The common misconception is that drinking milk is good for your bones.  Drinking skim milk is even worse since it is devoid of fat and enzymes necessary for proper calcium absorption.  Bone disorders such as osteoarthritis demand increased calcium requirements.  But with that, the calcium must be absorbed.  The digestion of meat contributes to a phosphorous/calcium ratio in Americans four times greater than desirable. Too much phosphorous depletes calcium. The digestion of meat results in acids which must be neutralized by calcium and other alkaline minerals.  So the calcium in your system is used for damage control, not bone health.

Sea vegetables, dried wheat grass, turnip greens, almonds, black and pinto beans, quinoa, kale, yogurt have more calcium per 3.5 ounce portion than milk.

Below is a chart comparing cow’s milk vs. plant based milk (nutrients based on 8 ounce serving)

Cow’s milk       8 g protein   30% calcium   20% Vitamin D

Soy milk            7 g protein   29% calcium   16% Vitamin D

Almond milk  1 g protein  20% calcium    25% Vitamin D

Hemp milk     4 g protein   10%* Calcium  25% Vitamin D

Coconut milk 1 g protein  10% Calcium   30% Vitamin D

*30% Calcium if fortified

Milk comes with extra bonuses, like manure and pus.

See:  https://nutritionfacts.org/video/plant-vs-cow-calcium-2/

Before you freak out because plant based milks have less protein, this is not the only thing you are ingesting!  Americans get more than enough protein, studies show we are over nourished as opposed to under nourished.  I find that almond milk (no sugars) is best with oatmeal and coconut milk is best when cooking and baking.  A much better fullness and taste than cow’s milk.  And there is nothing better than chocolate (no sugars)  soy milk with a hot cup of coffee!

Vitamin D comes from sunshine (get outside), eat dark leafy greens (including cereal grasses and/or micro algae), exercise regularly and if dairy is used, eat yogurt, cottage cheese (the fermented kinds).

More information http://yellowbrickroadtowellness.com/?p=661

If you are one to believe in karma, it is interesting to note that butchering animals (specifically in the brutal and inhumane manner that is done in factory farming) results in us dying untimely deaths.

Instead of getting the honest, even if it’s brutal, truth the information we get is from big business and let’s make a quick buck propaganda.  How can each and every one of us make an informed decision about our health, if we don’t know the truth? Your health effects you and your loved ones.

So when I hear “Got Milk?” I say No Thank You.



Here is how to use your genes to your advantage.  Whether your goal is to lose weight, or to resolve some chronic issues or to age gracefully, your DNA carry a vast amount of information.  At this point in our lives, we can now use this information to our advantage.

There is a field of study that involves the relationship of genes and nutrition called nutrigenomics.  Based on the Human Genome Project, the variation of genes was far greater than expected-with over 3 million variations.  Studies have shown that genes can be turned on or turned off.  The food we ingest is metabolized and is absorbed by our small intestine.  Eventually it goes into our blood stream and enters the cells of our body.  The nutrients, which are the the breakdown particles products of the food we ate tell specific genes to turn on or off, expressing different kinds of proteins.

The information given from our genes is NOT a destiny, but directions  to your goals.  When you are driving and you are alerted to road construction, you would change your route to your destination.

In 2008 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a study was published that looked at a gene called the FTO obesity gene. Researchers studied a population that had this genetic variant to be obese:  the Amish people.  However, when they evaluated the community of Amish people, they were not obese.  These Amish were walking over 18,000 steps a day and by doing this the Amish turned off the obesity gene through their daily physical activities. Genetically we could have genes predisposing us to various problems, but we are not destined to manifest these problems.

How to use your DNA to your Advantage?  One way is getting a DNA test.  https://geneticdirection.com/our-products/  is a good place to start.  Based on your results and your goals, your DNA will work for you, not against you.  Contact me at http://yellowbrickroadtowellness.com/?page_id=68 and I can answer any questions, and/or assist you in your journey.


There is no one diet that fits everyone because we are unique, our genes are unique.  There are so many diet books and plans on the market boasting theirs is the one and only (and ineffective) .  The basic guidelines are to consume mostly a plant based diet.  Eat whole foods, foods that are not refined.  Refined foods have vitamins and minerals removed so it can stay on the shelf longer.  Refined food is empty food, devoid of any nutritional value.

Whole foods contain phytonutrients which boosts the immune system, prevent chronic inflammation, some are antiviral and antibacterial.  The deeper the color, the more phytonutrients. Food is medicine, what we eat DOES matter.   Chronic problems can be resolved by addressing our behavior, nutrition, physical activity, and how we deal with stress.  Our genes do not determine our destiny, but when we work WITH our genes, we are in the driver’s seat.  We are more than just parts, we are whole and all these parts work together.  When we know better, we do better.




What happens when you meditate?  Although there are many types of meditation,  a long history of meditation and  ways to meditate. What is meditation?  And what do I expect to get out of it?  Below are facts about meditation,  what meditation is and what it isn’t.

“Meditation is the art of fully conscious living.  What we make of our life-the sum total of thoughts, emotions, words and actions that dill the brief interval between birth and death-is our one great creative masterpiece.” http://themindilluminated.com/

I love that thought, through challenging times of our lives we forget we are creating a life, a masterpiece.  We create consciously, however unconsciously sabotage ourselves.  We react instinctively, we experience our lives through prejudices, outdated facts, and beliefs that have have outlived their usefulness.   Meditation helps us live a more fulfilling life.  It gives us insight and understanding of the true nature of reality .

A regular meditation practice increases the gray matter density and enhances connectivity between the prefrontal cortex (which coordinates attention and decision making) and the centers of emotion.  So you are able to make better decisions.

Consistent meditation affects gene expressions, favoring less body inflammation and building up our immune function.

Science has shown meditation is one of the most powerful tool for staying centered and focused.

Meditation helps with pain and reduces suffering.  Suffering prolongs pain through all the thoughts and emotions about the pain.

Meditation develops resilience, effectively “bouncing back” from adversity.  Meditation trains our mind to calm our storms of stress, and our moment to moment stress attacks.

There are 2 parts of training our mind through meditation.  One is mindfulness (also called concentration, attention) and the other is peripheral awareness.  For example, when you talking to your friend on your cell phone, you are using mindfulness which is your focal point of attention.  Whatever you are using your full attention on, that is concentration or mindfulness.  Peripheral awareness is everything else going on during that time.  While you are talking to your friend, you hear the cat meowing, or our child talking to you or the wind blowing through the blinds.  Both parts are equally important, however the peripheral awareness takes a back seat to attention.  While attention is narrowly focused, awareness sees the whole picture, it’s holistic in that you notice how all the parts relate to each other.

So when you sit to meditate, you focus your attention on the sensation of breath (mindfulness) and still are aware of whatever is happening around you (but not getting caught up in thinking about it).  Meditation is NOT sleeping or being in a trance.  It’s a fully conscious activity. Not easy!  The mind wants to produce all kinds of thoughts and judgments.  What we are trying to do is clear the waters, thoughts are not the true nature of reality.

Meditation is like exercise, you train the brain.  And it takes a consistent practice.  You would not expect to win a bodybuilding competition by only working out a couple times a month.  Not can you reach enlightenment by just meditating a couple times.

What happens when you meditate?  On a consistent basis?  You cultivate joy, forgiveness, self-forgiveness, conscious intention, less unconscious reactions, bliss, holistic perspective, balance, insight, tranquility and wellness.


Why Exercise Works Wonders

Why exercise works is the effort required to do it.  No matter how much you think about working out or eating healthy, that will not do it.  I can have all the ideas in the world, but mostly the longer those  ideas swim around in my brain, the more likely those ideas will be shot down.  I think most of us are good at finding all the reasons something will not work out.  We do not want to fail.

Failure in lifting weights IS the goal.  Failure when working out shows you right where you are.  In every workout there is something to cheer about.  Whether it’s lasting another 5 minutes on the bike, or a couple extra reps when doing squats, or doing an extra mile on your walk, it’s a success.  Life lesson?  Through failure, we succeed.

Exercise Burns Calories

One of the reasons I started working out (1987) was EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). Yeah, that’s burning calories hours (up to 48 hours) later. Over a course of a year of working out 5 days a week, you can lose 7 pounds of fat without changing how much you eat. And I like to eat good, tasty food, a very strong motivator to exercise. And working out in and of itself is an euphoric high.  http://yellowbrickroadtowellness.com/?p=474

Exercise Eases Depression Symptoms 

Researchers conducted the largest ever exercise trial of patients with depression. One group took antidepressants, one group took an exercise class (3 times a week) and one group did exercises at home. No matter the setting (working out with a class or working out at home) exercise worked as well as drugs at bringing depression into remission. Also people who worked out regularly had 25% lower odds of a major depression diagnosis.

Exercise is for Everyone

If you don’t think you have it in you to exercise,  Scientists have noted that humans have more endurance capacity than every land mammal except sled dogs like the Alaskan husky.

Motivation to Exercise 

The secret to being motivated to work out is not to think about it too much, Even after 30 years of exercising, the first couple minutes are the hardest. Then the magic happens and it turns out to be the best workout ever. There’s a million reasons one can come up with for not working out, but there’s one very important reason why to work out, because that workout will give back to you many times over. Even when life knocks you down, those workouts will pick you up. This is the gift you give to you .

What you do becomes who you are.


3 Components to Spiritual Wellness

The three components for Spirituality are:

1.  Learning to Forgive-People have lists of people they need to learn to forgive; parents, partners, spouses, siblings, co-workers, bosses and the biggest one, the one that needs forgiveness the most; ourselves.  Holding on to anger, frustration, hurt feelings and revenge causes us stress.  Interesting enough anger increases the chance of a heart attack by 230%.  Holding on to past hurts only hurts you.   And you are not alone, every one of us has had to deal with the same issues, some minor and some catastrophic. No one gets out of this life without a scratch.  We humans cannot help but look at life through our own eyes, our own perspective.  It is actually pretty selfish if you are honest.  It’s all about me.  But other people are doing the exact same thing.  So their reasons for whatever they did maybe are not even visible for you to see or understand.   The stress and hardship on yourself going over the incident over and over again is futile.  Let go, move on, learn the lesson if there is one.  Sometimes things happen for a reason we cannot see.   Forgiveness is truly the essence of emotional as well as spiritual healing. It is healing for you. 

2.  The Power of Positive Thinking-Our thoughts can make us sick or well. Thoughts are powerful and they influence how you feel. When you have negative, hateful, hurtful thoughts, you are creating the same types of negative feelings in yourself.  One big misconception is that our thoughts are real, they are the real me. Thoughts are not, they can be false gods.   When you have anxiety, those thoughts are just repetitive words going through our minds over and over again causing us stress.  Unmanaged stress causes damage to our bodies, our minds and souls.  What you consistently tell yourself becomes  a belief.  A belief is much more than a thought, it’s the essence of what we think we are.  It’s how we filter our perceptions.  Thoughts can be changed, beliefs can be changed, it’s in our power to do so.  With this life we are given, isn’t it worth it to live it in the most positive way possible?  Studies show the people who have gone through life threatening ordeals, the ones who got through it were the ones who maintained a positive outlook.  And in regards to positive thoughts and beliefs, prescribed drugs are no better than a placebo.  Meaning if one believes what they taking to relieve a symptom or pain, that expectation will be met either by taking the real drug or a sugar pill.  That is the power of belief!

3.  Practicing Gratitude-When you remember or focus on how lucky or blessed you are, it is good for your health. It changes your perception and your perception is everything. You focus on the positive. Studies show that grateful people report higher levels of positive emotions, greater life satisfaction and optimism, have less physical problems and feel better overall.  Anywhere you look, there is someone who is having it worse than you are.  And that person finds a reason to go on.  It makes a problem look small in comparison.  Like I said earlier, we are the same in many ways.  We laugh, we cry, we lose people we love, there’s good times and bad, there’s ying and yang.  Nothing is static, life fluctuates, life changes.  The secret is savoring each moment as it happens.  Feel the fullness of every emotion and know it will not last.  Take a moment to go through all you are grateful for.  It could be that person that lent you a hand when you were down.  Someone who had time to listen.  The smell of fresh cut grass.  The love and devotion of your pet.  The surprise phone call.  The list goes on and when you notice these things, you feel blessed.

Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.  John Milton




  • Citrus fruits are the dietary factor best able to boost DNA repair. Within 2 hours of consuming citrus, your DNA becomes more resistant to damage.
  • Vitamin C i s an essential co-factor in many functions in your body, including maintaining collagen (found in skin and connective tissues) and hormones and neurotransmitters.
  • Vitamin C is water-soluble and the key vitamin to shelter you from damage from oxidative stress.  Oxidative stress an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract or detoxify their harmful effects.  Vitamin C is an antioxidant.
  • Antioxidant Vitamin C keeps your food from oxidizing and may do the same inside your body.  When you use lemon on your fruit salad, it prevents the salad from browning.
  • Humans and primates are the only mammals that cannot make our own Vitamin C.  Our inability to make Vitamin C means we must get it through our diet.  Wonder how your pet can survive on kibbles “n” bits?  They are able to make their own Vitamin C.
  • Supplements do not appear to boost DNA repair.  To increase effectiveness for citrus fruits, use the peel.  Zest your citrus and add to recipes.  People who eat at least some citrus peel appear to have lower skin cancer rates than those who don’t.
  • Large doses may cause gastrointestinal upset, headache, trouble sleeping, and flushing of the skin
  • Oral Vitamin C produces tissue and plasma concentrations that the body tightly controls. Approximately 70%–90% of  Vitamin C is absorbed at moderate intakes of 30–180 mg/day ( an orange has about 50-60mg).  At higher doses, like in multivitamins or other manufactured supplements, the absorption falls to less than 50% and the excess is excreted in the urine. Save yourself some money and eat an orange 🙂
  • Grapefruit can suppress the enzymes that help clear more than half of commonly prescribed drugs.  So the less drug clearance the higher the drug levels in the body.  The higher the drug levels, the higher the risk of side effects.  Let your doctor know if you eat grapefruit.

Citrus fruits, Vitamin C and DNA repair is the perfect combination for a healthy and vibrant life.  Besides just the vitamin C, citrus fruits have phytonutrients which basically help protect the plant’s vitality. Phytonutrients may enhance immunity and cellular communication, repair DNA damage detoxify carcinogens.   The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) notes that consuming a phytonutrient-rich diet seems to be an “effective strategy” for reducing cancer and heart disease risks.

If you are interested in DNA testing for weight loss or healthy aging, please contact me for a coupon code:  https://geneticdirection.com

Water – So Simple and So Basic to Wellness

Water, something so simple and so basic.  Yet 43% of the U.S. adult population drink less than 4 cups of water a day and 7% consume no drinking water at all (CDC 2013).  Much of the fluid intake is from sodas, juices, alcohol and food, all of which add extra calories (not to mention other problems).

A 2007 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that dehydration can reduce motivation and effort, cardiovascular function and metabolic reactions.

Healthy hydration (water) enhances not only mental performance but physical performance as well.

Those who increased their daily water consumption by 1, 2 or 3 cups per day decreased their total daily calorie consumption by 68-205 calories and lowered their sodium intake by 78-235 grams, also consumed 5 to nearly 18 grams less sugar and decreased daily cholesterol consumption by 7-21 grams. Studies were based on 18,311 U.S. adults consuming plain tap water 🙂 Pretty good for just water!

Make America HEALTHY Again

What about making America Healthy?  Of all our political leaders, NO ONE talks about the general health of our nation. Is the problem really just getting Healthcare for everyone?  I believe there is much more to it than putting a band aid on a bleeding wound.   The general health of our nation is getting worse, not better.

  1. The United State is the highest spender on healthcare. as compared to other countries.
  2. Private spending on healthcare is the highest, despite having  fewer hospital and doctor visits.
  3. Health care prices are higher than any other country.
  4. Despite its heavy investment in health care, the U.S. sees poorer results on several key health outcome measures such as life expectancy and the prevalence of chronic conditions. Mortality rates from cancer are low and have fallen more quickly in the U.S. than in other countries. But the reverse is true for mortality from heart disease and amputations as a result of diabetes.
  5. The United States invests the smallest share of its economy on social services.
  6. And Americans appear to be greater consumers of medical technology, including diagnostic imaging and pharmaceuticals than any other country.  Based on information from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Big business food industries have done a great job of brainwashing us to believe that one can only get protein from animal products and calcium from cow’s milk and processed foods are good for you and the most convenient way to get your nutrition.  Big business food industries have used food labeling as a misleading way to convince us that Fruit Loops, made with whole grains, is the best tasting way to get those whole grains.  To me, misleading information is lying, plain and simple.  Big business food industries seem to have an unlimited amount of money dedicated to advertising.  All pizza commercials showcase pepperoni and bacon pizzas.  I have never seen a commercial for blueberries 🙁

The USDA food pyramid/my plate has not changed in 60 years.  Is that keeping up with all the medical and scientific data produced over the years?  Absolutely not, like any big bureaucracy, it does not want to change.  They don’t want farmers to change what they are producing, the food industry does not want to change what they are selling, and unless a fundamental change occurs nothing will happen.

Our country is over nourished, the health concerns of our country have to do with what we are eating and the availability of nutritious food.  The health concerns of our country have to do with knowing the truth about our food.  It’s about learning how to cook at home and enjoying the process.  It’s about getting in touch with our bodies again.  The health of our bodies directly affect the health of our minds.  And most of all, the health concerns of our country have to do with a government that makes our country’s health of top priority.

Let’s get to the “meat” of the health problem and solving it on a multilayered approach, instead of just sweeping it under the rug. Isn’t it time Americans are Healthy again?

Diet or Exercise? Which Comes First?

Diet or Exercise? Which comes first?  When contemplating a major life change like getting in shape, what should I do first?  Or is it an “all or nothing” proposition?  “80% of Americans do not meet the recommended physical activity levels and 45% are not active enough to improve their health.”  Two thirds of dieters regain more weight than they lose.  “Dieting is also linked to higher incidences of depression, body dissatisfaction and poor self-esteem.”    What is a person to do?

First and foremost, got to get your head and heart into making this a lifestyle.  You need to look deep inside to see what values you are holding on to that do not support a healthy and strong lifestyle.  This is not easy, you will need to break down the barriers that have prevented previous attempts.  If losing weight and getting in shape were as easy as drinking a shake and spending time a “wonder core”, wouldn’t you think everyone would be in shape, at least young and sexy?  Your life depends on your body and mind working together.

What did you say?   You don’t have time?  If we honestly look at our lives, we make time for things that are important to us.  If it’s playing with you child, we make time.  If it’s hanging out with friends, we make time.  Taking your dog out? We make time.  Where does putting your body first come in?  Even if you had all the money you could possibly want, what good is it if you feel like shit all the time?

So like I said, get yourself in the game.  And then you DO SOMETHING.  And I would suggest starting with physical activity first.  Why?  To learn to eat healthy, you have to get in touch with your body.  Many of us, when we gain weight, sort of shut down what our body is telling us.  We don’t want to feel all the pain, embarrassment, the knotted stomach, the guilt and all those other emotions tied up in our bodies.  And we suffer because we hold on to all the pain.  When we start with physical activity, we learn to listen.

Exercise? you say?  How boring is that?  Unfortunately exercise, to most people, is work.  I won’t lie, but it is work.  But it’s not like “going to a crappy job” work.  It’s work that makes you feel empowered.  If you look at your life, the most rewarding experiences were when you “worked.”  When you put your heart in soul into something and it worked out.  Also there is joy in movement.  You got to harness the JOY and enjoy the journey.  Try yoga, the slowing down of movement and respecting what your body is telling you. When you get in touch with your body, let’s move on to food.

I am a big believer in intuitive eating.  It works, I lost weight and kept it off for 30+ years.  The writing down everything you eat and weighing every day or week or whatever, sucks.  The diet mentality is the biggest detriment to successful body management.  Make peace with food and your body, it does not include scientific-like charts and equations.  Your emotions and food are not scientific (not at this time at least).  Intuitive eating is feeling full, is feeling what it’s like to eat something not satisfying.  When you start to feel what food is when you eat it, is the beginning of a loving relationship with your body and the food you choose to eat.

The glory in nourishing your body is that it nourishes your very soul.  We only have one life here, what you do is what you present to the world.  And your beautiful beacon to all is too wonderful to hide from others who are looking for guidance.






Below are a list of plant based sources with bone healthy nutrients.   Please note research shows that consuming too much sodium (salt) may cause calcium to leach from  the bones.  This includes processed foods with high sodium, as well as the salt shaker.  Excess salt is the anti-Christ of bone health so to speak.  So let’s look at  all the foods that contribute to healthy bones.

Calcium – Tofu, Collards, Tahini, Dried Figs

Vitamin D – Mushrooms, Nondairy Milks

Note:  Sunshine is a great source of Vitamin D

Protein -Lentils,  Pant Based Protein Powders , Tempeh, Hemp seeds

Vitamin K – Avocado, Kale, Dried Plums

Vitamin B12 – Nutritional Yeast, Coconut Yogurt

Note:  Some brands of nutritional yeast contain lead,  Bragg Nutritional Yeast tested with the less lead of other brands, below the CA standard which is stringent.

Magnesium – Quinoa, Cocoa Powder, Pumpkin Seeds

Note:  Cocoa Powder with no added sugar and you get an added side effect of health hiking antioxidants!

Potassium – Sweet Potatoes, Beans, Plantains

Omega-3 – Walnuts, Chia Seeds

Adding weight bearing activities, along with these bone-healthy foods, are the best tools in your arsenal to building reliable and strong foundation.



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