program. Contact me!

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Avoid Toxins!

Getting a shower filter for our house has been on my mind for quite some time, so this week I sat down to research it.   Interesting, interesting, interesting.   

Water is, to me, one of the more complicated areas for "avoiding toxins."  Staying hydrated by drinking water is so important and staying clean is a good thing, but there are some very real and serious concerns about the water supply in our country.

I spend a lot of time thinking about the potential toxicity of what we put on our skins, it's why I am a consultant for Ava Anderson Non Toxic.  Therefore, it seemed important to think about what my skin is absorbing from the water in my shower, especially as I know my pores open up in the hot water.

Here's what I learned.   Shower water filtration systems are primarily designed to eliminate chlorine from water.  Many water treatment plants use chlorine.  In showers, the hot water causes the chlorine to turn into chloroform and dissipate in your shower and through your house.   So, not only is your skin absorbing it, but you are also absorbing it in your lungs. 

There is controversy (big surprise) about the dangers of chlorine with opinions ranging from it being safe, to it causing skin and lung irritation, to it causing cancer. 

If your water supply includes chlorine, a shower filter can be an easy, effective way of ridding your shower and your house of this potential toxin.   Shower filters run in the $50-$75 price range and the replacement filters are about $25 and need to be replaced annually.  Of course, there are also far more expensive options available.  This article lists reasons to use a shower filter.

You can look up what is in your water at your local water company's website.   The EPA also publishes reports on the quality of drinking water here.  The Environmental Working Group, which is awesome and usually my first go to source, publishes a water database, but it is in the process of being updated, so, for now, your best bet is one of these other two sources.

For my local Chapel Hill friends, and I'm sure many others,  it is more complicated.  Except for the month of March, the Orange Water and Sewer Authority uses Chloramine, which is less tested than Chlorine and more difficult to remove.  I will continue to provide updates on this.  
Interested in exploring Non Toxic products?  Check out Ava Anderson Non Toxic or call or email me about this fabulous line of products.

Did you know?

I've mentioned the book I've been reading by Jo Robinson "Eating on the Wild Side."  Here are some awesome tips:
  • Tomato paste is packed with phytonutrients.  I recently learned you can buy it in a glass jar, not only do you avoid BPA, but it is much easier to store!
  • Artichoke hearts are REALLY good for you!
  • If you are preparing garlic, chop it, slice it or mince it and then let it sit for ten minutes before cooking it, this lets the two separate antioxidants in garlic mingle and increases their benefit to you.
  • Eat sweet potatoes, the deeper the color the more nutrient rich they are.
  • If you are going to eat white potatoes, buy organic and eat the skins.  
  • To reduce the glycemic index of potatoes, choose new potatoes, cook them and then let them sit for 24 hours (you can reheat them), flavor them with vinegar, or eat them with some sort of fat.
To learn more about how to eat healthy, avoid toxins and be happy, go to:
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A little about me and why I am doing this.

I am passionate about working with people to help them achieve their goals through making healthier nutrition and wellness choices.   My particular interest is in working with people who are seeking to make health and wellness choices to help to prevent cancer or its recurrence.   I believe that through healthy food choices, avoiding toxins, and taking steps to reduce stress and be happier, it is easier to achieve life goals and to stay healthier.   Because of my passion, I am a certified holistic health coach, a distributor of Ava Anderson Non Toxic Products, and a one-on-one provider for Heart Math.

Eat Well!

Laura Russell published this recipe for Peruvian Quinoa Chowder. It's fabulous! I can't wait to try out some of her other recipes. I'm also going to experiment with some options for this one. I think portabello mushrooms instead of shrimp would be a delicious vegetarian alternative.

Here's the recipe (with a few minor adjustments): 
  • 1 pound peeled raw shrimp, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 bunch green onions (about 6), whites and green tops thinly sliced (green onions, also called scallions, pack significantly more phytonutrient content than regular onions)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic (mince the garlic first and let it sit for ten minutes before cooking to maximize its cancer fighting properties)
  • 1 or 2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and minced
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste (tomato paste is loaded with phytonutrients -- it's really good for you.  I find that if I buy it in a jar rather than a can it is easier to store and I don't have to worry about BPAs)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups Vegetable Broth (I use Trader Joe’s low sodium.   This chowder does well with a richer broth so I tend to buy it rather than make it at home for this recipe).  I used one box of vegetable broth and one cup of water.
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels  or 1 cup of corn and ½ cup of peas (use organic corn so that it is non-GMO)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
  • Mince the garlic and let it sit.
  • Put the shrimp in a colander over the sink and toss them with 1 teaspoon of  salt. Let stand until ready to use. (Use within 30 minutes or refrigerate.)
  • In a large pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the green onions and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and jalapeños and cook 1 minute longer.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes more.
  • Add the quinoa and vegetable broth and water to the pot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the quinoa is cooked, about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the corn.
  • Simmer gently until the corn is cooked, about 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the shrimp and the black pepper.
  • Cook until the shrimp just turns pink, about 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the peanut butter.
  • Add more sliced jalapeños on top of the soup for additional heat and a spritz of lime if you want

Be Happy!

Get enough sleep!
I just got off of the phone with my sister who commented on how much sleep she's been getting this week and how much better she feels (and she didn't even know that I was writing about sleep this month).  

Increasingly, the evidence is that getting a solid night's sleep is beneficial for us in every way.  Sleep helps our immune system, reduces stress, can help prevent weight gain, and generally puts us in a better mood.   Some suggestions on how to get a good night's sleep:
  • Remove your wireless electronics from your bedroom. 
  • Use your bed for sleeping, nighttime reading, and sex. Nothing else!
  • If you find yourself waking up often in the middle of the night, it might be from hunger. Try eating a little bit of protein before going to bed.
  • Give yourself some decompression time before going to bed -- turn off the TV, step away from the Internet, turn off the music.
  • If you exercise in the evenings, be sure you finish at least three hours before going to bed.
  • Follow a similar nighttime ritual each night.
  • Don't go to bed angry -- kiss your loved ones good night.  
If you find that you are going through the day tired or falling asleep, or if you snore loudly, consider going to a medical professional to determine if something more is going on with you.

There is nothing more fabulous than getting out of bed in the morning fully energized to face the day, confident you can take on the world -- take the steps you can to make that happen! 
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