Sunday, November 24, 2013

Peppermint Patty Truffles

Greetings wellness lovers!

I hope you have all been having a great month! My apologies for being MIA... it's been quite a busy month, well year... actually! My husband and I, omg... "husband" is so cool so finally say that, after almost 7 years!... just came home from our week-long honeymoon, and officially tied the knot just before that!

Photos to come...

Anyways... today I have a fun holiday recipe to share with you, by my lovely sister Alyssa, to surly put you in the mood for holiday decorating and preparations!

Peppermint Patty Truffles
by Alyssa Craft, Pure Living for Life

Hello there!

I have a special recipe to share today: peppermint patty truffles!

I decided to get a head start on my holiday recipes this year... and I have a confession. I LOVE York Peppermint Patties. I always have. However, as I am sure you can relate... I am not exactly a fan of the fact that they contain high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavoring and who knows what else...

These peppermint patty truffles are made with only four ingredients: coconut oil, honey, peppermint extract and dark chocolate. (For the maximum health benefits, make sure all these ingredients are organic.) I topped mine with crushed traditional candy canes, but if you are feeling extra healthy feel free to omit this or substitute with your own topping... get creative!
Prep time:
Total time
Serves: 15

  1. Combine coconut oil, honey and peppermint extract in a bowl. Mash until well-mixed.
  2. If mixture is not easy to form into balls, then put in the freezer briefly.
  3. Scoop out 1.5 to 2 tsp of mixture and form into balls.
  4. Place in the freezer while melting chocolate in a separate bowl over the stove.
  5. Let chocolate cool a little bit.
  6. Dip the frozen balls into the chocolate, sprinkle with candy cane topping. Let cool.
I hope you enjoy this recipe, and feel free to stop by and say hello anytime!
Happy holidays!


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What are Pie Pumpkins?

Greetings wellness lovers!

I hope you have been enjoying the lovely season of fall! And hopefully you've been able to spend a little time in the kitchen, baking up some delicious seasonal (real food) treats! 

If any of you are like me, you may find yourself reading a fall recipe calling for a "pie pumpkin"... and wondering, what type of pumpkin is that... exactly?

Anyways, I have come to learn that a "pie pumpkin" is technically a pumpkin grown with the intention of eating/baking purposes, rather than for decorative use.

Pie pumpkins generally tend to be sweeter with a higher sugar content, and weigh between 4 - 8 pounds. There are several different heirloom varieties of pie pumpkins... common ones found at the grocery store are the  'Small Sugar Pumpkin' or 'New England Pie Pumpkin.'

Nutrition benefits...

Pie pumpkins are an excellent source of  beta carotene, calcium, potassium, and fiber. So if you haven't baked them into anything yet, or made a healthy soup out of them... what are you waiting for?

More benefits of pumpkins + links to recipes!


Sunday, September 22, 2013

{All Natural} Pumpkin Pie Sugar Scrub

Greetings wellness lovers!

Today I have a very special guest blogger... my dear sister Alyssa from Alyssa's Cooking Adventures! She has a heavenly health and beauty recipe to share with you! Mmmmm... I almost want to eat it!

Pumpkin Pie Sugar Scrub
by Alyssa Craft
It is officially fall! That means that we can all consume pumpkin-flavored and pumpkin-scented EVERYTHING without guilt. Or maybe you never felt guilty, but it felt wrong to me if I was craving something pumpkin-flavored in August. Fall is one of my favorite seasons so I like to indulge in it to the fullest.

To kick off fall, I wanted to create something with ingredients I already had around the house. I settled on making a pumpkin face scrub. This face scrub is very easy to make as it only requries a few ingredients. I prefer homemade face scrubs because store-bought scrubs typically have a long list of chemicals which is not good if you have sensitive skin like me. 

The benefits of this pumpkin scrub include:
Exfoliation: This helps to remove dead skin cells that can leave skin looking dry, resulting in brighter and softer skin.
Moisturization: The jojoba oil used in this recipe has a similar structure to sebum, allowing it to absorb easily into your skin.
Acne-control: Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties that can help destroy acne-causing bacteria. This may help in preventing future breakouts.
Pumpkin Face Scrub
Prep time: 
Total time: 
  • ¾ c. brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp jojoba oil
  1. Bring oils to liquid state if they are cold.
  2. Mix all ingredients together.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. If you are up to it, get creative and experiment with different oils, scents and even sugars. Also, feel free to stop by my blog for more fall recipes to come!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Is it Really "Paleo?"

Well, hello there wellness lovers!

As I sit here blogging from the middle of the woods, haha... just kidding, I am actually "condo camping" with my fiance and family in Mammoth Lakes, CA for our annual summer vacation... I am excited to share with you, an excellent article about the paleo diet! 

For those of you that have been readers of "Taste for Healthy" since 2010, you may remember that I was 100% vegan.

However, after graduating from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition... I became a complete believer (and follower!) of the paleo diet. 

(I really did not believe it at first when they said "the students who come to Integrative Nutrition as vegans usually graduate the program eating meat!")

Anyways... I am honored to introduce you to to Virginia Cunningham, a freelance writer from southern California who specializes in health, wellness, and nutrition.

Is it Really "Paleo?"

by Virginia Cuningham

Image Courtesy of Suat Eman
What is the Paleo diet?

Paleo is short for “Paleolithic” and it is also known by other names, such as the Hunter-Gatherer diet and Cave Man Diet.

During the age when farming first began is when people’s diets began to look similar to the modern day diet. According to the Paleo diet, today’s farming processes are not the best way of providing nutrition for our bodies. The Paleo diet follows the premise of what our ancestors ate long ago, before the farming age, and it is the proper diet to accommodate our genetic makeup. Thus, it is best to mimic this particular diet today. Those on the Paleo diet already, or are those who are considering the Paleo diet, should be aware of some of the foods that this particular diet deems unhealthy or insufficient.

A predominant amount of the Paleo diet is meat-based. It is important to know that studies show that a diet high in red meat poses many health risks. Additionally, while the diet opposes processed meats, such as hot dogs, sausage and lunch meats, it allows for the consumption of other meats, like grass-fed beef, clams, salmon and venison steaks. Bacon is high in cholesterol and high in fat, which can impact heart health. It also contains nitrate, a food preservative that has been shown to be detrimental to one’s health. Those on the Paleo diet may eat bacon; however, just be sure to select the right kind of bacon and prepare it correctly.

Despite the myth that eggs are high in cholesterol, eggs are an absolute staple to the Paleo diet, especially since they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, selenium, vitamin A, vitamin D, B vitamins and some minerals. They can be prepared in a variety of ways; however, when overcooked, the oxidized cholesterol in eggs may lead to chronic inflammation.

The Paleo diet encourages a high protein diet is rich in monounsaturated fat; however, it is the type of meat and fat consumed which makes the difference for the Paleo diet. Monounsaturated fats lower blood cholesterol and help in the prevention of atherosclerosis. Polyunsaturated fats are also prevalent in the Paleo diet as they are rich in omega 3s (found in oils in fish, like salmon). The standard consensus is that fat leads to heart problems. It would be a good idea to see your doctor to monitor your labs and blood levels before and after being on the diet to see its effect on your body. Also, while avocados are good for combating bad cholesterol, they are high in fat as well.

Although legumes, such as peanuts, are not considered to be “junk food”, they contain phytic acid, which binds to nutrients in the food and prevents your body from absorbing these nutrients. Beans and legumes stop your body from getting the nutrients that other Paleo-acceptable foods contain.

Added Sugar 
Sugar is sugar. For instance, some think that agave syrup and honey are accepted in the Paleo diet; however, it still contains sugar. Avoid high sugar foods as they provide unnecessary and unhealthy fuel for the body. Almost all processed foods contain sugar, including low-fat dressing, mustard, ketchup, dried fruit, breakfast cereals, yogurt and, above all, fast food. If you want to lose weight, you need to cut down on these from your diet.

Avoid processed nuts that contain salt and hydrogenated oils. Furthermore, avoid macadamia nuts and pecans as they have the lowest amount of protein and are high in fats. In general, some people encourage that you eat as much as you want of the approved foods on the Paleo diet – that means no portion controlling. However, your body does not need all of that food. It needs only enough to provide you with energy. It is important to monitor the impact of the diet on you to ensure you are doing what is best for your body type.

Virginia Cunningham is a freelance writer from the Los Angeles area whose writing specializes in personal health, fitness and healthy cooking. When starting a diet, she is always sure to be well-informed what a particular diet involves.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Raw PB and J Popsicles

Well, hello there wellness lovers!

The other day, I was browsing the reading list of my favorite blogs, and practically melted when I came across a recipe for Raw PB & J Popsicles by Amy from Fragrant Vanilla Cake!

Ever since finding popsicle molds at TJ Max at the beginning of summer, I've been having all sorts of fun creating my own 'ice cream' pops by freezing leftover banana soft serve...

But I had definitely not thought to make peanut butter and jelly-inspired pops!

Thank you, Amy... for sharing your recipe with us all!

Here it is!

Raw PB & J Popsicles
Makes 6

1 cup raspberries
4 large medjool dates
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

PB ice cream:
5 large frozen bananas
1/2 cup raw peanut butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
stevia to taste

6 standard sized popsicle molds

To make the jelly, combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside. To make the PB ice cream, combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and puree until smooth, using the tamper to press it down into the blades. Pour into a bowl.

To assemble, take 6 popsicle molds, and alternate peanut butter ice cream and jelly until you have them filled (I used a spoon to carefully spoon the fillings in). Freeze overnight, then remove from the molds (you may need to run warm water over them for about 30 seconds to loosen) and enjoy!

If you are not yet familiar with Amy's raw vegan recipes... you should  check out her blog! (I've been reading it for years!)

Have a lovely day!


P.S. If you haven't yet acquired popsicle molds, here are several options via Amazon!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How to make Watermelon "Candy!"

Greetings wellness lovers!

Today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite summer treats! I "accidently" made this last year, just by randomly dehydrating some extra water melon I had on hand.

To my surprise, dehydrated water melon is a heavenly sweet treat, and is even reminiscent of Starburst and Jolly Rancher candy!  

Did anyone else roll Starburst candy into a giant "Starburst ball" when they were a kid? Or was that just my sister and I...

Here are the steps:

1. Slice water melon 1 inch thick and cut into 2 inch (or so) pieces. As long as the thickness of the pieces is the same, the length/width doesn't have to be exact. (This makes them dry evenly.)
2. Arrange the water melon pieces on the dehydrator trays.
3. Dehydrate at 135 degrees, or the "fruit setting" for 6-8 hours.
4. Let cool, then store in an airtight container.


*Bonus: Your house will have the lovely summery scent of watermelon!

In case you are wondering what type of dehydrator I use, it's the Excalibur 3900B Tray Deluxe Dehydrator from Amazon.

Oh, and check out the lovely nutrients that you will be treating your body to when you indulge in this pretty pink fruit!

I hope you have a wonderful day! P.S. I'm excited to hear if you plan on trying this!


Friday, April 12, 2013

The Benefits of Himalayan Salt!

Greetings wellness lovers! 

Today I wanted to share with you the benefits of Himalayan salt! If you are like me, you probably heard that 'salt was bad' and may have even tried a low-salt diet for many years. However, like many other things I have been learning lately... ;) the truth is actually different than what we've been told.

Despite the fact that so-called "nutritional experts" and government regulators have given salt a bad rap for decades, scientific studies have not been able to prove that low-sodium diets are beneficial. In fact, they actually have been showing the opposite.

Salt is actually an essential nutrient, and was valued as gold among early African and European explorers. However, it is important to realize the difference between natural salt and processed salt. (For more info on the difference, I highly recommend reading this article by Dr. Mercola.)

But what about the DASH Diet for reducing hypertension? You may be wondering... Well, something interesting about that diet is that yes, while it is low in sodium, and has been used to lower blood pressure in individuals with hypertension, it is also low in sugar. Dr. Mercola explains how salt has actually been getting the blame for the effects of sugar here.

So what is Himalayan salt?

Himalayan salt aka "white gold" contains 84 natural elements and minerals found in the human body, inlcuding iodine, and is considered to be the purest form of salt on the planet. It is millions of years old and is mined deep from within the Himalayas, where it's been protected from contaminants of the modern world. 

The Benefits of Himalayan Salt:

  • Regulates the water levels within the body for proper functioning
  • Promotes stable pH balance in the cells, including brain cells
  • Encourages excellent blood sugar health
  • Aides in reducing the common signs of aging
  • Promotes the increased absorption capacities of food elements within the intestinal tract
  • Aides vascular health
  • Supports healthy respiratory function
  • Lowers incidence of sinus problems, promoting over-all sinus health
  • Reduces muscle cramps
  • Increases bone strength
  • Naturally promotes healthy sleep patterns
  • Creates a healthy libido
  • In combination with water, it is necessary for blood pressure regulation
  • Prevents cellulite, when compared to table salt
  • Reduces chances of developing rheumatism, arthritis and gout, when compared to common chemically-treated salt
  • Reduces chances of developing kidney and gall bladder stones when compared to common chemically-treated salt
Pretty awesome, right?!

I hope you have a great day! And happy Friday!!


Dr. Mercola "Avoiding This 'Forbidden Food' Could Make You Moody"
Dr. Mercola "Add this Seasoning to Your Food Daily, Despite what Your Doctor Says"
Natural News "Why Himalayan Pink Crystal Salt is so much better for your health than processed table salt"
The Global Healing Center "The Benefits of Himalayan Salt"

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Detox Guide Review

Greetings wellness lovers!

I hope you had a happy Easter! Hopefully you were able to enjoy the spring weekend in the company of family and friends. :)

If you indulged a little more than you should have, then you may be interested in completing a cleanse to jump-start your system and get you back on track!

Just yesterday, I learned about a new detox guide for spring, created by my nutrition school, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Since I am always very interested in new ways to renew my health and overall well-being by using healthy foods and lifestyle changes, I figured you just might be as well!

I thought I would do a little review for you. :)

What I love about this detox guide is that is does not recommend anything too intense such as fasting or juice fasting.

Don't get me wrong, I believe those types of cleanses can be beneficial... but as someone with a busy schedule and many obligations, a more gentle cleanse that still allows food is more of what I am looking for at this moment. :)

Why complete a cleanse?

1. Transition your body from heavy winter foods to seasonal, lighter spring foods.
2. Boost your mood, energy, and productivity by reducing inflammation.
3. Shed excess weight and eliminate toxins to feel light and fresh this summer.

The Spring Detox Guide covers:
  • foods to enjoy
  • foods to eliminate
  • a grocery shopping list
  • 3 days of recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Also included, (and this is perhaps my favorite part)... are the many benefits of the ingredients you will be creating your detoxing meals with!

You will learn about the many benefits of honey dew, lime, basil, broccoli, fennel, apple, kale, lemon, yellow onion, quinoa, flaxseed, cherries, red onion, apple cider vinegar, sunflower seeds, avocado, zucchini, garlic, cucumber, celery, ginger, parsley, scallions, tomatoes, asparagus, almonds, and extra virgin olive oil!

Here is a sneak peak of just a few of the delicious recipes you will be enjoying...

Massaged Kale Salad
Skin Glow Smoothie

Quinoa Tabbouleh
Tempted yet? ;) I think you will be pleasently surprised with the many benefits and healthy, delicious recipes of this gently spring cleanse.

You can get it here. (P.S. did I mention it is completely complimentary?!)

Let me know if you end up giving it a try!

I hope you have an excellent week! :)


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Flow: The key to happiness

Well, hello there!

Today I wanted to share with you an article a about 'flow'. I first learned about this concept in a leadership class I took in college. If you have not heard of this yet, I highly recommend learning about it! "Being in the flow" is an excellent way to increase your overall happiness, and is something I strive for every day.

Originally published Wednesday, March 13, 2013 by: Eric L. Zielinski, NaturalNews

(NaturalNews) Proposed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Ph D - Professor of Psychology at Claremont Graduate University, the concept of flow has been widely referenced in the field positive psychology where researchers measure things like states of happiness, values, strengths, virtues, and talents. Intrigued by people who perform very difficult and demanding tasks for no financial incentive or social status benefit, Csikszentmihalyi began to study this phenomenon that led him to a career's worth of research. For no apparent reason other than the fact that they thoroughly enjoyed what they were doing, these people subjected themselves to strenuous physical, mental, emotional, and even financial stress to accomplish their goals. According to Csikszentmihalyi, what motivated people to do these activities was "not anything that came from outside, but it came from the activity itself."

Csikszentmihalyi coined the experience flow, a "synergy of different aspects of consciousness where you wish you could go forever because it feels like you are completely fulfilling something that you can do you well and see it happening and feel that nothing else matters." Flow is a place where people have very clear goal and is what athletes commonly refer to as "the zone." Moment-by-moment, people who flow know exactly what they have to do in an almost surreal, out-of-body experience where life-purpose and satisfaction are at the pinnacle. Outside of pitching a perfect game or bowling a 300, other tasks commonly experienced as flow are playing music, painting, writing, sewing, or any other sequence-oriented task where you can let your mind go and simply allow your innate intelligence to operate in full capacity. According to Csikszentmihalyi, flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate experience in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channeled, but positive, energized, and aligned with the task at hand.

Of interest to note is that the ability to experience flow is oftentimes related to our ability to overcome adversity. According to Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin, one of the keys to happiness, and subsequently being able to experience flow, is being able to recover from adversity quickly. Contrary to popular belief, adversity is a very healthy part of happiness. To be happy, people must experience sadness. To experience a sense of achievement, people must experience challenges. Even tragedy has a role in helping people be happy.

The following six factors encompass an experience of flow:

1. Intense and focused concentration on the present moment
2. Merging of action and awareness
3. A loss of reflective self-consciousness
4. A sense of personal control or agency over the situation or activity
5. A distortion of temporal experience, a person's subjective experience of time is altered
6. Experience of the activity as intrinsically rewarding, also referred to as autotelic experience

Those aspects can appear independently of each other, but only in combination they constitute a so-called flow experience.

Sources for this article include:
Shadyac T (Producer), & Belic R (Director). (2001). Happy [Motion picture]. United States: Documentary.
Nakamura, J., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2009). Flow theory and research. In C. R. Snyder & S. J. Lopez (Eds.), Handbook of positive psychology (pp. 195-206). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

About the author:
Eric is a peer-reviewed, published researcher. His work on heart disease and autism has been accepted internationally at various scientific conferences through organizations like the American Public Health Association and Australian-based Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute. Visit his blog. Track his work on facebook. Read Eric's other articles. 

Have you already been implementing the concept of 'flow' into your life?


Friday, March 8, 2013

Thankful for Integrative Nutrition

Well, hello there wellness lovers!

As many of you know... enrolling at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition was a life-changing experience for me. I didn't know exactly 'what' I wanted when I started, but I did know that I wanted to become an entrepreneur in an area I was passionate about: nutrition and all things wellness related! 

It's been a little over a year since I graduated... and well, I am excited to say that I have reached my larger goals of becoming a wellness entrepreneur, earning a pretty decent living doing what I love. The 'what' part just keeps transforming and has been getting better and better every day. Seriously, doors that I had no idea existed have opened since making the decision to enroll at IIN. 

It's been said that "whatever you want, IIN provides the stepping stones and framework to get you there." I have realized that this is right on. When I enrolled at Integrative Nutrition, I was very unhappy... feeling tied to a job with a schedule that was less-than-ideal (nights + weekends), which I was also over-qualified for. I had just graduated with my bachelor's degree in Recreation Management at the start of "The Great Recession", and was pretty much panicking, thinking: I went to college for this?!

I almost get teary-eyed when I think about what my life would be like if I hadn't randomly stumbled across IIN in one of my interesting Google searches. ;) It is the best feeling in the world to know that I am in charge of my own destiny... and now, thanks to IIN, have the skills and connections to make my goals happen.

Just this past week, I was able to visit my sister with my family in Oregon. The entire time, I couldn't stop thinking about how lucky I was to be able to decide to take off on a long road trip, without having to ask anyone's permission for time off!

Wine-tasting in Oregon. That's me on the right and yes, that is wine... not my favorite apple cider vinegar drink. ;)
If anyone out there is thinking about embarking on Integrative Nutrition's life-changing journey, one might be interested to know that IIN has recently partnered with Goddard College to apply Integrative Nutrition's studies towards Goddard College's undergraduate and graduate programs.

As a graduate of IIN's Health Coach Training Program, students who enroll in Goddard's Health Arts and Sciences graduate program are eligible to receive a $1,500 scholarship each semester. (You can learn more about Goddard's Health Arts and Sciences graduate program here.) Pretty awesome. IIN is the real deal.

If you or anyone you know of is interested in attending IIN, please feel free to reach out. :) My email is, and I am always happy to share my experience + insight!

I hope you have a happy Friday, and... an even better weekend!!


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

20 Health Benefits of Cinnamon!

Greetings wellness lovers!

Today I came across an interesting little gem of a pin, that I thought my fellow 'nutrition geek' peeps would enjoy! :)

Well, I am getting ready to embark on a road trip to visit my sister in Oregon... so I will keep this post short + sweet today! (Literally, haha... as cinnamon is actually "sweet!")


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Six facts you need to know about eating oils and fats

Originally posted Friday, February 15, 2013 by Jonathan Benson,

One of the most widely misunderstood food groups today, oils and fats can be both crucial and detrimental to your health, depending on what type they are and how they are processed. But with so many inconsistencies and mistruths emerging from health authorities and the mainstream media on the issue, it is difficult for many people to effectively decipher between the two. So to help clarify, here are six important facts you need to know about oils and fats that will change the way you view this food category, and hopefully improve the health of you and your family:

1) Saturated fats are important for brain health. Butter, coconut oil, lard, and various other types of saturated fat are constantly being demonized as artery-cloggers and heart-stoppers, but nothing could be further from the truth. A large percentage of your brain is composed of both saturated fat and cholesterol, which means this vital organ needs saturated fat in order to function properly. Omega-3 fatty acids, which have gained considerable attention in recent years for their importance in brain health, actually require the presence of saturated fats for proper assimilation. (

Similarly, your bones require saturated fats as well in order to effectively transport bone-building calcium and other important minerals throughout your body. And in the case of grass-fed animal fat and coconut oil, saturated fats impart natural antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral benefits to your body, as well as necessary lauric, myristic, and caprylic acids, all of which are crucial for boosting immunity and fighting off infections.

2) Most vegetable oils are unhealthy, cause systemic inflammation. On the flip side, vegetable oils like soy, canola (rapeseed), safflower, sunflower, and corn, all of which are touted in the mainstream as healthy alternatives to traditional saturated fats, promote chronic inflammation throughout the body. Science continues to show that mono and polyunsaturated oils are loaded with omega-6 fatty acids, an abundance of which can lead to chronic pain and disease. Substituting vegetable oil in place of saturated fat also deprives your body of the fat it truly needs to stay healthy. (

3) Many oils go rancid when cooked with high heat. Many Americans consider olive oil to be one of the healthiest oils available, and rightly so, as this plant-based fat can help prevent heart disease and protect bones. But olive oil can also go rancid or even become toxic when heated above about 374 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius) because it is in a class of oils with a low smoke point. Other low smoke point oils include macadamia nut oil (around 392 degrees Fahrenheit) and flax seed oil (around 225 degrees Fahrenheit), and most unrefined oils. (

4) Canola oil almost always contains dangerous trans fatty acids. Canola oil was first introduced into the American market back in the 1980s, and major food corporations like Cargill have spent countless millions convincing people that it is healthy. But what the industry has failed to mention is the fact that the processing techniques used to refine canola oil almost always produce harmful trans fatty acids as a byproduct. In fact, tests in animals have shown that canola oil consumption can lead to vitamin E deficiency.

"[M]ost of the omega-3s in canola oil are transformed into trans fats during the deodorization process," explains a Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF) piece on the dangers of canola oil. "[R]esearch continues to prove that the saturates (in saturated fat) are necessary and highly protective," it adds, noting that canola oil is a monounsaturated fat.

5) Many of the oils recommended by health authorities are genetically-modified (GM). Another factor to consider in the pursuit of healthy oils and fats is whether or not they have been genetically-modified (GM). Many of the oils and fats recommended by health authorities as superior -- these include canola, soy, corn, and cottonseed -- are made from GMOs, which are increasingly being linked to causing organ damage, digestive problems, and cancer. (

Most of the healthiest oils and fats available, on the other hand, are non-GMO, but some of them you may not have heard of as they are largely ignored by the mainstream. These include hemp, macadamia, sesame, pumpkin seed, walnut, almond, pecan, flax seed, avocado, and coconut oils, all of which have their own unique health properties. (

6) Many 'cold pressed' cooking oils have been heated, treated with toxic chemicals. The idea behind so-called "cold pressed" oils is that they are healthier and have more of their nutrients intact as a result of not being heated. But according to Dr. Udo Erasmus, author of the book Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, many cooking oils labeled as "cold pressed" have actually been cooked or treated with toxic solvent chemicals like hexane, rendering them potentially toxic.

The best and safest cooking oils, he says, are those that are expeller pressed using low temperatures, and pressed from organic seeds and nuts. True non-denatured oils will also be protected from light, oxygen, and heat during the production process, and usually come in solid, dark glass bottles that are labeled "unrefined." (

Sources for this article include:

Friday, February 15, 2013

Career in a Year? Integrative Nutrition Is Breaking the Traditional University Mold

Joshua Rosenthal, founder of Integrative Nutrition

by Cheryl Snapp Conner, originally published on February 4, 2013, Forbes

Here’s the story of a highly successful entrepreneur, Joshua Rosenthal, and his organization The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), who is actively setting a new direction for post-secondary education. With no prior business or MBA background (Rosenthal’s degrees are in academia), he’s breaking the rules of traditional management as well, yet his company is achieving phenomenal growth. In many respects, coming from a non-MBA background is perhaps a net plus—John Greathouse wrote compellingly about the reasons most MBA’s actually fail at startup companies here.

Now 20 years old, IIN is comprised of some 150 employees in the Flatiron District of New York. The program has produced 20,000 graduates worldwide. IIN has grown 30% per year over the past several years, even in (and perhaps especially in) the troubled economy, with a program that produces certified Health Coaches in the span of a year for a tuition cost of approximately $5,000.

What I find most interesting about IIN, however, is Rosenthal’s vision. His primary motivation is not profit (in fact at the end of his career he intends to give most or all of his assets away). Rosenthal is a quiet and spiritual individual whose driving agenda is to influence the world for good. The traditional model for post-secondary education simply got in the way. IIN consistently partners with similarly mission-driven organizations, and has already given $500,000 (so far) to charities and foundations around the world.

It would be fair to categorize Rosenthal as a full-on social entrepreneur. By his own admission he is not a capitalist, yet he is keenly aware that his school must meet traditional metrics in order to achieve his greater mission of promoting greater health and happiness in the world. For example,
the company just launched, a site with no advertising, to advance global wellness and health by providing cutting edge information on topics of nutrition, fitness, and relationships.

When Worlds Collide
Despite all the articles and schools of thought on the rules that make a company successful, Rosenthal is an example of someone who created a flourishing venture in a non-traditional process while generally ignoring standard management rules.

His sense of higher mission is certainly helpful. As we visit, I mentally walk through the rules I covered in the 5 Sure Signs a Startup firm will succeed – 1) has validated customers, 2) has a strategic perspective, 3) cash conservative, 4) operates with transparency, and 5) communicates well. I note the answers all appear to be yes.

However, Rosenthal describes his business strategy in a different way. When I ask about his model for business he shows me a Venn diagram on How to Be Happy in Business (the copy here included courtesy of Simon Kemp, @eskimon). The philosophy is simple and even obvious—the intersection of what you love with what you’re good at and what pays well is the area that produces the highest business (and personal) “win.”

IIN is privately held, but a little mental math of a profitable venture growing 30% per year produces impressive metrics by any commercial measurement stance. The company provided me with this information about the 20,000 students who have graduated so far:

 71% enroll with the intention of becoming a Health Coach
 64% enroll for personal development and enrichment
 56% enroll to improve their or their family’s health
 30% enroll to advance or supplement their current career

With their degrees:

 70% launch a health coaching practice while still a student.
 Of these students, 69% begin working with clients in a six-month program before graduation
 69% make an income through health coaching while still in school
 25% charge $100/hour

Out of curiosity, because I’m intensely interested in health and nutrition myself, I put the word out to my circle of fitness friends to see if any of them were familiar with IIN. I got an immediate response from a friend who graduated in 2012. She thoroughly enjoyed the program; so much so that she’s now continuing forward in the school’s Immersion Program that will provide her (free of charge) with advanced training on how to use her abilities to create her own business. The program is timely as she’s in the process of closing down a traditional brick and mortar business that is no longer profitable enough in the Internet economy—the IIN career training is helping her transition successfully to a new career.

Integrative Nutrition employees enjoy each other's company as they eat the healthy lunch IIN provides

Friends and Foes
Who wouldn’t welcome an organization like this? As I inquire, apparently traditional universities, somewhat understandably, resent the implications of a company that can produce graduates within a year that may be competing for jobs, in some cases, with graduates of their traditional 4-year programs.

Likewise, by its very nature IIN is destined to be at odds with purveyors of non-health products such as the tobacco industry and its commercialized cousins. However, the company’s alliance with traditional academia has become increasingly strong, even as the company upsets the economic apple cart on which they rely.

Dr. Greg Braxton-Brown, teaching and learning coach for IIN, notes that the Health Coach certificate program IIN provides is an entirely different entity than the traditional programs that are predominantly science and research based. In contrast, IIN’s program is a practical and “integrated” (thus the name) analysis of nutrition programs that provides understanding, application, and applied learning of traditional and holistic programs. Its goal is to 1) help people identify the dietary principles that will be most effective for them, and 2) assist practitioners in applying their knowledge to a coaching or teaching job or to the independent business the program can help them create.
IIN does not eschew traditional education, Braxton-Brown notes, citing a fairly extensive list of college and university partnerships. IIN has submitted its curriculum to the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS), an agency of the University of the State of New York, who examined IINs curriculum and coursework and determined how it compares to traditional college coursework. The agency has concluded that IIN’s Health Coach Training Program (HCTP) is equivalent to 29 college credits.

Braxton-Brown reports that IIN has a continuing education partnership with the State University of New York and the California State University, the nation’s two largest university systems. Purchase College of SUNY and Long Beach of the California State University currently both grant 42 CEUs for completion of HCTP.

A yoga instructor conducts classes for employees on site

Many colleges and universities accept IIN credits in transfer. IIN also has a unique partnership with Goddard College for a fully articulated Bachelor of Art and Master of Art degree programs that build on IIN teachings. While it is still a few years away, he notes that IIN is building a PhD partnership program as well. Many students who come to IIN have a bachelor’s degree or even a graduate degree already in hand, he says, and are looking for specific subject matter to supplement their traditional training or to assist them in turning an avid interest into a full time or supplemental career.

From the Beginning
I asked Rosenthal how, as an academic whose interest and focus was never on business, he came to found and lead a rapid growth organization. He shared parts of his story with me. Other aspects are perhaps personal enough to warrant finding the opportunity to meet Rosenthal and his organization yourself. Perhaps I will share more of that interview on another day.

Rosenthal was always intrigued by different approaches to nutrition. After 10 years studying and teaching macrobiotics, he realized the very foods this protocol says are bad for you, such eating garlic, oranges, or drinking plenty of water, are considered supremely healthy by other programs. The dichotomy launched him into years of research to discover for himself what he could stand behind and advocate as true.

The academic side of his nature compelled him to scientifically research all major dietary theories—high protein, low protein, high carb, low carb, vegetarian, vegan, raw foods, etc.—in all, he has analyzed more than 100 prevailing nutritional methodologies.

In his quest for discovery, he concluded that most every program contains points of merit, but that for most people no single dietary theory will provide every answer. Likewise, the same diet that helps an individual achieve optimum health could actually become their downfall over time if followed too strictly.

He noticed that people following very different dietary theories were equally healthy. Nutrition is the only science where some people’s experience can produce outcomes that are opposite of what others have proven. Thus, the approach to his program (and the theme of his book – Integrative Nutrition—available from Amazon or from the IIN site) and his core principle of bio-individuality. Bio-individuality is what it sounds like. There’s no one-size-fits-all diet, IIN maintains, and one person’s food could be another one’s poison. In 1991 Rosenthal taught his first live class in New York City. The Integrative Nutrition program is now available online with students around the globe.
Students participate online and by phone making it possible to study anytime and anywhere. The school also conducts free live conferences several times a year in New York City.

This is the way to celebrate a graduation. Rosenthal and students enjoy a live IIN event.
A walking tour through the company’s headquarters unveils a culture like no other business I’ve encountered before. The atmosphere is quiet–even serene. The employees are energized and visibly healthy.

The sunny rooms are a surprising contrast to the Manhattan scenes at the street level below. In the main area there is a commercial kitchen, where the business prepares an organic breakfast, lunch and snack that it provides for the employees free of charge, every day. The open space lunchroom space doubles as a meeting and conversational area. And at 5:30 pm, they offer nightly yoga classes with specialized trainers.

Megan, the team member who guides me (everyone is on a first name basis at IIN)—notes that while it’s not required that employees stay on site, they are encouraged to enjoy the company provided amenities and to get better acquainted with each other as friends over lunch. A massage therapist comes regularly. On the day I visit, the company-provided chiropractor has just left, Megan tells me, and I can see various team members stretch in delight. This is clearly not a typical corporation in any respect.

For the future—Rosenthal acknowledges that he fully expects his personal vision for IIN and the traditional constructs of capitalistic business will continue to bump and collide. He is up for the
challenge, although he anticipates the need and welcomes the help of others who are like-minded. He views the additional press his company’s growing presence will bring with mixed emotions. “I’m not sure I like the attention,” he acknowledges—“But if it gets people thinking about ways to live a healthier and happier life, then that’s good. Maybe my mother will see it, and if she does—it’s my hope she’ll be proud.”

Cheryl Snapp Conner, founder and managing partner of Snapp Conner PR, has more than 22 years of experience in public relations for leading technology firms.

Joshua Rosenthal has also published a book called "Integrative Nutrition: Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness." It's available for complimentary download here!

If you have any questions about The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, or would just like to talk to an alumni of the program, I am always happy to share my personal experience + insight! My email is


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Aphrodisiacs for Valentine's Day!

Well, hello there!

In celebration of the upcoming Valentine's Day, I wanted to share with you a few aphrodisiac foods that you might be interested in enjoying. ;) I've always thought it was just completely awesome to learn about the nutritional benefits of various foods...

Years ago... in college, I would often find myself typing in "benefits of ________ " in the Google search bar, when I probably should have been doing homework instead. Garlic is antiviral? Lemons are great for detoxing the liver? Onions reduce inflammation? This is so cool! And this was just the tip of the iceberg...

"Why didn't they teach me any of this in health class?!" I would always ask myself. This strange fascination with learning about what foods were beneficial in what ways ultimately lead me to enroll at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

Anyways, here are 8 foods to well, let's just say it... spice up your love life! this Valentine's Day!

Garlic: stimulating to the circulatory system, the taste and smell have a calming effect
Honey: the sweet taste can awaken your senses, provides an increase in energy
Pineapple: supporting to reproductive health, packed with antioxidants
Oysters: an excellent source of zinc, which boosts libido
Chili peppers: stimulating to the circulatory system and the production of feel-good endorphins
Cacao: (the unprocessed beans used to make cocoa) rich in antioxidants as well as libido-enhancing hormones
Almonds: an excellent source of libido-boosting vitamin E
Bananas: increase the production of sex hormones, as they provide a high level of potassium and B vitamins

If you want to read about even more of the aphrodisiac properties of these foods, as well as strategies to open your heart to happiness this Valentine's Day, then you might be interested in checking out this complimentary ebook, created by the fantastic people at at my beloved nutrition school!

I also want to share with you today.... one of the first websites that started feeding my obsession with learning about the benefits of specific foods:

World's Healthiest Foods

If you haven't yet checked out this site yet... I highly recommend visiting it! (It's sponsored by a not-for-profit foundation with no corporate interests or advertising!) Love that.

I wish you a very happy Valentine's Day!!


Integrative Nutrition® and Institute for Integrative Nutrition® are registered trademarks of Integrative Nutrition Inc.

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Dreamy Valentine Dessert!

Hello everyone!

I’m Max from Fork the Cookbook. Ashley’s been so kind to allow me to guest post on her Taste for Healthy and I have a treat for you! Valentine’s day is around the corner and I’m sure everyone is busy searching and pinning recipes for this occasion. Well, look no further as I have a dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free AND sugar free dessert for you this Valentines day!

I love forking recipes. Nope, forking is not a dirty word! It merely means to create a variation from original recipes. On my quest to live a little better, I’ve been forking recipes so that I won't miss out on treats and feel better at the same time. We change recipes to suit us all the time, Fork the Cookbook's focus is on making it easy for us to tweak recipes and keep track of what others have done differently to our recipes.

Here’s an easy floating island recipe I’ve forked to be healthier. Floating island or snow egg is a French dessert consisting of poached meringue floating on vanilla custard. I’ve only used 2 eggs, almond milk and vanilla beans to make this simple dessert. The egg whites are beaten with honey instead of sugar and cooked gently in hot almond milk. I’ve made the custard with egg yolk that I’ve saved from making the meringue, almond milk, honey, vanilla and a touch of xanthan gum to thicken it. I finished this off with some fresh passion fruit for its tang and crunch.

Healthy Floating Island or "Snow Egg"

This is a truly refreshing dessert, one you can whip up in advance if you want to serve it cold. One bite of this pillowy soft, almond flavoured meringue will make you and your loved one feel as if you’re on cloud 9...

Do check us out at Fork the Cookbook and let's fork our way to a healthier us!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Natural Remedy for a Sore Throat

Well, hello there wellness lovers!

Can you imagine what life was like before Pinterest?!

I know I can't!

Something I've noticed lately (and love!):

Based on my own observations, it seems like the "Millenial" generation (in general), seems to be going 'back to the basics', per se, and using our grandparents' tried and true home remedies for common situations... for an array of things ranging from cleaning to gardening to natural health care.

Not only are many of our grandparents' tips + tricks generally more natural (and safer), they will also save you a ton of $$$!

I've had conversations with many friends about this, and from what I am seeing and hearing, it really does seem to be a trend. :)

Today I thought I'd share a new pin from my "Natural Health" pin board.

It's something I have yet to try, but have "pinned it away" for possible future use. And, one day when I have kids, I'm pretty sure I will be thankful to have this on hand.

Natural Remedy for a Sore Throat

Caption said:

"If you wake up with a sore throat, and begin to feel a cold coming on, mix hot water, 2-tablespoons honey, 2-tablespoons of vinegar, dash of cinnamon, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, mix well, and drink, you will feel better within the hour! Works every time!"

Just curious... has anyone tried this yet?

I hope you are having a wonderful week. :)


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dr. Axe's Secret Detox Drink

Hello there! And happy 2013!

I'm back... :) After weeks of holiday festivities, I decided to finally update my blog. Haha... I know that many of you can relate that sometimes it's just necessary to unplug and step away from the computer.

And I did just that. ;)

Anyways, today I thought I'd share my new favorite detox drink that I've been loving lately!

I learned about it via Pinterest, of course ;) but it's a recipe by Dr. Axe.

Let me just say, it's the best way I've ever tried taking ACV by far!

And after Christmas and New Year's... this is a perfect way to detox and balance your system.


  • 1 glass of water (12-16 oz.)
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (I use Bragg's)
  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 packet stevia powder (I use NuNaturals liquid drops)

  1. Blend all ingredients together. (I just mix, since I use liquid stevia there isn't a need to blend.)

Have you tried anything similar to this yet?

I'm sure you know... but let's just remember how beneficial apple cider vinegar is!

Love this infographic from one of my favorite news websites, :)

Have an excellent day!