Category Archives: Immune Boost

Tips (and a Recipe!) To Beat Sugar’s Sneaky Game

Paige Doyle
Author: Paige Doyle

We all know about the high sugar content in foods such as ice cream, cookies, candy bars, and donuts. But did you know that sugar is found in a vast array of foods other than just those that are considered “sweet”? You might be surprised to find sugar in these pantry staples: bacon, sausage, ketchup, pasta sauce, peanut butter, almond butter, bread, crackers, nut milks, and coffee creamers. And that’s not all. Sugar goes by many names, 56 different ones to be exact, including barely malt, carob syrup, dextrose, diastase, ethyl maltol, galactose, lactose, maltodextrin, sorbitol, and sucrose. Even when we are trying to be health-conscious consumers, sugar can sneak its way into our diets.

Dopamine: the reason why the more sugar you eat, the more sugar you’ll want
When we consume sugary foods, the dopamine receptors in our brain ignite. Dopamine is responsible for controlling feelings of pleasure and reward. Therefore, when we eat sugar, the dopamine response encourages us to continue eating sweet foods. Insulin is another key player in sugar cravings. This hormone is found in the pancreas and tells the body to either utilize sugar for energy or for storage. When we eat foods high in sugar, our insulin levels spike, causing our blood sugar levels to rise. This gives us energy, but not sustained energy. In about an hour or so, your blood sugar levels will drop, making you feel lethargic and desiring either a nap or sweet treat.

Boost your immune system, mood, and sleep
Believe it or not, mounting evidence suggest sugar’s role in a wide array of undesired health conditions, from mood swings, acne, and poor sleep, to more severe conditions such as type 2 diabetes, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. Not to mention that eating sugar in excess can contribute to a weakened immune system. As we gear up for back-to-school season, and the abundance of cold and flu illnesses that come with it, limiting sugar consumption can help increase your susceptibility to catching those undesired germs and viruses.

Get rid of sugar cravings naturally
A good rule of thumb is to generally avoid those packaged and highly refined foods found in the middle aisles of the grocery store. These almost always contain added sugar. Instead of reaching for a granola bar or piece of candy the next time you feel hungry, try eating an avocado, nuts, seeds, or “Fat Bombs” (see recipe below). Nourishing your body with healthy fats is a great way to curb sugar cravings. Clean protein sources, such as wild-caught salmon, grass-fed meat, and pasture-raised poultry and eggs, are also going to help you feel full and energized, without the blood sugar swings. Lastly, while carbohydrates may be getting a bad reputation these days, there are plenty of nutrient-dense vegetables that provide the body with sustained energy, while being low on the glycemic index. These include artichokes, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, spinach, eggplant, cucumber, sweet potatoes, peppers, radishes…. the list goes on and on! If you give your body the nutrients, fats, and protein it needs, your sugar cravings will start to dwindle.

Register now, for the 21 Day Sugar Detox With Paige Doyle…
Intro to the Sugar Detox program: Why quit sugar, how the program works, and Q & A.
Thursday, September 13th, 6:15-7:45pm
Cost: $10.

3-week long Sugar Detox workshop:
$60 if you register before September 15th. $75 after that.
Wednesday, September 19th, 6:15-7:45pm
Wednesday, September 26th, 6:15-7:45pm
Wednesday, October 3rd, 6:15-7:45pm

Super Simple Fat Bomb Recipe:
Recipe adapted from Mark Sisson’s “The Keto Reset Diet”

  • 1/2 cup organic coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup organic cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup almond, cashew, or preferred nut/seed butter

Melt the coconut oil. Whisk in the cacao powder and nut butter until smooth. Pour into silicone mini muffin molds (or small paper muffin cups). Refrigerate or freeze for at least 10 minutes to harden. If using muffin molds, pop the the molds out and place in an airtight container. Store in fridge until you’re ready to enjoy one.

Paige Doyle is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and 21-Day Sugar Detox Health Coach. To learn more about Paige, or to schedule a consultation, visit her website at

Travel: so good for the soul, and so hard on our bodies.

Author: Lily Mazzarella

Where does travel hit you?  Can’t poop? Trouble sleeping?  Going to a place where you have little or no control over your food?  Anxious about packing, waking up early, getting on a plane—or being with family members?   Get sick every time you go anywhere?

We’ve got you covered!

These are our go-to travel saviors:

Did you know there is an enzyme that helps break down common food allergens, like gluten and casein from dairy?  Or that there is an enzyme to assist in the breakdown of food and beverage-borne histamines—like those found in wine, cheese, and salami?  Or that Activated Charcoal can be used topically for spider bites and internally for alcohol and food overindulgence, or exposure to food and water-borne bugs?  

For more amazing remedies, check out our top travel picks.

HistDAO 60cap:  Do you get a headache, flushing, congestion, or gut upset with histamine-containing food and drink such as wine, aged cheese, leftover foods, cured meats and fermented veggies?  HistDAO contains the DAO enzyme, which our own body produces to break down histamines in the food supply. A huge hit with our histamine-sensitive folks who want to indulge!

Intolerance Complex:  This highly specialized enzyme assists in the digestion of gluten, dairy and other common food allergens.  While it’s not total license to eat foods that don’t work for you, it is wonderful to have something when you know you’re going to enjoy foods that you don’t normally eat.  Also great for sensitive folks who are concerned about exposures in restaurants and dinner parties.

Our 2 top-selling shelf-stable probiotics are on sale!  That’s right, you can support your flora and protect your gut while you travel! The EPS probiotics come in 2 strengths and convenient blister packaging.  Orthobiotic is a high-potency multi-strain probiotic that adds Saccharomyces boulaardii, a beneficial yeast that doesn’t get killed by antibiotics, and aids the body in protecting against Candida and C. diff.  

  • EPS 25-Billion
  • EPS 5-Billion 120
  • EPS 5-Billion 60
  • Ortho Biotic 60

Quiet Digestion (90 Tablets / 270 Tablets):  Staff favorite!  This classic blend of Chinese herbs has traditionally been used for food poisoning, bad water exposure, nausea, diarrhea, stomach rumbling, and belching.  Aromatic herbs aid digestion and protect against gut misery. Can be taken prophylactically or alongside unfamiliar/suspicious foods.

Activated Charcoal:  I don’t go anywhere without charcoal!  Along with Quiet Digestion, charcoal is my go-to for iffy food and water we encounter while traveling or camping.  It’s also a great hangover cure—if you’ve overindulged in alcohol or food, take 2 caps before bed along with tons of water.  And, charcoal caps can be opened and mixed with water for topical use on angry cuts, scrapes and bug bites. I brush my teeth with it if I forget toothpaste!  A bit messy, but works great.

Herbatonin 3mg (available in store only) Finally a 100% plant-based, bio-identical melatonin!  Help your system get on board with new time zone and reset your bio-rhythms when you return home with this clean, easy-to-process melatonin extracted from the palnt Oryza sativa.  Many of our customers report a much better response to Herbatonin than synthetic melatonin.

PharmaGABA-Pro (100 Tablets/ 250Tablets), and Chewable PharmaGABA by Natural Factors:
GABA is our own body’s main quieting neurotransmitter. PharmaGABA is a non-synthetic, bio-identical form of GABA that supports daytime calm, as well as restful sleep.  Great for pre-travel anxiety and sleep disruption, long plane rides, and trouble sleeping in unfamiliar places or new time zones.  It comes in 2 strengths and a chewable form!

Mellow Lax:  Constipation is one of the most common travel complaints we hear about, and can seriously hinder your quality of life.  Mellow Lax contains herbs like Rhubarb and Cascara that have traditionally been used to move the bowels, as well as soothing aromatic herbs like Wild Yam, Angelica and Fennel to help with bowel tension and cramping.  Mellow Lax offers gentle overnight support for easy elimination.

Sleep Now:  Customer favorite!  Fall asleep faster and fall back to sleep more easily with herbs traditionally used to support sleep and relaxation such as California Poppy, Passionflower and Hops.  This rapidly absorbed formula offers fast-acting support and is not habit forming. Can be taken before bed and upon nighttime wakings.

In The Moment:  Top Seller!  Skullcap, Blue Vervain, Lavender and Kava help to take the edge off daily stress and anxiety, and help create a sense of embodied relaxation.  Full of fast-acting nervines (herbs traditionally used to support the nervous system), In the Moment is our top-selling anxiety and stress support blend.  

Defend! Throat Spray:  Get sick every time you travel?  I suggest wearing a soft, comfortable mask if you’re flying (with a drop of immune-clarifying Ravintsara EO on the charcoal mask, for an aromatherapy boost) and using 3-4 sprays of Defend! Throat Spray every couple of hours.  It is formulated with herbs traditionally used to support our defenses against viruses and other pathogens, and topically targets the area where nasty things tend to start brewing.

Ravintsara and Lavender EO:  My travel bag would be incomplete without Simplers Organic Lavender essential oil, which can be used for everything from sunburn to restless agitation to bug bites.  Ravintsara is my go-to for respiratory, lymphatic and immune health—I use a drop or two on my mask or scarf when I fly, and in the shower once I arrive for an aromatherapy steam.  I have found it to be particularly helpful when the air quality in an unfamiliar room is poor, due to ventilation or potential mold. Essential oils can also be diffused in the car for road trips!

Spicer Cork Bags (3 sizes):  Sustainable, locally-made, super-durable, AND really pretty?  These fantastic bags house your toiletries, travel goodies and tinctures for easy access.

Sage-Garlic Honey

Author: Lily Mazzarella

sage-garlic honey recipe from Farmacopia, Santa Rosa, CA

Honey: More than just a sweet treat.

In its raw, unheated/unpasteurized form, you may be shocked at the plethora of heavy hitting health benefits honey possesses. Continue reading

6 Ultra Simple Lifestyle Tips to Break up With Sugar

Author: Lily Mazzarella

Farmacopia 6 tips to kick the sugar habit
Sugar. It’s the worst partner you’ve ever had. And it’s time to leave it in the X-files along with his old sweater and that tattered napkin she first wrote her number on. “What’s so wrong with sugar,” you ask? “It’s always there when I need comforting, makes me giddy at just the thought of it, and never says no to me,” you say. But like a toxic partner, sometimes it takes the hard truth from a dear friend to help you see their insidious ways. Let me be that friend.

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Do It Yourself Body Care with Essential Oils

Robin Lander
Author: Robin Lander

D.I.Y Body Care with Essential OilsMaking your own body care products is a rewarding way to have complete control over your ingredients, scent, texture, look, and feel. With a little practice and the right quality ingredients, you can make luxurious, premium products that rival even the best store-bought brands. These also make wonderful gifts!

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Do you have a leaky gut?

Author: Lily Mazzarella

Leaky gutA leaky what?

“Leaky gut”: a shorthand colloquialism for “abnormal intestinal permeability” or “intestinal hyperpermeability,” a well-researched condition that is at once clearly defined in the medical literature, and largely ignored in the practice of conventional medicine. Continue reading

What the Shiitake!

Author: Lily Mazzarella

Benefits of Shiitake Mushrooms

neither plant nor animal nor mineral…….Get to know a mushroom!

SHIITAKE  {nice to meet you}  Lentinula edodes

“Shii” = name of several types of tree upon which shiitakes grow, in Japanese 

“take”= mushroom, in Japanese

Aka:  black mushroom, black forest mushroom, donko Continue reading