Over the last few years we have seen a small group of foods become outrageously popular among health-conscious Americans and for good reason! The ancient Mayans used these foods for their superior nutritional value and other benefits such as warding off diseases and now these ingredients are being rediscovered.

As of this writing you can buy each of these foods from most grocery stores and you can even find prepared dishes and salads in delis and cafes. Don’t let the price tags scare you. A big bag of ancient tribal foods will last a long time because you only need a small amount. A spoonful mixed with non-dairy yogurt or hot gluten-free oatmeal is plenty and you’ll still get that nutrient rich goodness.

Today, we are going to briefly look at five different types of ancient tribal foods along with serving suggestions so everybody can see how easy it is to include these superfoods in our diets.

Acai Berry Powder-     The Shuar people have lived in the Amazonian rainforest for centuries and their healers were among the first to discover the benefits of Acai berries. These berries are packed with antioxidants, protein and omega fats. They are also loaded with fiber to help curb your appetite. Try a spoonful of Acai berry powder in your next smoothie or glass of green juice! Yum!

Sprouted Chia Seeds-      Did you know that chia is the Mayan word for strength? It is no surprise that chia seeds have been a major source of nutrition for people living in South America for millennia. Not only do they contain protein and omega fats, chia seeds are also a brain food and can even help to reduce inflammation in your joints. A true miracle food! Try some sprinkled on your salad. Look for sprouted chia seeds, sprouting naturally reduces phytic acid that can hinder mineral absorption.

Nopal (Prickly Pear Cactus)-     Nopal is a natural treatment for diabetes in Mexico because it is known to lower blood sugar without any side effects. The plant is also said to lower LDL cholesterol levels and can even be used to treat asthma. It also happens to be a tasty form of medicine because it can be made into jelly and consumed on a piece of a endive leaf. Nopal salad is one of my favorite Mexican dishes!

Hemp Hearts-   While hemp hearts are only about as big as sesame seeds they pack quite a nutritional wallop! These tiny seeds are among the highest density plant sources for protein. They also contain Vitamin E, omega fats, iron and GLA. Many vegetarians prefer hemp seeds as their daily source of protein. With their nutty flavor, hemp seeds are great over organic fruit salad, non-dairy protein smoothies or coconut yogurt. For a healthy snack try baking them into seed bars and gluten-free seed granola.

Black Rice-     If black rice was good enough for the ancient emperors of China then it is good enough for us, right? It is true that at one time in China’s history only the emperors were allowed to eat this extremely healthy food. It contains lots of Vitamin E to help boost your immune system. Black rice is also packed with antioxidants to remove free radicals and may even help your body to resist cancer. Try steaming some black rice and serve it to next to grilled chicken. You can also use black rice in place of pasta in a cold salad. It is one of the main ingredients in my Jing Jing!

There we have it. Five different types of ancient tribal foods and they are all readily available in most health food stores. Even the fussiest eater is bound to like at least one of these miracle foods. If you have any tasty serving suggestions for the powerhouse ingredients then please feel free to share them in the comments section. Remember that the food you eat today will impact your quality of life in the future!

 

The Element Protection Stick is best to weather proof your skin, for sun, wind, water and snow.

Dr. Susanne shares how she applies it to various areas of her face, lips and eyes to protect from the elements to prevent irritations, sun damage, wrinkles and crows feet.

Element Protection Stick is a “water screen” where sweat and water will roll off the face without product irritating your eyes.

It is excellent for sensitive skin including infants and children and has mild, natural insect repellent properties, and it’s easy to carry – you will want one in your purse, athletic bag, briefcase and diaper bag.

Dr Susanne Book Signing

So excited to invite you to my book signing at Barnes & Noble next Thursday, at 6:00 pm PT, 3rd St. Promenade, right down the street from my Wellness For Life Center.

I will be there to chat with you and answer any questions about your allergies. And of course, I will be honored to sign a copy of my book for you!

Do bring your loved ones – it will be a family affair!

 

With summer just around the corner and days getting longer, temperatures will continue to rise with warm sunshine and clear blue skies. More children and adults alike will be spending their spare time outdoors, playing, exercising, and enjoying the beautiful weather.

Before stepping outside, we want to be mindful about sun protection, and should apply a formula that protects our skin and children’s delicate skin. With so many different brands available as well as various types of chemicals in sunscreens and sunblocks, parents may feel overwhelmed and often have difficulty choosing the right type of formula or SPF.

Dr Susanne PaddleboardingThe most common question asked in my practice regarding sunscreens and sunblock is, “Which is the safest brand available for my child?”

Sunscreens and sunblocks protect our skin by different mechanisms.

Sunblocks actually sit “on” the skin and act as a barrier to reflect away ultraviolet (UV) rays – both UVA and UVB radiation can cause sunburn and skin damage, and possibly even skin cancer.

Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are both sunblocking agents for both UVA and UVB rays. Sunblocks usually start at an SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 15 or higher.

Sunscreens are made with chemicals that absorb and neutralize the ultraviolet radiation. Sunscreen chemicals typically protect against either UVA or UVB, while only a few protect against both types of radiation. As a result, sunscreens usually have mixtures of both kinds of chemicals in order to be labeled as “broad spectrum” – and to be fully protective. The SPF levels of sunscreen are widely varied, starting as low as 2 and rising as high as 100+.

There are strong concerns about chemical sunscreens acting as endocrine disruptors – compounds that mimic hormones and activate hormone receptors. Studies are showing that these chemicals can also generate powerful free radicals that can damage skin and possibly cause skin cancer (1)(2).

Specifically, the “protection” agents cause what we are trying to prevent! One study published in the April 2004 Journal of Chromatography found that sunscreen chemicals that are designed to prevent UV skin penetration can pass through your skin into the bloodstream.

This leads us to believe that the more applications of these “UV protectors”, and the longer you leave them on your skin, the more dangerous they becomes to your health.

SPF numbers are designed to describe the length of time you can stay in the sun before you start burning your skin. For example, if you normally start to burn after 30 minutes of direct sunlight, then an SPF 30 product should let you stay in the sun for approximately 30 times longer without burning.

Here are some helpful pointers on how to choose a healthy sunscreen / sunblock for you and your family:

  1. Look for formulas that have either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide in them. Out of the two, zinc oxide causes fewer allergic reactions. These are natural mineral compounds that will “block” the UV rays from penetrating the skin; the only drawback is that they may leave a white residue.
  2. Stay away from products claiming they use “nano-particles”, which can penetrate skin.
  3. Follow product warnings for infants under 6 months old.
  4. Stay away from synthetic estrogen compounds which appear under names such as Oxybenzone (benzophenone-3 and 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC), as well as other derivatives that are super free radical generators (causing skin damage) such as avobenzone, Parsol 1789, dioxybenzone, ethylhexyl p-methoxycinnimate, octyl methoxycinnamate, 2-ethylhexyl salicylate, Trolamine salicylate, homosalate, and PABA.
  5. Insect Repellents are often added to sunscreen, but should also be avoided, considering they are well known neurotoxins. Purchase cream-based products only.
  6. Avoid sprays and powders, as the vapors and particulates can easily be inhaled and irritate nasal passages and respiratory system.
  7. Use SPF 15-50. Avoid high SPF above “50+”, as the FDA says these numbers are misleading.
  8. Before using any sunscreen or sunblock, test it by applying a small amount to your child’s wrist. If the skin turns red, itchy, or irritated within 20 minutes, try another brand.

The best defense from damaging UV rays is prevention. Use these common-sense tips before grabbing the sunblock/sunscreens:

  • Wear loose, cotton/linen, and light-colored clothes: long sleeve shirts, pants, and dresses will reduce UV rays from penetrating the skin. A good hat with a large brim will protect the face, neck, eyes and ears.
  • For water sports, a rash guard or full-body swimsuit works beautifully for children who love to be in the water for hours at a time. Use a hat that can be cinched down under the chin.
  • Play in the shade. Use a parasol or umbrella at the beach or park, and keep infants completely out of the sun: sunscreen should not be used under 6 months of age due to their sensitive skin.
  • In addition, infants under the age of 12 months do not have enough melanin, a protective pigment in skin that helps block out UV rays.
  • Schedule indoor or shaded workouts and play dates around the peak sun hours 11 AM to 4 PM.
  • Wear polarized sunglasses to prevent skin damage around the eye and cataracts. Do attach the glasses to straps, so you don’t lose them!
  • Use removable mesh window shields to keep direct sunlight from coming in through the windows of your car.
  • Eat organic foods high in antioxidants to build up your “internal sunscreen”, including fresh organic vegetables and fruits such as berries, pomegranate, acai, and goji berries. For children who shy away from veggies, give them a daily antioxidant supplement loaded with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and greens.

References:

  • Garland, Cedric F. et al. Effect of sunscreens on UV radiation-induced enhancement of melanoma growth in mice. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 86, No. 10, May 18, 1994, pp. 798-801.
  • Larsen, H.R. “Sunscreens: do they cause skin cancer.” International Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine, 1994; 12(12): 17-19.
  • http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/

As you know, I’m a strong proponent against fluoridation and fluoride toxicity.  Check out this excellent article on how to prevent damage caused by this harmful toxin.

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This week, I was invited to New York City for an interview with Dr. Manny on Fox News!

With allergy season here, I thought you might be interested to see the interview that just aired today internationally!  Dr. Manny was awesome, and we had a great time chatting about allergies and my book, “The 7-Day Allergy Makeover“!

Just click the video below to watch the interview.

Interesting Image

  1. Close up all of your windows- in your home and office, as well as while driving your car. Keep pollen out!
  2.  

  3. Invest in a HEPA filter for your bedroom and living area.
    • Get one that filters and cleans the air in your room completely at least 2-3 times in one hour.
  4.  

  5. Exercise and schedule your children’s play dates indoors.
  6.  

  7. Don’t forget to push the RECIRCULATING AIR BUTTON in your car to keep the pollen, dust and other toxic particulates from entering your car.
  8.  

  9. GO GLUTEN, DAIRY AND SUGAR FREE- less food allergies means less Respiratory Allergies!
  10.  

  11. CLEANSE your nasal passages with a NETI-POT and saline solution- BUT don’t over do it, it can cause more allergy symptoms because you are drying out your nose!
  12.  

  13. Wipe down your animal friends with a damp paper towel after you have walked them outdoors to collect any pollen and debris off their coat.

On my flight to the Caribbean right now to spend a week with my mentor Brendon Burchard and our mastermind group. And  I am so thankful that my husband George made me a gluten and dairy-free pizza this morning to take on board!

Bringing my own food, supplements and purified water is an absolute must to maintain energy, mental clarity, hydration and to eliminate sugar cravings. I like to pack foods and snacks that are easy to prepare, store in a glass container and eat with pleasure. 

Yes- the pizza is higher in non-gluten carbs, but it is so much better than a dried up turkey & cheese sandwich with wilted lettuce that the airline sells! I also packed turkey jerky, seed & nut bars, and my green turbo charge drink mix.

My Gluten and Dairy-Free Pizza is easy-peasy to make, just get the following four items at your local health food store. If you can’t find the exact brands, get whatever is available as long as it is gluten and 100% dairy-free. And shop for organic ingredients if possible!

  1. Udi’s Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
  2. Cadia Organic Pizza Sauce
  3. Daiya Dairy-Free Shredded Cheese
  4. Uncured Nitrate-Free Pepperoni

Add more ingredients if you like such as olives, green onions, sun-dried tomatoes.

Heat the oven up at 375 degrees– the pizza size is perfect for a toaster oven. Pop it in for 7-8 minutes and voila! You have your meal on board ready to go.

Cool it, slice it, then store it in a glass container.

WANT A TIP on how do you keep the slices from sticking to each other and not touch the plastic top? Use Parchment Paper to separate each layer! 

I do call myself The Sensitive Voyager –the more I plan, prepare and bring my own food, the more fun I have on my trip!

St. Martin, here I come!