Sunday, March 18, 2012

How to avoid becoming a zombie, aka why healthy eating is important

We have been told for our entire lives that eating healthy is important. "It's good for you." Yeah.. That's pretty vague. We have no reason to believe "them" because "they" never gave us a real reason.

So, allow me: Eating healthy is more than simply "good for you." It's actually amazingly important. And here is why...

If you DON'T eat healthy, your cells turn into Zombie cells. And they will slowly destroy your body with profound efficacy . I guarantee you already have a few Zombie cells. DON'T LET THEM MULTIPLY!!

WHY you want to eat healthy and what that means...

First, a concept I want to share... we don't eat food for 'us', and when I say 'us' I mean our mind that says it is Claire that hates washing silverware, loves her dog, and wonders where that awesome purple cardigan went 7 years ago. I'm not talking about 'oooh I want Mexican!'.. We eat food for our cells, to create energy to sustain life. Really, it is that simple.

Here is the catch. Depending on what we eat, we get more or less energy.

Behold! Science!! (Don't get bored, I'm getting to the zombies.)

When we eat food, our body and organs go through a flurry of biochemical reactions in order to create energy. In humans, that energy is called ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate. You can now forget that. Just like in high school biology.) The ATP is stored for later use so that our cells can create new cell walls, and proteins and anti-bodies.. Basically ATP will be used to build everything that keeps us alive and in good health, on a cellular level. (Which really, is all we've got..)

I now would like to introduce to you the mighty mitochondria. He's one of the parts of a cell. That is who builds and stores ATP. Cells that require more ATP to function, they have more mitochondria... Brain cells have LOTS of mitochondria because they need to do Lots of things using a ton of energy.


So, we eat it and it turns into ATP. In the mitochondria. The mitochondria are like little furnaces, it is an energy machine. Whether you put chocolate cake and a big mac or 12 servings of steamed vegetables and fruit salad, it is going to use the same amount of energy.

One meal will create a lot of ATP. One will create very little. (I will let you guess which meal accompanies what ATP output.)

They will both use the same amount of work. There is product and there is waste. If there is less product there is more waste. The un-useable garbage.

This un-useable garbage has an adorable name.

Free Radicals. The tiny anarchists in the body.

If there is only a little bit of waste (aka, free radicals), the cells can get rid of it easily. It is just a couple flies buzzing about, swat swat... But if there is a lot of waste, this is a problem. The cells can't get rid of it fast enough and soon destruction ensues. Free radicals are like parasites and will latch onto whatever part of the cell they can to stay.
The closest part of the cell is the mitochondria. Which means that guy ain't gonna be makin anymore ATP. Nearby is the nucleus, which is the part of the cell that holds DNA, its the part of the cell that knows what it's program is, what it is doing, where it should be, and how long it should exist.
When free radicals screw with the nucleus (which it can do directly, or through the mitochondria), thats when things get bad. Zombie bad.

ZOMBIES!!!!!! AAAAAHHHHHHH!!! and some more science.

Each cell has an expiration date. All cells die, more are made. Its an important part of the health of the body. So when a free radical messes with the nucleus, the cell forgets to die,.. It becomes, and I am not kidding you, an Immortal Cell.

It lives forever. And grows at the expense of everything else. We also call this Cancer.

I kind of hope you just got the chills.

Bad food = free radicals = zombie cells = Cancer

So. What can we do to combat the free radicals and stop the zombie war happening inside of us??

Eat good food, duh.


The body's defense against free radicals is 'intracellular antioxidants.' With a lot of antioxidants in the mitochondria the free radicals are neutralized easily (swat swat, remember?)
The richest source of antioxidents are in deeply colored veggies and fruits. Purple, orange, yellow, red, green.. they all have different roles for the mitochondria, which is why eating a big variety of many colors every day equates to GOOD FOOD!

Also, this good food helps the mitochondria to remove toxins from our blood stream- so all the medications we take, the (ahem) booze and recreational drugs we injest, the pesticides and herbicide residues in our food: GOOD FOOD helps to flush that stuff out! The more good we put in, the easier it is for our body to push the bad out.

We have all had a life-time exposure to this crap. All of the not-quite-real/made-in-factory food we have eaten.. its FILLED with free radicals waitin to happen..

So, let us begin now.

It has been shown in study after study that the more antioxidants we take in, the lower the risk of degenerative diseases, eye diseases, mental-emotional health issues, autoimmune issues, and of course, cancer.

I am trying to eat 9 cups of multi-colored fruits and vegetables a day. I think I am getting, on average, 5. I will continue to work my way up.

The easiest way for me to do it is a breakfast smoothie with fruit and vegetables in it. I use organic frozen veggies/fruits, the next richest in nutrients next to the just-picked goods.

I also am putting a tablespoon of liquid chlorophyll into a little cup of blueberry juice every morning.
Another easy way is to saute up some kale or chard or spinach, 3 cups raw turns into a serving very quickly once cooked down.

Now you know why your veggies are good for you.. Next time you realize you didnt eat anything "good for you" that day, imagine your cells making zombie noises, and go hook up your mitochondria. It will be so terribly grateful.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Silent Meditation this Sunday at Magnolia House

Hey everyone! Happy New Year!

So a few of my friends and I have noticed that there was a shift at the change of the year. I don't know what that shift was, but it feels very real and big, as if everything is slightly tilted.

The idea of Church was brought up within these conversations, about sitting in prayer, in sitting in silence. How much that space can connect us to That Which Is Bigger Than Ourselves.

I invite you to join me in Sitting, Meditating, Holding that Space. There are no rules, no dogmas If you want to count your breath, if you want to do visualization, if you just want the hour of Peace, you are welcome to have a cup of tea, and sit in Magnolia House to do this.

One hour. 11am, this Sunday, January 8.
2908 W. Fullerton #205

We'll be sitting on the floor, so if you need a cushion, please bring it with!

If you have any questions please email me at

I am going to continue this all year, not every week, but as much as my schedule allows! I hope you can join me!!

P E A C E !!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A few thoughts on alternative medicine in a western world

So there was this article in the Chicago Tribune on Sunday, Federal center pays good money for suspect medicine

It is about how much money is spent researching the efficacy of non-bio based therapies, including acupuncture, massage, energy healing, prayer, etc.

My issue isn't so much about people that say these forms of medicine/healing are bogus or that we shouldn't be spending money on this. My issue is trying to fit one paradigm into another.

Bio-medicine is the only medicine that acts as if each human body is exactly the same, and that all treatments can be the same. Most alternative forms of medicine, including acupuncture, are case specific.

Everyone's body, and their illness/symptoms, are unique. Perhaps not in presentation, but in the root cause, absolutely.


Two people come in with Migraine headaches. One person's migraine headache stems from an imbalance of Qi Stagnation, the other client's root cause is a Kidney Deficiency.

They are treated VERY differently. And when the proper root cause is addressed, the symptom (Migraine headache) is resolved, usually for good.

I see the difficulty in testing to 'prove' efficacy. Many many acupuncturists want it proven. I always say, 'well, it's been here for over 2500 years, so something must be working.'

When one modality (i.e., acupuncture) does not fit into the construct of a different modality (i.e., bio-medicine) why would we think we could test for the first modality within the constructs of the second?

We will probably continue to shove that square peg into the round hole for awhile. I am not surprised it doesn't work.

Enjoy your day, be well, smile often.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

First Magnolia House Newsletter and Gift Certificates

The first Magnolia House newsletter came out the other day. If you missed it, you can check it out online here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Newsletter is coming!

Hey y'all,

I'm wanting to keep in touch with everyone through email newsletters. These will be every couple months, things that are happening at Magnolia House, thoughts and tips about health and wellness, special deals and offers..

Please, if interested in receiving this newsletter chock full of goods & information, please sign up... on the left, just over there, under the Magnolia House logo!!

Hope you are all doing really well, the energy is brewing, that's for certain.

Speak with ya'll soon, and tons of love & gratitude,


Friday, April 22, 2011

Problem/Solution: Poop. when it's not right, it's really wrong

This is my favorite question to ask of my clients, especially with the initial intake. I often wish there was a camera available because the expressions this question creates are priceless..

"So, tell me about your poop."

Terror, horror, disgust, confusion, or a huge smile.. No one talks about this. My grandmother once asked me, I was 5 or 6, if I had a BM that day. I didnt know what that meant, and when she paraphrased with 'poopy' I furrowed my brow, clenched my teeth, looked around in embarrassment and hissed 'yes.,.' i think I lied too. I dont think I had but, somehow, knew that would fasciltate more questions. My mom might have to get involved and I just couldnt take it. And I was 5.

Imagine asking a 32 year old man, 'so.. How's your poop.' Its a really fun part of my job. But I am completely comfortable talking about it.. remember the book "Everyone Poops".. a classic. and it is true. Although some more than others.

Now, everyone's body is different. Some people have perfectly formed, easy to evacuate poops 2-3x a day. That is amazing, and if it is you, congratulations, that is wonderful. Most arent like that.

Here is a few sub-questions.. how often, what color, is it soft, hard, break apart when it hits the water, break apart with flushing, foul smelling or just 'poop' smell, hard pebbles, what time of the day do you poop..

And all of these answers create one big poop picture so that we can diagnose a myriad of things about how your body is functioning. Each answer can point to a handful of diagnoses and when you look at all the answers, it becomes clear..

IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a generic term for 'I poop weird'.. Sometimes lots of diarrhea, sometimes diarrhea then constipation and back and forth, often it has to do with anxiety. Correct the anxiety, and correct the IBS.. A lot of woman have irratic changes in their bowels just before and during their periods, what you can eat can affect your poops, what you drink and how much of it. Coffee can be a lazative for some and a constipator for others- check that out!

Hydrating, exercising, lots of good vegetables, all of this really can help move the bowels along, but sometimes there is a deeper, more systemic issue. And sometimes that issue, isnt actually an issue.

Ok, full poop disclosure.. I don't poop every day "gasp, what? did she say.."

yes, yes I did. And it is okay. It appears my body just needs more time to take the nutrients out, or, I took so many batches of antibiotics as a kid that the bacteria in my colon never fully came back and so it takes a longer time to get the job done (I may be making that up, again, full disclosure..)

The point is, we are all very different.
Here is what is not okay when it happens often/regularly...

more than 48 hours of not pooping
odor that is nauseating
pebble poop
poop that is black or really light
cramping pain

and all of the above issues are easily addressed most of the time. Almost all of the time, in fact. Like every other issue, these are symptoms of a larger imbalance that simply needs to be corrected.

I highly suggest, for 2 weeks, make a poop journal. Start looking at your poop. Describe it. and 'i dont know, its poop' is like saying 'i dont know, its a flower.'.. you can do better than that.
Food intake changes, stressors, booze binges, time of day, all of it, write it down.. You will start seeing a pattern. Maybe you poop every day like clockwork, except the day after you eat pizza.. maybe you poop every other day comfortably until just before your period and then you are just terrified to leave the house because you dont really want to risk having a poocano at your ex's birthday party.. There are so many pooping possibilities, and since YOU are the only one that can be privvy to your pooping habits, maybe you should know them....

per usual, if you have any questions feel free to post them or to email me directly at!

Happy pooping!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Im lazy because Nature told me to be.

I cant believe what a slacker Ive been with this! I blame winter. Really though, I'm pretty serious. I blame winter for a lot. Clients, especially this month, have been very concerned over this general malaise and lethargy they have. They are sleeping longer, having a harder time getting out of bed, and just dont FEEL like doing anything- and so then they start beating themselves up over it. People! Its J A N U A R Y !!!

Hibernation mode! This is it, we have two months now of just bunker down, eat warm warm foods, watch movies, and snuggle! (Kind of sounds like heaven actually) Because, ahem, let me remind you, we're nature too.. The plants, the bulbs of the flowers are all frozen under ground, and soon enpugh will warm up and start bursting through the soil.. the squirrels, the birds, they too are just burrowing up together, going out for a bit of foraging, but mostly just waiting for the spring.

Which, by the way is 7 weeks away. that's 49 days away, kids. Its nothin'.. in a couple days its february. We can so very much do this.

So to help you through it, instead of pointing out to yourself all that you arent doing. maybe make a couple plans for the week. Judt a couple. You'll go to the gym 1x for sure, and you'll have friends over 1x. and maybe you'll work on that little project sitting on the corner while sipping on warm spiced wine. Ok! Great! You have 3 things planned outside of the life-that-must-be-led-to-survive (aka job).. The rest of the time, call it a day! Relax! Sleep! Eat warm delicious foods!

Because you only have 49 days to do this, and my tune's gonna change, and I'm going to tell you to get your lazy ass out of the winter cocoon and start movin'..and thats how the seasons roll..

ooh! good visualization! Winter (which began December 20th) is us all crouching down in a little ball.. Spring (begins March 20th) is us bouncing up out of that ball- we spring.. literally. figuratively? Whatever, you get what i am saying.

So go forth and get in that snuggie and watch every single episode on demand. again.

You're not lazy. Nature is on hiatus. Why argue with reality?

see you soon!