Magnesium is a vital mineral that is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body and shown to be beneficial for heart disease, brain health, hormone production, hypertension, and helps stabilize blood sugar. Magnesium is found in all bodily tissues, but mainly in the bones, muscles and brain. It’s considered the anti-stress and relaxation mineral.

Magnesium takes part in the transmission of hormones such as insulin, thyroid, estrogen, testosterone, DHEA, and neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, GABA, and minerals and electrolytes.
Magnesium deficiency is an epidemic in men, women and children and especially in the elderly. Diabetics and individuals who use alcohol, caffeine, blood pressure drugs, diuretics, antibiotics, oral contraceptives and sleep meds are highly susceptible to magnesium deficiency. 

Magnesium depletion is very common due to diets high in carbohydrates, sugar, soda and processed, packaged foods. Also, individuals who sweat excessively, experience high stress lifestyle and adrenal fatigue suffer from magnesium insufficiency. On top of that, food levels of magnesium have declined drastically in recent years due to mineral depleted soil. 

Individuals often think they’re deficient in calcium, when in reality it’s magnesium they’re deficient in. Magnesium is a synergist for calcium and vitamin D absorption. No matter how much vitamin D you take, your body cannot properly use it if you’re deficient in magnesium. And, without adequate magnesium extra calcium collects in the soft tissues instead of bone and causes calcium deposits and arthritis. In two separate studies published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, magnesium deficiency was found to be associated with abnormal bone calcification. Both studies revealed that the higher the intake of magnesium, the higher the level of bone mineral density. 

Magnesium deficiency is linked to causing numerous chronic health problems. Circulating and dietary magnesium are inversely associated with cardiovascular risk. Insufficient levels of magnesium increase inflammation and exacerbate age-related diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and hypertension. Low levels of magnesium can contribute to a heavy metal deposition in the brain that may be responsible for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and MS. 

Common Symptoms and Conditions related to Magnesium deficiencies
Abnormal heart rhythms
Muscle cramps, spasms & weakness
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Kidney stones

Psychological stress
Persistent eye-twitching

Restless leg syndrome
Tension & migraine

Sensitivity to noises

Anxiety, irritability & agitation
Hyperactivity / ADD

Chronic fatigue
Panic attacks


Routine blood testing is not an accurate or effective marker to detect magnesium levels since less than two percent of magnesium is in the blood. The majority of magnesium, 99% is in the cells and in the fluid around the cells, in muscle and in the bone. Lab values that are within normal limits give a false sense of security of the actual magnesium status. 

Magnesium is beneficial for:
Brain function

Arterial fibrillation
Kidney stones


Calming the nervous system
Chronic fatigue

Cell protection from heavy metals

Reducing risk of colon cancer

Healthy aging, longevity

Muscle cramps & spasms

Food sources of magnesium include chlorophyll-rich leafy greens, seaweed, unsweetened cocoa, nuts, seeds, parsley, cilantro, avocado, fish, shrimp and wild salmon. 

Magnesium supplementation is an inexpensive and worthwhile investment. A highly-absorbed, bioavailable, chelated form of magnesium is important. These include magnesium taurate, citrate, aspartate, orotate, fumerate, threonate malate and glycinate. Magnesium oxide is a non-chelated, lower quality form of magnesium that is poorly absorbed.

Although the RDA recommends 300-400mg/day, most individuals benefit from 400-1000mg/daily or up to bowel tolerance. A side effect of too much magnesium is loose stools, which can be alleviated by supplementing with magnesium glycinate.

A phosphorylated B-6 taken with magnesium can be helpful since the level of vitamin B6 in the body determines how much magnesium will be absorbed into the cells.

Supplementing with magnesium is best taken between meals, after exercising or before bedtime when little or no fat is present in the gut (fat binds to magnesium and prevents absorption). Individuals with kidney disease or heart disease should consult with their doctor prior to supplementing with magnesium.

Also beneficial is soaking in a tub with 4-6 cups of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). The magnesium is absorbed through the skin and it’s great for relaxation before bedtime.



The recipe for these super yummy healthy gluten free pancakes is on the recipe page!  Enjoy!

A little turkey bacon on the side is awesome too!


Add fermented veggies to your salad and your life!  Your gut will thank you!  Try this Red Beet & Cabbage Sauerkraut in your next salad.  It is what's called a fermented food, which has an abundance of healthy gut probiotics. The beneficial bacteria in these fermented foods are very potent detoxifiers, capable of drawing out a wide range of toxins in the gut. Fermented foods such as this one, has long been known for it's gut healing properties. You can purchase fermented veggies or you can make them yourself. I found the red beet & cabbage at Whole Foods. The brand name is Wildbrin and it is in the refrigerated section with other sauerkraut's and fermented veggies. They come in many other flavors. The best part about these fermented veggies is how great they taste too!
This is one of the best salads I have ever made! See the red beet & cabbage sauerkraut?  Its so pretty!



Staying fit for your brain's health is just as important as staying fit for your body's health. It used to be the advice for aging adults was to do crossword puzzles to keep their brain sharp, but with the dramatic growth of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia among our aging population, that advice has changed. Pharmaceutical companies have spent billions trying to find the magic pill to reverse Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders. That has proven so far to be a dismal failure.

A new U.S. study has confirmed that staying fit during your midlife years means that you're less likely to develop dementia later in life. This study used over 20,000 healthy, well educated adults 50 years old plus.
The fitness minded participants who trained were followed for 20 to 30 years to look for signs of dementia. Researchers were allowed to examine Medicare records to keep track. Subjects who trained in midlife were found to be 38 percent less likely to develop dementia than those who didn't train.

There are a couple of reasons for this. Those who train usually have a healthier diet, and because of the direct effects of exercise on the blood flow to the brain. Maintaining the best circulation to the brain is critical in the middle age years to promote a healthy pituitary response to stress and other environmental factors.

It is currently believed, and I completely agree, that many issues such as chronic depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive disorders are all linked to poor brain circulation.

Always challenge yourself to learn new things like a new exercise. Also supplements to keep in mind are fish oil, vitamin D3, magnesium and any good antioxidants will help shield the brain from disorders.

This is Jill, she is one of my clients.  Jill is a grandmother in her 60's!  Jill lifts weights, does TRX and Zumba dance class.

Jill trains hard 4 days per week and it shows!  This TRX Pike is not an easy move, but Jill went after this challenging exercise and now does it better than some of my clients half her age.

FOOD CRAVINGS (are they sabotaging fat loss?)

Do you have any idea what may be the cause of your food cravings? You may be surprised to know that your food cravings have nothing to do with being physically hungry. Whether it's chocolate, a bag of salty chips, or big greasy cheese burger, we are all stricken with cravings for certain foods at one time or another. Craving's in many cases may not be what they appear. Sometimes it's about listening to your body and determining what it's really asking for. The body requires macronutrients (protein, fats and carbs) as well as micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) to function optimally. If the body is deficient in a nutrient, it will likely show a sign. In many cases, that sign is a food craving. 

For example, if the body does not receive enough omega – 3 fatty acids in the daily diet, it may que us to eat more of the wrong kind of fat. We'll likely eat the greasy cheese burger or slice of cheesy pizza, or bag of chips. Unfortunately, those foods are not going to give the body what it is looking for. This can turn into a huge over indulgence, which is never good. Once the body is given the right kinds of fats such as the omega – 3s, the cravings may go away.

Craving's can also be a more complicated problem. Sometimes those cravings are an indication that something may be wrong internally, maybe even a health concern. Salt is a great example of that. If you find yourself craving salt or salting food before even tasting it, this may be a sign of electrolyte imbalance. This may also be a sign of adrenal fatigue, which if not addressed can lead to other hormonal imbalances, affecting cortisol, DHEA, estrogen, testosterone, the thyroid, melatonin and many others.

Sugar cravings are another one that in many cases are attributed to adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue can interfere with cortisol production, leading to blood glucose depletion and hypoglycemia. As blood sugar levels drop, this cues a person to eat sugar in an effort to raise those levels. For women, food cravings tend to be at their greatest during pre-menestration. Those cravings can be caused by something as simple as the need for zinc. But it can also be something more complicated.

The chemical changes within a women's body combined with stress and emotions, trigger those cravings for chocolate, ice cream and french fries. Unfortunately consuming these processed foods leads to additional bloating and water retention.

Here is a list of common cravings and the possible deficiency associated with them.
Food craving: Fat. Common deficiency: Calcium.
Food craving: Bread. Common deficiency: Nitrogen.
Food craving: Soda. Common deficiency: Calcium.
Food craving: Chocolate: Common deficiency: Magnesium.
Food craving: Salt. Common deficiency: Sodium, chloride.
Food craving: Sugar/sweets. Common deficiency: Chromium, phosphorous, tryptophan, sulfur.
Food craving: Coffee. Common deficiency: Phosphorous, sulfur, sodium chloride, iron.

If you are experiencing chronic cravings for certain food types, where adding in the nutrient containing foods doesn't help, then you may have some internal imbalance present, like hormonal or digestive issues. It may be a good idea to contact a functional or holistic nutritionist or a naturopathic doctor.

By performing a bio-individualized assessment, and possibly running lab tests, a naturopathic doctor may be able to uncover the underlying causes of cravings, then prescribe the appropriate nutrition and nutraceuticals regimen required to correct the underlying causes, halting the cravings before they turn into something more severe. 


What are we without a healthy functioning liver?  One of my favorite things I love to have every morning is Dandelion Root tea for liver relief. If you are unaware of the health effects Dandelion tea has on the liver, then you will want to hear this.
Dandelion tea helps alleviate skin conditions, helps ease the pain of aching arthritic joints, purifies the blood, improves circulation and stabilizes blood sugar. It contains calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, vitamins B and C and helps prevent urinary tract infections. Dandelion tea also promotes weight loss and improves digestion, eases liver congestion, and purifies the bladder.
You can try adding Dandelion tea to your morning routine and works great as a coffee substitute. I add a little raw honey and a pinch of cinnamon to mine. It is quite enjoyable!


When it comes to sculpting and building a fantastic backside, there are 3 steps to follow: compound lifts, gluteal targeting moves and gluteal awareness.

In fact, we can develop a loss of connection with our glutes, which is referred to as gluteal amnesia. Gluteal amnesia has also been shown to be a common trait in people with low back problems. Therefore, working the glutes is not only good for looks, but it also offers support to the lumbar region. Individuals who work sedentary jobs can develop what is called “pancake bottom.” This occurs primarily from not using the glutes. Also, many sedentary desk job folks suffer from low back troubles.

The gluteus maximus is the largest and most superficial of the glute muscles, while the gluteus medius sits on the outer hip, and the gluteus minimus is the smallest and deepest of the three muscles.

Some of the best exercises for the glutes are Compound moves, such as squats, deadlifts, stiff-legged deadlifts, lunges and leg presses. These compound movements target the gluteus maximus as well as the low back and hamstrings.

However, it is first important to be sure your lumbo-pelvic rhythm is ideal to be able to reap the rewards from these movements. Ideal lumbo-pelvic rhythm will entail a slight anterior pelvic tilt, while pushing through the heels of the feet and keeping your chest and head up to preserve lumbar spinal alignment. This lumbo-pelvic rhythm also places the hip extensors in a more lengthened position which allows for greater activation and support from the glutes and hamstrings.
When putting together a glute targeting regimen, complete the following sequence of exercises: stationary barbell lunge (Smith machine or free weight), walking dumbbell lunge, and barbell stiff-legged deadlift. Since the glutes are the strongest hip extensors in the body, an ideal way to get them to respond is by using moderately heavy weight and remembering to contract or squeeze the glute muscle at the top of the movement. Perform these compound exercises for 3 to 5 sets of 5 to 15 reps for best results.


By now, most people are likely aware of at least some of the benefits of protein, like building muscle and repairing tissue. The human body requires approximately 21 amino acids in order to synthesize proteins. Twelve of these amino acids are called “non-essential” because they are made in the body and not required to be consumed through diet. The 9 remaining amino acids can only be obtained through diet and are called “essential.”

Protein also makes up the enzymes that create many chemical reactions including making antibodies, forming hemoglobin, and creating RNA & DNA. Protein is also a vital part of the bodies endocrine system, helping produce hormones.

Some good sources of protein are free-range organic eggs, chicken, turkey, organic grass fed beef and wild caught fish because they contain all of the essential amino acids needed to perform the duties I listed previously.

It is important to eat as much organic sources as possible because conventionally raised animals and poultry contain a vast array of antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides that will wreak havoc on the endocrine system, metabolism and overall health.

Avoiding processed meats, like deli slices, is also important, since they contain harmful preservatives and fillers.

Vegetarians can find complete proteins from certain plant sources like spirulina, soy (fermented only!) and hemp, and certain grains like buckwheat, quinoa, and amaranth. Combining beans, grains and seeds will also form a complete protein.

If you find it difficult to consume enough protein in the form of whole food, protein supplementation is a great alternative.

Protein powders are great to supplement with. However, protein powders are not created equal. In fact, some powders on the market today are complete garbage because they use very cheap ingredients and inexpensive methods of isolating the protein. This in turn destroys its efficacy and will fill your nutritional profile with artificial flavors, sweeteners and fillers. So be sure to read the ingredients.

The most common protein powder on the market is whey protein powder. When choosing a whey protein, find a non-denatured whey concentrate coming from grass fed cows, as this type will likely contain higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid and a proper balance of essential fatty acids. Low temperature drying is the best. This protein also contains lactoferrin, immunoglobulin, growth factors, and other important compounds.

For vegetarians or those with milk allergies and cannot tolerate whey, a great alternative is pea protein. Pea protein contains a well balanced amino acid profile, close to that of whey, and includes high levels of BCAAs (branch chain amino acids). Pea protein is easily absorbed and easily digested.  Find a pea protein that comes from non-genetically modified peas that have been extracted using high heats or chemical solvents.

Hemp protein is another great alternative to whey. It contains all of the essential amino acids and has great bio-availability and digestibility. Hemp has a perfect balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and has tremendous immune boosting properties. It's also rich in iron, zinc, magnesium, both soluble and insoluble fiber, and active enzymes.

Contrary to some popular belief, soy protein isolate is one of the worst proteins available on the market. Most are processed using hexane and contain phytic acid, which prevents the absorption of minerals like magnesium, iron, zinc and calcium. In addition, most soy grown in the U.S. (the unfermented variety) is genetically modified, which can be contributed to poor metabolism, arthritis, cancer and allergies, and have a negative impact on the thyroid and the hormones it produces.

Casein was deemed a great protein source about a decade ago, mainly because it is very inexpensive to make and provides the manufacturers with higher profits. The casein, like whey, comes from cows milk and is generally extracted using chemicals typically found in fertilizers and cleaning products, along with acid heat processing.

Whether you choose to get your protein through food sources or supplementation, this is a vital macro-nutrient to include in your health habits in order to grow, repair and recover.
Examples of a whey concentrate & a pea/hemp plant based protein powder.


Recently one of my clients asked me a question regarding coconut oil. I thought this would be a good one to share with you all being that it is a question I get asked frequently. Her question to me was, “why is coconut oil considered to be a healthy oil?” “I had always heard that it was a highly saturated fat and was considered an artery clogger.” “Has something changed?”

Good question, right? My answer to her was, yes, the opinion on coconut oil has shifted, and the once reviled fat is now emerging as a healthful oil and one that I personally use more than any other. But first we need to be clear about the type of coconut oil that is the healthy one and the one that is anything but healthy. The one found in processed foods, such as chips, cookies, and crackers and the like, is the partially hydrogenated variety. The one sharing the shelves with extra virgin olive oil is the virgin coconut oil.

Virgin coconut oil is made from fresh coconut that has been dried and had its oil extracted mechanically, not chemically like the partially hydrogenated kind. While the majority of fatty acids contained in virgin coconut oil are saturated, their molecular structure is a bit different than that found in other saturated fats. The fatty-acid chains found in coconut oil are medium in length, which is shorter than in most saturated fats. The human body can break down the shorter chains and metabolize them faster than longer chain fatty acids. This means that fat can be rapidly oxidized as energy and is less likely to be stored as body fat.

The potential benefits of virgin coconut oil go way beyond its medium-chain fatty acids. This oil is also high in lauric acid, a saturated fat that has been shown to increase the good cholesterol we need and lower the bad artery clogging cholesterol that we don't need.

With all of that being said, it is still important to realize that coconut oil is still a fat and should be consumed in moderation in order to keep total calorie intake in check. However, it is a good option for health seekers, and a great alternative for those following a vegan, kosher or dairy free diet who would like a natural solid fat to use in baking and cooking.

Culinary note. Virgin coconut oil is solid at room temperature and should be treated like butter in recipes. However, it has a much higher smoke point (280 to 350 degrees), making it great for sauteing and stir-frying. It has a mild sweet coconut flavor that adds a delicious touch to any dish.

Beauty note. Makes a wonderful lip and skin moisturizer and hair treatment for dry or over processed hair. If you burn yourself in the kitchen, grab a chunk of coconut oil and place it on the burn. Very soothing. 

Solid at refrigerated or room temp.


Or as I like to call it, “Mummy Tummy.” Listen up moms for a little science about why you may be having trouble flattening your mummy tummy. You may be asking yourself, why do moms need a special program? Because your abdominal and pelvic muscles have undergone specific physiological changes, likely still unaddressed even if it is months or years since you last gave birth. These muscles need to be restored and targeted with expertise and understanding, not bootcamp style ab workouts. As a matter of fact many of the traditional core and abdominal exercises are not going to help you. In fact they may make your problem worse. You may not even know what your core is or how to engage it properly. Let me first explain what your core consists of.
Your core muscles are the group of deep muscles that support your stomach, pelvic floor and lower back, and they stabilize your entire spine. The Transverse Abdominis is the deepest, innermost layer of all your abdominal muscles. It stretches around your mid-section like a corset. When engaged correctly, the transverse abdominis muscle acts like a girdle around your waist to stabilize your spine and pelvis. These muscles are important and so is the way pressure is exerted within your entire abdominal and pelvic cavity. If your core muscles do not activate properly, and if the pressure behind those muscles is high, then your spine, pelvis and joints are placed under stress. Let's talk about what can happen to your abdominal area as a result of to much pressure and a weak core with a baby growing inside.

Let's talk about Diastasis Recti or Rectus Distention, as I know this is a condition many women are concerned about or confused about. Diastasis Recti is what happens when the rectus abdominis (your six pack muscle) which is made up of two parts, joined in the middle by a collagen strip, becomes separated from its connective midline.
The Linea Alba: This midline connective tissue, runs from the bottom of your breastbone to the front of your pubis. It is this connective midline tissue (not the muscle itself) which is damaged, over lengthened, stretched or even torn away from the abdominal muscles to which it is supposed to be attached. The two parts of muscle move farther apart as the connection between them stretches and weakens, as a result of increased pressure, combined with your growing baby. The rectus muscle is your most superficial muscle, or outermost abdominal muscle. It sits outside the tranverse abdominis and outside the oblique muscle of your waist. The function of the outermost muscle is supposed to be to support your back and your organs. So when the muscle separates, this support system is weakened, causing low back pain and a pronounced tummy.

Would you know it if you had it? Here is what to look for. Your organs protrude through the gap, as only this thin layer of connective tissue supports them. This often appears as a cone shape (when lying on your back) or as a protruding, pregnant looking belly. Your bellybutton may come out instead of in. Your stomach may bulge more when your digestive system is full. A severe diastasis may reveal a pulsing while your digestive system is working. It can cause back pain, especially when lifting, as your spine is bearing all of the weight of your body. It may feel tender to the touch and it will be pronounced when you attempt a crunch type exercise or get up from a lying position on your back.

How to test yourself for Diastasis Recti. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. You can rest your head on a pillow. Relax your head and shoulders and place 2 or 3 fingers just higher than your bellybutton. Gently but firmly press down with your fingertips and then lift your shoulder blades slightly off the floor. You will feel the muscles close in around your fingers as you lift your head and neck. Don't lift your shoulders up too high and don't hold this position for more than a second or two. You may want to try a few times so you can feel how the muscles work. If you don't feel the two ridges of muscle with 2 fingers try 3. A diastasis gap is measured in finger widths. Remember you are also testing for the condition of the connective tissue (the Linea Alba). The further your fingers go into your belly, the weaker the connective tissue. There is also a leg lift test. Lie flat on the floor with your legs flat out on the floor, lift 1 leg off the floor about 2 inches. Any gap or bulging, particularly if there is little resistance to pressure into the gap, is a diastasis or distention and will result in instability and weakness.

OK ladies, I know this is all a lot to take in and sounds really weird and scary, but guess what? It is fixable! It starts with your posture and the way you hold yourself. You must learn how to use your rectus abdominis to decrease pressure and bring the rectus together, thereby closing the gap. Before you do hundreds of repitions of any abdominal exercises or Pilates or any ab isolating exercises that may be missing the point, find a training expert in your area who specializes in pre/post natal fitness and that has worked with other moms on their Diastasis Recti. How long it will take depends on the depth and width of the diastasis as well as your commitment to doing the exercises necessary. It may take 6 weeks to show marked improvement. So be patient with yourself because the end result will be so worth it and you will learn to love your body again! Good luck moms!



Did you know that there is a major difference between weight loss and fat loss? Most people don't take that in to consideration but I am here to tell you there is a big difference.
When you are obsessed with weighing yourself on the scale, you are solely focused on weight loss. An individual's weight loss can fluctuate during the day, especially when you factor in fluid retention, sodium intake, and muscle weight. The scale is an inaccurate tool for monitoring fat loss. Two individuals can have the same exact body weight and height, but have completely different body compositions and body dimensions. On the other hand, two individuals can have an equal body fat percentage, but the leaner person will weigh more on the scale due to the higher density/weight of lean muscle tissue.
In contrast, fat loss is about focusing your energy and efforts toward building and maintaining lean muscle tissue. Remember, fat loss is not about counting calories, starvation diets, measuring food, stepping on a scale everyday, willpower, or excessive amounts of exercise. Instead, fat loss is about building and keeping muscle, your metabolically active tissue; choosing higher quality, nutrient dense foods, intelligent exercise, balanced hormones, and all of the other lifestyle aspects (sleep, stress etc.) of fat loss that are too often overlooked.
Did you know as we age, a cause and symptom of the aging process is Sarcopenia? Sarcopenia is simply the degeneration and loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength associated with aging. Sarcopenia also leads to overall weakness and a decline in metabolic rate due to less muscle mass. With lower metabolic rate, loosing body fat becomes more challenging. The good news is you can turn this process around. You can gain more muscle, burn more calories and lose unwanted body fat.
Bottom line-the more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your metabolic rate and the longer you will live.


Frequently influenced by diet and lifestyle, Metabolic Syndrome is a collection of conditions that a person has that increases the risk for several diseases such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and a list of others. A diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome is made when a person has any of the following risk factors:

1.Waist circumference of at least 35 inches for women and at least 40 inches for men.
2. Fasting blood glucose of at least 100mg/dl.
3. Serum Triglycerides of at least 150mg/dl.
4. Blood Pressure of at least 135/85mm/Hg
5. HDL (good cholesterol) lower than 40mg/dl for men or 50mg/dl for women.

Weight training has many benefits. Warding off Metabolic Syndrome may be one of them, suggests a recent study by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The findings were reported that among men and women, weight lifting was twice as common among men as it was among women and White Americans were more likely to lift weights than Hispanic Americans. Rates of Metabolic Syndrome were lower among those who lifted weights than those who did not. It is my personal and educated belief that lifting weights does play a role in reducing the prevalence and risk of Metabolic Syndrome among all people. All exercise professionals should strongly encourage the activity of lifting weights among adults of all ages to promote metabolic health. This does not mean you must become a body builder. A weight training program should be designed around you and your fitness goals.