Top 4 Foods to Boost Your Metabolism this Winter

I initially set out to make a ‘Top 5’ list of ways to avoid holiday weight gain, until I learned that the average American gains roughly  1-2 pounds over the holiday season– not much help needed there.   Still, there are some very good reasons not to gorge yourself full of food this season:

1- It may not end with the season.

2- Too much food means your body has to work extra hard to digest it all, which leaves less resources for your body to fight back those pesky cold and flu viruses that run rampant during the winter season.

3- You feel gross.

4- Overconsumption is not good for the planet.  Why not take a beat between bites, and if you’re not hungry– here’s a novel idea… don’t eat it.     🙂

Now, for the actual list I promised …

Thermogenic foods help to speed up the metabolism, aiding with digestion and calorie burning:

1- Spices;  Foods containing ginger and hot peppers (cayenne, black pepper, chili)  can help you to feel fuller faster.  And the benefits don’t just stop there!  Spiced foods and drinks will keep you toasty when the weather gets a little (Los Angeles) or a lot (New York) nippy.  Check out this recipe for one of my favorite fiery drinks to snuggle up to!

2- Green tea appears again and again on my list of beneficial foods.  The catechins and caffeine in green tea work synergistically to suppress appetite and to speed up the metabolism.  Get it in your life now!

3- Proteins.  Try a handful of organic almonds or walnuts, a cup of lentils, or some yogurt to jump start your metabolism.

4- Whole Grains.  Your body burns twice as many calories when you consume a whole food (ie. brown rice) instead of processed (white rice)!









10 Easy Tips to Curbing Food Waste

According to the National Resources Defense Center (NRDC), a whopping 40% of food produced in the U.S. never gets eaten!   (Yes, I watched that episode of John Oliver).  And yet we continue to hear that we need GMO crops to feed an ever-growing population.  Something just isn’t adding up here!

Try getting involved with a local food rescue to help prevent food waste the smart way.

On an individual level, here’s what each of us can do to make a difference:

1- Buy fresh produce and perishables frequently and in small quantities.

2- Freeze what you don’t need for later use.  (Most foods are freezer-friendly).

3- Ask your server if they carry half-sized portions.  Oftentimes, you won’t see this on the menu when the option does exist.  If the answer is ‘no’, then ask for a to-go container and finish every last bite when you get those munchies later (and recycle that container, if it’s salvageable)!

4- Grow your own vegetables and fruit.  Pick what you need, then donate, sell, or compost (to a local farmer’s market) what you don’t.

5- Don’t fear ugly produce.  Lettuce should still be green, but if it doesn’t look perfect or is the last one of its kind on the shelf– JUST EAT IT!

6- A lot of people may disagree with me on this one, but I stand firm!  Feed a hungry animal.  Birds, coyotes, deer, and other animals are increasingly being displaced due to drought and habitat loss.  Drop off some leftover roast, turkey (coyotes), seeds (birds), nuts and fruits (deer) where you know they might find them.  Our survival depends on their survival.  ❤ ❤

7- If you know you’re not going to need that ketchup, that side of bread or saltines, or will only be able to finish half of that glass of water… why not ask your server at the outset to downsize the order.  If you still get a full sized glass of water, use it to water something with.  I have been known to sneak out of a restaurant, with glass in hand to water anything green that’s growing out of the ground!

8- Eat more vegetables/ Eat less meat.  Meat is the most “expensive” food item we could consume because it takes so much energy to produce.  Its production contributes significantly to climate change, while a plant-based diet has been linked to increased health and longevity.  Sounds like a win-win to me!

9- Do you really need to go in for seconds?  Sure, it’s nice every now and then to treat yourself… but it’s important to note that calorie restriction has been linked to increased longevity.  If skipping a meal every now and then might add some years to my life, and life to my years… turning my nose up at that second slice of pumpkin pie sure comes a lot easier!

10- Vegetables a little wilted?  Fruit a little too ripe?  Sounds like the perfect makings of a good hearty soup, stew, or omelet… or how about some homemade jam or fruit popsicles?  Oh yeahhh, baby!!


1- Warm lemon water– Taken on an empty stomach in the mornings, the vitamin C in lemon juice has a detoxifying effect. According to Ayurveda, warm water helps to keep the digestive fire burning—that’s a good thing. A warm drink can also be comforting after you’ve left your toasty bed!
2- Zinc lozenges or syrup, when taken at the first sign of a cold, can help reduce the length and severity of a cold. It’s good to keep them handy, and take only when needed.
3- Oscillococcinum (OSC) is a homeopathic remedy containing highly diluted extract of Muscovy duck liver and heart. Homeopathy, like vaccines, is founded on the concept of ‘like cures like’. In this instance, a virus is infinitesimally diluted to cure or prevent the flu. A small clinical study has shown OSC to significantly reduce or halt flu-like symptoms when compared to placebo. Best of all, it is totally safe and doesn’t interact with other medications.
4- Garlic– Chopped or crushed, the allicin in a fresh clove of garlic will keep viruses away. It will also keep most people away, so take your garlic when you don’t have to breathe on or near anyone who doesn’t already love you! Note: Eating a raw apple or drinking green tea might help with the breath—try it, and share below in the comments section!
5- Chinese Five Spice– The Star Anise found in this dee-licious blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds, and Szechuan peppercorns is the active ingredient in the flu medicine Tamiflu, used in the treatment and prevention of flu viruses A and B. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists Tamiflu as one of the most important medicines needed in a basic healthcare system.
6- Wash your hands– Last, but definitely not least… scrub your hands clean to prevent viruses from spreading in the first place! Here’s a quick how-to:

The Anti-Cancer Estrogen

2-methoxyestradiol (2-ME), is a potent anti-carcinogenic metabolite of estradiol made in the liver. Green veggies, citrus fruits, nuts, and supplements like SAMe, MSM, B12 (methyl form) and methylfolate will give your body the raw materials it needs to make its own.

Studies have shown 2-ME to be a promising anti-cancer agent in cancers of the breast and prostate.

Chicken Feet Broth… Did You Know?



My dad’s favorite, chicken feet broth, has been making the news lately.   And with Harvard studies attesting to its very real benefits… it’s certainly earned itself a top spot!

Tip: Try adding fresh garlic to the recipe above for an additional boost of sulfur!

If you can’t stand the thought of eating this gelatinous ‘soup’, you can also try it in pill form– Unhydrolyzed Chicken Collagen (also referred to as UCII).

What’s it good for:

-Rheumatoid Arthritis


-Connective tissue health/ youthful skin, bones, joints




Sulfur-containing foods and supplements help to calm inflammation.   And yes, they even aid with detoxification!  The ‘mother’ of all antioxidants is glutathione. Without sulfur, your body could not produce this very important antioxidant; leaving it vulnerable to a wide array of germs, viruses, and environmental toxins. It’s no accident that across many cultures, chicken soup has long been recommended to help ‘kick a cold’!  If making the broth, be sure to source from organic, pasture-raised sources.  Your local farmer’s market is a good bet!

If you absolutely cannot stand the thought of an animal-based food or supplement.  Here are some sulfur-rich foods and supplements to consider:

-Eggs, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower, garlic, onion.  If it stinks, it’s probably rich in sulfur!

-MSM capsules by NOW Foods, Deva.  MSM is very safe in high doses, but may cause intestinal and skin discomfort at levels above 6g.  This is likely due to its detoxifying effect.

-Pure Encapsulations Glucosamine MSM capsules

-Vitamin C rich foods like colorful berries and citrus fruits.  Without sufficient amounts of this important vitamin, collagen cannot be produced.  As a supplement, try 2-3g a day in divided doses on an empty stomach as tolerated.  If it causes stomach discomfort, try taking with a small amount of food.





Green Tea: Health Insurance for Just Pennies a Day?

Steve Schwartz from Art of Tea discusses everything you ever wanted to know about tea.  We begin here with the company’s brilliant idea for an ‘8 Minute Digital Detox’… challenging us to put away our Iphones, Ipads, Ipods, and unplug for just 8 minutes a day for some ‘me time’.

To read my accompanying article, please click:


Let’s talk breast health… your ‘girls’ will thank you!


Recently, an increasing number of high-profile celebrities have been bravely coming forward with their health diagnoses in an effort to empower other young women to be proactive about their own health.

In 2013, Angelina Jolie and Giuliana Rancic underwent double mastectomies. Both women generously shared their experiences, helping to strip away some of the silent shame oftentimes associated with what has become an all too common experience for a younger generation of women. This year’s news reports have been following 40 year old entertainment reporter Samantha Harris’ journey. After having a double mastectomy, she may require some chemotherapy after doctors found the cancer had spread to a single lymph node.

I want to open up the dialogue further to discuss prevention. Below you will find some scientifically supported measures women can take to help prevent breast cancer or to help prevent it from spreading:

  • Women at average risk should get an annual mammogram beginning at age 40 [1]. Check with your doctor on the appropriate protocol if you fall into a high risk category. You may also inquire about getting a supplemental ultrasound if you have dense breast tissue, and ask about genetic testing for the BRCA gene.
  • We all know we should be doing self exams regularly, but a gentle reminder and a simple how-to never hurts!
  • There is some evidence that regular exercise (about 30 minutes a day) can reduce the risk of breast cancer by as much as 10-20%, particularly in post-menopausal women [2].
  • Regularly include these potent, organically grown, anti-cancer foods in your diet: Turmeric [3], green tea [4], plant-based foods- particularly those rich in sulforaphanes [5]: broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, cabbage, etc. eaten raw or lightly steamed, and colorful fruits like low-sugar berries [6], An added benefit to a plant-rich diet is the fiber: which helps to bind and carry out excess estrogen from the body. Omega-3 rich fatty fish like wild salmon and black cod are both healthy and sustainable options. The results for soy have been mixed. My suggestion is to limit your soy intake, and only take small amounts in fermented and non-GMO forms. Also wonderful to include are foods that naturally chelate heavy metals from the body, such as brown seaweeds like hijiki, citrus fruits, chlorella, cilantro, onion, garlic, and brazil nuts. Limit your intake of red meat, and make it grass fed when you do indulge. Avoid dairy, or choose low fat and grass fed, or alternatives that use sheep’s or goat’s milk.
  • Try immune regulating supplements like a high quality mushroom blend [7] [8] [9]. Consider supplements that aid the liver in metabolizing estrogen. These include Calcium D-glucarate [12], DIM [11], SamE. Include a high quality probiotic like Lee Swanson Genetic Designed Nutrition, Seroyal, Metagenics UltraFlora, or VSL #3; all of which were third-party tested and approved by com. Avoid or strictly limit alcohol [13] and sugar [14].
  • Reduce stress levels with a daily meditation regimen [10]. Kundalini is a wonderful option!
  • Have your Vitamin D levels checked. You can go a step further by asking your doctor to order a comprehensive Spectracell test that checks for subclinical nutrient deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, metabolic function and total antioxidant function.
  • Avoid plastic food containers and water bottles, and make sure any canned goods in your pantry are BPA free.
  • Stay tuned for my upcoming article on bio identical hormone replacement (BHRT)… for a look at breast health through the prism of optimal hormonal balance.


Keep your allergies in check with these naturally anti-histamine foods!

Histamine is an amino acid derivative that works to regulate immunity, and acts as a neurotransmitter. When in balance, it works to protect and serve us!  If you’ve got allergies (food or environmental), however, histamine-containing foods can trigger symptoms. FileUrtica-dioicaBlueten What to do?


  • Any aged and processed foods (canned, pickled, smoked, preserved)
  • Certain plant foods like tomatoes.  Interestingly, wheat, another known allergen has some chemical similarities to the tomato.  For a more complete list of foods to avoid, click here [1]
  • Eating large portions of food at a time.


  • Manuka honey
  • Fresh low-histamine foods like apple, pear, kiwi. For a more complete list, click here [2].
  • Nettles (take as a tea, try Chloroxygen drops [3], eat as a salad, or eat the sap [4] )
  • Eat foods that act as anti-histamines: colorful plant foods rich in flavanoids and carotenes: blueberries, bell peppers, carrots, green leafy vegetables (except spinach), garlic, onions.
  • Add a plant-based anti-inflammatory supplement to your daily regimen (take on an empty stomach 1 hour before meals). Transformation IFC [5] is an excellent choice that is chock full of anti-inflammatory herbs in a single product. You can also choose to take these supplements separately: Quercetin, Pycnogenol, and Bromelain.
  • Try a food elimination cleanse, or a low-allergy cleanse like Metagenics’ UltraClear [6].  I prefer the pH formula, which is lower in sugar and fructose free.
  • Add a high quality blend of medicinal mushrooms [7] to your daily routine.
  • Molecularly distilled fish oil at higher than usual doses (ratios of 2-3g of EPA : 1-2g DHA; consult with your physician or a naturopathic doctor)
  • 45 minutes or more of cardiovascular exercise daily

All written contents are copyright 2014 by Vivian Kanchian, ], Certified Alternative Nutrition Expert,[], [], []. No reuse or re-publication without permission. Please note that the information provided on this site is intended for informational purposes only. Nothing contained herein is intended to treat, diagnose, prevent, or cure any illness or medical condition. Consult a doctor before beginning any diet or exercise regimen or before taking vitamins or supplements. Statements on this site have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.









‘Raw Juice’: What’s in a name?

So, THIS is why [2] we’ve been seeing so many juices labeled ‘raw’ nowadays!  HPP refers to high pressure ‘pascalization’ (read closely – it’s pascalization, not pasteurization), a process used to extend the shelf life of some foods and beverages by destroying pathogens that accelerate spoilage.  For those with suppressed immune systems, this can be a Godsend.
But most people just want to know if HPP leaves the enzymes in their juice altered.  The short answer is yes, though  the longer answer may surprise you…
– Some enzymes (like PG and LOX)  are particularly sensitive to pressure, while others are highly resistant (PPO, POD, and PME) [1].

– Results also depend on the environment, and composition of the fruits or vegetables being juiced.  For example, a study conducted using tomato juice revealed that HPP-processed versions contained up to 12% more lycopene when compared to the untreated juice, while Beta-carotene content decreased at levels of 5-40% [3]. Antioxidants seem to take the greatest ‘hit’ with HPP, with significant decreases in ORAC, FRAP, TPC, and anthocyanin content observed during processing and storage of strawberry puree samples [4].

Note: Many juices that are labeled ‘raw’ may not be HPP processed, so don’t make assumptions… just be sure to ask in advance!