February’s Nourishing Newsletter

Green And Red Healthy FoodFebruary is Heart Awareness Month!  So all things heart healthy are in this month’s Nourishing Newsletter….

As far as diet/lifestyle goes there are some nonnegotiable’s in my book to keep your ticker ticking (in no particular order).

  1. Don’t smoke
  2. Make exercise a priority.  Do a form of exercise you enjoy preferably 5 days a week.
  3. Meditate and find ways to relieve stress
  4. Breathe deeply and often
  5. Supplement your diet with a high quality fish oil and vitamin D3
  6. Increase your Omega 3 fatty acids (fish, DHA, walnuts, flax seeds) and decrease your Omega 6 fatty acids (refined vegetable oils, processed and restaurant foods)
  7. Eliminate soda including diet soda
  8. Eliminate trans-fatty acids and hydrogenated seed oils
  9. Increase heathy fats (extra virgin olive oil, coconut products, avocados, nuts and seeds)
  10. Decrease or eliminate sugars in the diet (especially white sugar)
  11. Decrease or eliminate over processed foods
  12. Decrease unnecessary intake of carbs
  13. Increase vegetable intake to 8 servings a day
  14. Drink as much water as you can
  15. Cook at home 70+% of the time
  16. Connect with loved ones and keep your close friends close
  17. Donate as much time as you can to a good cause
  18. Have a spiritual practice


One of my favorite ways to eat  just topped US News and World Health Report 2018’s list of “best diets overall” – the Mediterranean Diet, which received high marks for being healthy and easy to follow, and potentially effective for weight loss in both the short and long-term.

What has made the Mediterranean diet one of the healthiest ways of eating and living?  Inhabitants of this region have maintained remarkable health: They have lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes when compared to the United States, Japan, and Canada.

The Mediterranean diet consists of natural, whole foods and excludes processed and refined foods. Important lifestyle factors include the value placed on relationships, pleasure, leisure, and physical activity, all which reduce stress and contribute to physical and mental well-being.

The Mediterranean diet includes an abundance of extra virgin olive oil and seasonal fruits and vegetables as well as whole, unprocessed grains. Wild fish is highly encouraged as well as dairy products, especially from goats and 3-4 eggs per week.  Nuts are included as snacks since they contain high amounts of omega-3s. Meats and saturated fats are savored in moderation, usually on special occasions.

A large part of the Mediterranean diet is simple, and uses seasonings like basil, oregano and lemon. It’s recommended that wine consumption remain at 1-2 small glasses daily, and coffee is consumed moderately for pleasure and mental stimulation.

Foods to include:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Whole grain
  • Fish
  • Meats
  • Dairy
  • Nuts
  • Olive oil

Foods to avoid:

  • Processed foods
  • Refined foods


Mediterranean Diet  www.health.usnews.com

Mediterranean Diet  www.mediterraneandiet.com


cooking picture

It’s still not too late to sign up for February’s Elimination Diet Group. It officially begins on Feb 1 but we can catch you up quickly if you sign up by Feb 4th.

The elimination/provocation diet removes food groups for two weeks then adds them back in one by one, determining your body’s reactions for sensitivities.  Food sensitivities cause your body produces a low-level of inflammation which leads to any of the below examples.

  • Weight Gain / Weight Loss
  • Fatigue / Lethargy
  • Foggy Thinking / Memory Issues / Lack of Focus
  • Moodiness / Anxiety / Depression / Racing Thoughts
  • Aggression / Hyperactivity
  • Gas / Diarrhea / Constipation / Bloating / Cramping
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Reflux (GERD)
  • Recurring Nausea & Vomiting
  • Muscle Pain / Joint Pain / Chronic Pain
  • Headaches / Migraines
  • Sinus Congestion / Chronic Coughing
  • Asthma
  • Skin Rashes / Eczema / Psoriasis / Hives/Acne
  • Heart Palpitations / Rapid Pulse / Rapid Breathing
  • Heartburn
  • Numbness / Tingling

I will give you a guided step-by-step plan to complete this diet in a supportive group setting.  We will meet once a week for six weeks with days 1-2 being detox, 3-14 being elimination and 15-42 being reintroduction.

Location: Riverdell Herbs 2211 East Broadway Avenue Maryville, TN 37804

Dates: Feb 1, 8, 15 March 1, 8

Cost $175

February’s Recipes:

With this month’s class being a guided Elimination Diet to detect food allergies here are two Elimination Diet recipes.  Both of these are heart and waistline healthy and great for Superbowl weekend!


White Chicken Chili

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 60 minutes | Servings: Serves 8-12


2-tablespoon olive oil

1 ½ medium onions, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 jalapeno, minced

4 (15-ounce) cans white beans, rinsed and drained

3 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies

4 (14.5 oz.) cans chicken broth

Juice of 1 lime

2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

4-6 cups shredded rotisserie chicken

2/3 cup chopped cilantro

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Optional toppings: avocado slices, scallions, shredded cheese, plain Greek yogurt, cilantro


In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Cook the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and jalapeno and cook for 5 more minutes.

Add the white beans, green chilies, chicken broth, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, oregano, chicken, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Stir and let simmer on low heat for 45-60 minutes.

Ladle chili into bowls and serve with desired toppings.

Kale and Wild Rice Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Servings: Serves 4


For the Salad:

1 large bunch kale (I like to use lacinato kale)

1 teaspoon olive oil

Pinch of Kosher salt

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 cup cooked wild rice ( or brown rice or combo of both)

1 large apple, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

1/4 cup dried cranberries (or cherries)

1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

For the Dressing:

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon pure maple syrup (or honey)

1/4 tsp ground mustard or 1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp ground basil

1tbsp minced shallot

Salt and ground black pepper to taste


Toast pumpkin seeds until you hear them pop and then set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, add the kale, olive oil, salt, and apple cider vinegar. Massage the kale with your hands until the kale softens, about 2-3 minutes. Add the cooked wild rice, apple, avocado, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds. Gently toss.

To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, maple syrup, and mustard in a small bowl or jar. Whisk until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.

Drizzle dressing over the salad and gently toss. Serve immediately.

Side note: Salmon makes a great protein addition.  If you are not sensitive to dairy or on the elimination diet crumbled goat cheese is a nice topping.


As a Bikram Yoga teacher for 17 years now I know both firsthand and from thousands of students the benefit of heat during a yoga practice.   I have seen so many transformations from eradicated pain to tremendous weight loss and the list goes on and on.  I also have a Swedish father who has been a regular Sauna user since I can remember so I have grown up accustomed to this ritual.   I was very happy to see this latest research come out on the benefits of sauna use, and I can also extend that to a hot yoga practice.   http://observer.com/2018/01/new-study-links-cardiovascular-health-benefits-to-regular-sauna-use/?__s=jjx9yemf4pmk9jbbjhvg 

Highlighted Yoga Pose 

Ustra Sana – Camel Posecamel-pose.jpg

How to do:  Stand on your knees at the top of your mat. Place your knees six inches apart, feet directly behind. Tuck the toes under if your front body is tight. Point the feet back, tops of feet flat on the floor if front body is open. Place your hands on your hips, thumbs outside, fingers facing down and push your hips forward to their maximum flexibility. Pause and take a deep breath. Continue breathing as you curve your spine and relax your head back, looking to the back wall. Slowly bring your right hand to your right heel, then your left hand to your left heel, keeping your thumbs on the inside of the heels. Keep a strong grip and push your hips and spine forward on the exhale breath. Contracts the buttocks as lifting your chest up and stretch your neck back. Stay in this pose 30-45 seconds. To come up on the inhale, place your right hand back on your hip, your left hand back on your hip and come up straight, not twisting your shine. Sit your hips on your heels for several breaths and relax or turn around in Sa Va Sana, dead body pose for 20-30 seconds.

Benefits: Camel is a longevity and anti-aging pose. The whole spine is stretched and toned. Opens the heart chakra and solar plexus

  • Activates the back brain triggering emotional releases from childhood.
  • Releases fear and trauma.
  • Normalizes blood pressure
  • Improves function of the lungs and heart
  • Beneficial for reproductive organs
  • Improves metabolism
  • Generates oxygen in the bloodstream
  • Improves kidney function.

Side note: do this pose after you are warmed up and your spine and hips have been stretched.

High Intensity Interval Training- HIIT

We all hear about the benefits of high intensity interval training but are they accessible for everyone?  Well mostly yes.  You can make any activity high intensity doing all out short spurts with a full recovery repeating this process multiple times.  So if your joints need the pool instead of the pavement you can still do high intensity training.  But if you are on doctors orders to limit the exertion on your heart or other organs then HIIT is not the right fitness model for you, (until you are cleared for more intensity.)

I would try for 80% of your workout routines being aerobic (you can talk and breathe while doing them) and 20% of your workouts being anaerobic and high intensity (your max exertion level).

Here are a few articles that highlight the many benefits and studies of HIIT training.




Vitamin C- a critical ingredient

Antioxidants are must-have ingredients for good skin health.  Of which Vitamin C is one of them (A, E, C, selenium, resveratrol).  Vitamin C is one of natures most powerful antioxidants that can neutralize and remove oxidants, such as those found in environmental pollutants, after exposure to ultraviolet radiation, smoking and poor nutrition. This activity appears to be of particular importance in the epidermis (second layer of the skin), where vitamin C is concentrated in the skin.

Vitamin C does stimulate collagen production, which slows down our skin’s natural aging proces.  Topical Vitamin C has the potential to brighten skin tone and texture and reduce sun spots and brown melanin.  During the winter months incorporate topical Vitamin C in your skin care regime for a tool in fighting sun spots as your outdoor exposure is at a minimum.  This study referenced shows postive results with topical Vitamin C in wound healing, minimizing scar formation, decreased wrinkle depth and relieving dry skin.  http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/9/8/866/htm

Good skin health does begin with the diet, so ample amounts of Vitamin C and other antioxidents through fruits, vegetables and supplement’s makes it possible for the skin to obtain some of this cruicial youth-preserving vitamin.

Here are my top picks of topical Vitamin C products:

Topical C   –   http://www.sanitas-skincare.com/store/topical-c

Vitamin C serumhttp://www.sanitas-skincare.com/store/vita-c-seru

Vitamin C lotion-  https://www.naturopathica.com/products/vitamin_c_revitalizing_lotion


  • Sanitas Progressive Skin Health  
  • The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health Juliet M. Pullar, Anitra C. Carr and Margreet C. M. Vissers 


Until March’s Nourishing Newsletter……

“Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu”  translated to mean “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”

Have a great month friends and enjoy your health!

XO Amanda





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