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      The stats tell it all: The number one cause of death in the United States is heart disease. That’s right, more than any other disease – even cancer (a close second) – heart disease is the most likely to kill you. The United States is currently facing a “diabesity” epidemic, or a substantial increase in the prevalence of metabolic syndrome leading to diabetes and obesity, all serious risk factors for heart disease.

      According to the American Heart Association, every 34 seconds someone in the US dies of a heart attack. By the time you finish reading this paragraph, another person will have lost their life. Sadly, many people do not even know they have heart disease until they experience a heart attack. These facts alone make Heart Health a critical topic to understand.

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    • Skin Health

      The gut-skin connection is very significant. Inflammatory processes present in the gut may manifest on the skin. Toxins are expelled with sweat, and can cause the skin to react. Like the inside of the digestive tract, the skin is covered in microbes which can be neutral, protective or pathogenic. Skin reaction may reflect what is going on inside the body. Therefore treating skin conditions only from the outside will often be ineffective and lead to other chronic issues.

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    • Brain Health

      The gut-brain connection occurs in two directions—from the brain to the gut, and from the gut to the brain. When a person has a “gut feeling,” or an emotional upset causes a stomachache or loss of appetite, they experience examples of the first, most familiar direction. When the gut is out of balance, inflammation results leading to a condition commonly known as leaky gut. A leaky gut will allow undigested food particles and toxins to enter into the bloodstream. Some may cross into the brain, setting the stage for diseases like Alzheimers and dementia. Recognizing the underlying contributing factors that created the gut imbalance in the first place is the first step to achieving optimal brain function .

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Waste Not, Want Not Provides Nobel Prize

Filed in Cleansing & Detox, General, Parasites, Uncategorized | Posted by Brenda Watson on 10/08/2016


I was thrilled to read about the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Medicine this year – Japanese biologist Yohinori Ohsumi. His research is based in thought processes after my own heart! He is explaining how our body’s cells deal with and recycle waste (as in detox!) and it seems this information is paving the way for treatments of many diseases down the line. Not surprising to me.

Dr. Ohsumi’s work is on a process you may not have heard about – autophagy. That literally means “self-eating” – and it helps us understand how cellular components are broken down and then recycled. Our cells do this constantly. See, recycling is not new – nothing is new under the sun.

And how exciting is this? Due to autophagy cells literally convert waste to energy and also building blocks for the renewal of other parts of cells. As always, our bodies are truly magnificent~

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Ohsumi shared that his research area was important because cells couldn’t function without “quality control” and a way of repurposing what was no longer functional. We are learning that same lesson the hard way as we rush to find ways to revitalize our polluted oceans and waterways.

In the researcher’s own words – “Life is possible only with this extremely important recycling system. We create proteins and destroy them, and again create and destroy, and that’s what makes life exist.”

I have to say I truly admire Dr. Ohsumi’s extraordinarily humble attitude as well as his unswerving focus on this seemingly lowly biological process, rather than gearing his research toward chasing the almighty dollar.

Personally, I find it interesting that Dr. Ohsumi mentioned that he started his research in what people viewed as garbage collection, when other esteemed colleagues didn’t have much interest and couldn’t see the value in the study of degradation of proteins.

I feel a kinship with the Doctor. My work was started in colon hydrotherapy – yes, helping people to literally remove waste from their colons to achieve much better health. In fact, my first product was formulated specifically to help people to relieve themselves of parasites, along with pathogenic bacteria and yeast. Through the years, thousands have found this formula a very effective way to eliminate garbage from their bodies while freeing more energy for repair and regeneration. Like Dr. Ohsumi, when I started out, people really didn’t want to talk much about their poop, didn’t think it was important. Many still don’t.

Just a few years ago my assistant attended a scientific pediatric medical conference. A well know medical doctor delivered a presentation to M.D.s on managing parasitic infections. Only pharmacological options were offered. My assistant asked why there was no information shared about the herbal preparations that had been used not only by me but also by countless populations around the globe for eons. He answered that there hadn’t been any research done to prove the efficacy of such formulations.

How sad. Relief for so many people everywhere is restricted by the money-grubbing choices of controlling financial entities. Much research in the past has been targeted to prove what will bring the most money to the funding source. There’s not a lot of cash in researching black walnut hulls or wormwood unless some pharmaceutical company discovers how to butcher the original DNA to create a new substance they can then patent and monetize.

My prayers are that the studies of Dr. Ohsumi and many others like him are heralding a new era of research.  I believe it’s time we look into the true working of our bodies on a much deeper level. Let’s not be put off by “waste products” (as Dr. Ohsumi has shown are so important) or for that matter, “poop”! What may at first seem like garbage can provide us with critical information about essential processes that can support ongoing health and vitality for ourselves – and for our planet.

Toxic Heart, Toxic Body

Filed in Cleansing, Cleansing & Detox, Diet, Environmental Toxins, Exercise, Heart Disease, Heart of Perfect Health, High blood pressure, Inflammation, Skin, Stroke | Posted by Brenda Watson on 02/26/2016


As American Heart Month 2016 winds down, I’d like to shift my focus to an area that we don’t always associate with heart issues – toxins. Toxins are everywhere; there is no doubt about it. In the air we breathe, in the water we drink, in the food we eat, in our homes, in most products we use—even in the most pristine places on earth—toxins are there. Truth is, toxin accumulation can directly impact our cardiovascular system, and many times will manifest as high blood pressure, increased atherosclerosis, and ultimately heart issues.

Toxins are chemicals that interfere with normal functions in the body, and most have been associated with adverse health effects. At this point, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) regularly measure over 200 toxic compounds, tracking the levels in different aspects of our population. However there are 80,000 chemicals currently in use! Although the CDC adds new chemicals to track annually, it’s simple to see that we will never be able to really understand the full impact of the substances we’re all exposed to. The sad fact is many chemicals contribute to cardiovascular disease – either directly, or indirectly – through an increase in oxidative stress and general systemic inflammation.

So what is oxidative stress, also known as oxidation anyhow? It is one of the main drivers of inflammation in the body. Inflammation is at the root cause of heart disease, and for that matter, all other chronic disease as well.

Consider this analogy illustrating the destructive properties of oxidation: Oxidation is like a punch thrown from a bully (the oxidant), and it can easily lead to a full-blown fight if enough molecules get involved. Destruction results. Oxidation occurs when there are not enough antioxidants (the peacekeepers) around.

Oxidative stress triggers inflammation and regarding cardiovascular issues, it initiates the destruction of the lining of the blood vessels, called endothelial dysfunction.

Atherosclerosis involves endothelial dysfunction and chronic inflammation in the artery walls, progressing to the buildup of plaque and eventual cardiac complications such as heart attack and stroke. So I’m sure you can clearly see how toxins that increase oxidative stress are definitely the enemy. And antioxidants are our friends.

It is a myth that nothing can be done about toxin exposure. The fact of the matter is that supporting the body’s seven channels of elimination – colon, liver, lungs, lymph, kidneys, skin, and blood – through diet and cleansing will help improve the body’s natural detoxification abilities. A healthy eating plan and cleansing routine will fortify your heart right along with every other part of your body.

In addition to the antioxidants your body naturally produces, you also obtain antioxidants from your diet. A diet high in antioxidants includes plenty of deeply colored fruits and vegetables. This important step helps decrease oxidative stress and general systemic inflammation.

Regular exercise stimulates sweating and the release of toxins from your skin. Different herbal formulas help support the organs of elimination. Next month I plan to discuss cleansing in more detail.

In my book, Heart of Perfect Health, I offer information and targeted programs designed to protect your heart for the rest of your life. Toxins may be all around us, but we have ways to release them – and renew our health.

Summer Salad Treat

Filed in Adults, Cleansing & Detox, Digestive Health, Recipes | Posted by Brenda Watson on 08/07/2015


Is it summer enough for you yet? Here in Florida it’s either hot, or raining, or hot and humid from the recent rain. In the spirit of cooling off, I’m offering a recipe treat this week.

I seem to crave light foods almost exclusively – and easy prep is a must. So salads and more salads are appealing. Adding in bitter greens makes this combination especially valuable as a gentle cleanse for your liver.

And although watermelon is not a low sugar food, how can you go an entire summer without a little taste of the fruit that seems to represent summer itself?

It’s also a great season to find beautifully colored tomatoes that can really dress up this delicious mixture. Artistic vision meets simple nutritious delight!

 

Watermelon and Heirloom Tomato Salad with Yummy Roasted Nuts

1 cup mixture of walnuts, sunflower seeds and pumpkins seeds

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar or coconut vinegar

1 garlic clove – pressed or minced

1 tsp raw honey

Pinch of salt and pepper to taste

2 cups of cubed watermelon

3 tomatoes, colors optional, cut in wedges

3 cups arugula

Place nuts on a roasting pan in the oven or toaster oven on ‘broil’ or ‘toast’ – just until you hear the pumpkin seeds pop – usually a little over 5 minutes, depending on your oven. Set them aside to cool.

For dressing, combine oil, basil, vinegar, garlic, honey, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Place watermelon, tomatoes, arugula and dressing in a medium-sized bowl and toss together.

Garnish with roasted nuts.

Serves 2 to 3.

Happy Summer!

Blended Drink for Loving Your Liver

Filed in Adults, Cleansing & Detox, Diet, Dietary Fiber, Digestive Health, Liver, Recipes | Posted by Brenda Watson on 06/12/2015


Here comes the summer, and with it, the opportunity to sweat! Of course, when you’re in your business clothes, you may not perceive that as a positive. Maybe if you remember that sweating is one of the most important ways that your body eliminates toxins, it will lessen your dismay at possible perspiration stains on your blouse.

I’ve been writing a lot lately about loving your liver, and suggesting that from time to time you make an effort to cleanse. So I decided to share one of my favorite blended detox drinks here today – one that includes ingredients that will help promote optimal liver function.

 

2 ribs of celery

1 cup chopped green cabbage

1/3 lemon or lime

1 small beet

1 whole Granny Smith apple

A handful of spinach

And/or dandelion greens and/or arugula – these liver supportive greens tend to be more bitter, so add them depending on your “bitter tolerance”

Handful of ice cubes, if desired

 

Place ingredients in Ninja or Vitamix and blend until smooth.

You might even consider adding some flax, chia or soluble acacia fiber to your drink that will increase your fiber intake. During a liver detox as bile flow is stimulated from the liver to the gallbladder to the gut, it’s helpful to provide extra fiber to absorb those released toxins, preventing them from being reabsorbed back to the liver.

Make loving your liver a habit. Believe me, it’s one that will pay off in the long run.

Recipe for a Healthy Liver

Filed in Adults, Cleansing & Detox, Diet, Digestive Health, Inflammation, Liver, Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease - NAFLD, Obesity, Recipes, The Skinny Gut Diet | Posted by Brenda Watson on 06/05/2015


If you happened to catch my newsletter this week, you’ll know that my mind has been on your liver (and mine).

In the grand scheme of health, your liver is one of your very dearest and most important friends, one to maintain an excellent relationship with – every bit as important as your Mom or Dad, spouse/partner or children.

Calling the liver a workhorse is putting it very mildly. In our toxic world, a properly functioning liver may be where the line is drawn between life and death – and it’s certainly critical for a vibrant quality of daily living. In my newsletter I shared with you how it functions and the many implications of dysfunction.

I thought it might be fun to offer you a favorite delicious and easy “liver support” recipe, and then describe for you what it is about the liver reinforcing ingredients that make them super heroes of good health.

Since my eating plan, Skinny Gut Diet, is an 85% plant based program, I’m always looking for yummy salad dressings to dress up the essential and foundational veggies. Here’s a favorite of mine.

 

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Sun Dressing

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • juice + zest of 2 lemons
  • ¼ avocado
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. ground turmeric
  • a little less than a teaspoon of ground pepper (added by me)
  • 1 Tbsp. raw local honey — (I personally like some stevia or erythritol here)
  • pinch of Himalayan sea salt (to taste)

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a blender.  Add more avocado if you desire a thicker consistency.

 

And now to describe those ingredient super heroes:

Olive oil – cold-pressed oils (flax and hemp too) support the liver by providing a lipid (good fat) base that sucks up harmful toxins during digestion.

Lemon – contains high amounts of vitamin C, which aids your body into converting toxic materials into substances that can be absorbed by water. By the way, drinking freshly squeezed lemon in the morning helps stimulate your liver.

Avocado – helps your body produce glutathione, a compound that is necessary for the liver to cleanse harmful toxins.

Garlic – activates liver enzymes that help your body flush out toxins. Garlic also contains high amounts of allicin and selenium that aid in liver cleansing.

Turmeric, as mentioned in the name of the dressing, is widely recognized as an anti-inflammatory nutrient. It’s actually the liver’s favorite spice and boosts liver detox by assisting enzymes that actively flush out dietary carcinogens. In order for turmeric to be absorbed into your circulation, it’s helpful to eat it along with pepper in a roughly 8 to 1 ratio.

And of course, pour your liver-loving dressing over your favorite salad, making sure to include leafy greens like arugula, dandelion or spinach. These greens help increase the production and flow of bile, which removes waste from the organs and blood and assists the liver in detoxification.

I think it’s interesting to see specific functions of liver supportive foods. More options are listed here. Come to think of it, the list looks a lot like the shopping guide from Skinny Gut Diet! Come join us in our Facebook Group, and let’s support our livers together.

To Your Health~

Sugar Cravings? Gas & Bloating? Fatigue? It May Be Parasites.

Filed in Allergies, Cleansing & Detox, Constipation, Dietary Fiber, Enzymes, General, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Parasites | Posted by Brenda Watson on 02/26/2014


Even the word parasites is unpleasant, but worse is what they can do in your gut—so listen up! Although I’ve talked about parasites before, I wanted to give you a quick refresher course. A balanced digestive environment is essential to your overall health, but there will always be organisms trying to move in and upset that balance. And when parasites move in, they can compromise immune health and your good digestion.

Just What Is a Parasite?

A parasite is an organism that lives by feeding upon another organism. Parasites living in the human body feed on our cells, our energy, our blood, the food we eat and even the supplements we take. There are several types of parasites: protozoa are single-celled organisms that are only visible under a microscope, while worms come in all different sizes, from threadworms measuring less than a centimeter to tapeworms that can grow up to 12 meters in length!

Parasites Can Cause That?

Take a look at the list of symptoms below. Do any of them sound familiar?

  • Occasional diarrhea or constipation
  • Gas, bloating and/or cramps
  • Irritability/nervousness
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Persistent skin problems
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia/disturbed sleep
  • Anemia
  • Muscle cramps
  • Teeth grinding
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Sugar cravings
  • Allergies
  • Rectal itching
  • Brain fog
  • Pain in the umbilicus
  • Bed-wetting

5 Simple Steps to a Balanced Digestive Environment

A buildup of toxins and waste material in the colon increases your risk of parasites, which is why the right diet and nutrition are essential. Here are five simple steps to promote a healthy internal balance:

1.      Eat plenty of fresh, non-starchy vegetables, lean meats and legumes, and avoid carbohydrates, sugar and starchy vegetables.

2.      Get at least 35 grams of fiber each day to help stimulate the muscular contractions of the colon (peristalsis) that remove the contamination on which parasites thrive.

3.      Consider an internal cleansing program to promote a healthy balance of intestinal microbes.

4.      Maintain a healthy balance of intestinal bacteria with daily probiotics.

5.      Supplement with enzymes and hydrochloric acid to enhance digestion and help deter parasites in the stomach.

Toxic Substance Control Act

Filed in Cleansing & Detox | Posted by Brenda Watson on 08/11/2009


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Summary:
In this video blog I discuss a recent article in the USA Today. The article, “Opposing Camps Agree on Rewriting Toxin Law” is based on the news that the American Chemistry Council and environmentalist groups agree that the current law governing toxins is “badly broken” and does not protect the public. What is the Toxic Substances Control Act? Is your family being exposed to dangerous chemicals? Tune in to find out the answer to these questions and more…

Full Script:
I read an article this morning in the USA Today entitled “Opposing Camps Agree on Rewriting Toxin Law”. This article was based on the news that the American Chemistry Council, which represents chemical manufacturers, and environmentalist groups such as the Environmental Working Group agree that the current law governing toxins is “badly broken” and does not protect the public as it should.

Both sides agreed that this law, called the Toxic Substances Control Act has not kept up with science and needs to be rewritten. It seems the EPA has used the law to ban or severely restrict only about 6 chemicals in the last 30 years.

Rewriting this law will give the EPA more money and power to ban dangerous substances. According to the American Chemistry Council’s president, “It is clear that many in the public, for a variety of reasons, do not have a lot of confidence in the current system and …that rewriting this law will help to restore confidence.”

At least it is nice that he realizes every day the general public is growing more and more concerned with the devastating effects of all the chemicals in our environment and in our bodies. How can you possibly have confidence in a system that continues to allow some of the most dangerous toxic substances to be forced upon us. In the past it has taken decades to get a toxic chemical out of the market.

Let’s hope this new law will be more stringent and help protect both our environment and our health.