KM Simple Health be Welle Naturally, Irvine California

Sugar and You: Beyond Willpower

It’s not your fault. I know and I can relate: you have a sweet tooth, and late afternoon or after a meal you crave that comforting taste, you feel that life without that sweet pleasure is not not worth living, but because you want your health to thrive, you thought about avoiding sugar for a couple of days maybe and then failed, again, felt bad about yourself and went back to the vicious cycle. I hear you, and it’s not about willpower, is way beyond that into your brain biochemistry and psychology.

I knew sugar was not good for me, but it really became a concern after I read the book Sugar Blues by William Duffy over a decade ago. I was also pregnant for the 1st time and wanted to be the healthiest I could, I knew I had to do better in some patterns, I wanted to lead by example for my son, so at the end of the book

I was motivated to get ride of it once and for all, I tried to go cold turkey and, as you can guess, I failed miserably, it didn’t last 3 days.

However I was determined and thirsty to know more, so I kept studying the topic and after many trials & error attempts, few months after my son was born, I finally managed to stay completely off sugar for a year.

It was one of the healthiest years of my life! Mood swings and PMS just disappeared, I dropped extra weight, energy levels were higher than never, and that’s cos I had just had my first baby few months before, I supposed to be exhausted, but I was thriving.

Some people can stay away from sugar easily. I used to struggle. I am sugar sensitive as doctor Kathleen DesMaisons suggests, and for sugar sensitive people this issue is beyond willpower. As Dr DesMaisons describes in her extensive work,

sugar sensitive people overreacts to refined carbs, and also have lower levels of certain brain chemicals, such as serotonin that affects your mood and ability to say no, and endorphin that naturally soothes physical and emotional pain.

In other words, we can connect sugar with nurturing, and when we feel discomfort, physical or emotional, we instinctively want relief. Sugar triggers pleasure centers in the brain as much as alcohol and heroin, easing our feelings for a moment.

Are you sugar sensitive? *

  • Have you ever tried to cut down or control your use of sweet foods?
  • Are you using more sweet food than ever before?
  • If you don’t have your regular “dose” of sugar, do you get irritated and cranky?
  • Have you ever got upset when someone ate your special food?
  • Have you ever lied about how much sweet food you eat?
  • Have you ever gone out of you way to get something sweet?
  • Have you ever binged on sweet or white flour foods?
  • Have you ever felt you had a sugar hangover?
  • Is it just impossible to say “no” to sweet foods?
  • Is sugar controlling your life?

If you answered yes to 2 or more questions, it’s likely you are sugar sensitive.

In addition, nutritional deficiencies and some gut imbalances such as yeast overgrowth that can make you crave sugar more than usual, and more you eat sugar, more you feed the yeast, back to the vicious cycle.

At this point, you either feel hopeless blaming your own biochemistry or feel hopeful because know you know is not about your willpower and yes you can do something about it, you can get out of this cycle for good. I stick with the second option and invite you to come aboard with me in this wellness journey.

Cutting sugar off cold turkey does not work for most people.

First, you need to make sure to fix any nutritional deficiencies, address gut health and re-balance brain biochemistry with food and lifestyle. Removing sugar is actually the last step. What excites me the most is that all this can be done naturally, while you nourish and detox your body at the same time.

Here I leave 3 tips to help you get ready to reduce or eliminate sugar:

  • Eat three meals a day with protein – have adequate protein for your body weight and individual needs. Regular protein through the day helps you to stabilize your blood sugar and creates a steady state of amino acids in your body, specially tryptophan that is a key amino acid in this plan.
  • Include tryptophan rich foods in your diet – pasture raised turkey, chicken and lamb, eggs, wild salmon and cod fish, pumpkin and squash seeds, beans and lentils are some examples.
  • Take a good multivitamin and probiotic supplement to help your body re-balance your brain biochemistry and gut health.

If you are sugar sensitive like me, I would love to hear your story, and remember, you are not alone in this sweet journey.

About Km Simple Health

Katia Martinho is a professional certified homeopath and nutrition


9 Signs You Need a Detox

The idea of a detox has always been appealing to me because it brings the idea of a cleanse to my body, and these little acts of self-care feel good indeed! I like detox every season, and the New Year’s vibe motivates me to start on the right foot with a winter cleanse. There are many types of detox styles and I know the idea is not appealing to everyone, but regardless how you feel about this, did you ever wonder if you actually need a detox? Here are 9 signs that you might need and benefit form a cleanse:

  • Fluid retention
  • Excess weight In your belly
  • Lack of energy
  • Digestive issues such as bloating and discomfort
  • Skin issues (rashes, itching, acne)
  • Mood swings
  • Brain fog
  • Sleeplessness
  • Cravings
If any of these are familiar to you, yes you might need a detox. But don’t worry, you are not alone.

We live in a world that we are constantly exposed to toxins, chemicals in the environment, from the air we breathe to the cosmetics and cleaning products we use, pesticides in food and so on. Even we we strive for a healthy lifestyle, we are still exposed, our body can always benefit from a cleanse a couple of  times a year.

A detox can give your body a break from toxic overload, and allow time to heal, boosting your natural elimination and detoxification processes. At the end you gain more energy, clarity and shed some lingering extra pounds.

Now, what sort of detox should you do? There are many out there, and although some of them might help you to lose weight, they might deplete your health at the end, I’m not a big fan of these methods. For example, just last week I found a program in a gym close to where I live promising to shed 20lbs in 6 weeks. When I looked close to the program, it was so restrictive that you could eat only few options of green veggies along with very few sources of carbs and protein, the program was not far from eating only grilled chicken with brussels sprouts for 6 weeks. This is way too restrictive, specially on the veggie side of things. I don’t get tired to reinforce how eating a colorful meal is so important to make sure you are having a healthy intake of micronutrients and phytonutrients, so a detox like that depletes your body of nutrients, at the end you might find yourself cranky and with a broken metabolism instead of full of vitality.

Beware of the programs you chose, what they offer and for how long, check with your doctor and seek for professional support for your detox. As a general rule, I would consider these tips below for a good detox program:

  • Eat real food, simple food. Avoid all sort of processed foods, if isn’t made by nature, don’t eat it
  • Eat lots of colorful veggies. Veggie soups are a good way to increase your consumption and feels good for a winter detox. While the fiber helps eliminations by stools, it feeds your good gut bacteria. The different colors in your veggies support different body functions, for example reds support good heart health and purple is good for the memory. It doesn’t matter what style of diet your chose, if it’s vegan or paleo, either way the veggies should be the bulk of your diet.
  • Avoid sugar and alcohol, they overload and deplete your body. Focus on nourishing.
  • Have a break of gluten, dairy and soy for awhile.
  • Keep hydrated, drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine.

Remember that on the first few days of a cleanse, especially around the 3rd day, you may feel tired and even have symptoms like headaches, often nothing to worry about, it’s likely your body adjusting. Take it easy and be kind with your body, remember that

you do a detox as an act of self-care and love towards yourself, never to punish your body.

Rest when you can and do only gentle exercises like walking, yoga or a light swimming, until your body picks up again and energy is boosting. Taking a bath with Epsom salts and having a massage or dry skin brushing are detox aids that can help you feel better and boost the cleansing process.

I’m ready for mine, are you? Remember you are not alone, get in touch with me if you need help to do a detox that will nourish you and boost your vitality!


Ready or stressed out for the Holiday Season? Breathe.

Is that time of the year again! Holidays are approaching and with the season, we often feel overwhelmed, stressed out and end up overindulging in food & drinks. During this week I share my top tips to keep you on the top of your health and wellness while you enjoy the Holiday Season. From today to the party time and afterwards, simple and effective things anyone can do to have fun and support your health as a whole. Here is how I start:

  1. Awareness: take few seconds daily and ask yourself how you feel at the moment, acknowledging your emotions. Scan your body and check how you feel physically, from head to toes. Pay attention to any tight spots, pain, sensations. Most of us are so much on the auto pilot, that we don’t even notice how much we are stressed out, but the thing is: if you are not aware, how can you make it better? So let’s start with these daily moments of awareness.
  2. Breathe: in thought your nose, slowly, expanding your belly so you expand your lungs as much as you can, little pause then exhale with relief through your mouth and let it go all the tension and worries that you identified on the previous step by scanning your body. Take at least 5 deep, slow, paused breaths in and out through your nose or try alternating nostril breathing. It is quick, easy, simple, free and you can do it anywhere! Probably that’s why many people underestimate the power of controlled breathing. Science says that this type of breathing stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system, that improves your digestion among other things, and has a soothing effect counter balancing your sympathetic nervous system activated by stress.
  3. Essential Oils: Another trick I like to add is the use of essential oils. Besides its own therapeutic properties, if you diffuse the same oil often enough during your breathing exercises, your brain will associate that scent with relaxation, so during the chaotic days you can carry that specific oil with you and anytime you need inhale and relax. For this soothing effect my favorite ones are frankincense, lavender and geranium.
  4. Reminders: within our busy lives, it’s hard to put time aside for these simple techniques, when you notice the day is over in a blink. Set an alarm as a reminder to check in with yourself, scan and breathe.

If you have time and is keen, yoga and meditation can make wonders! But since most of us are already overwhelmed, I wanted to share what is the most simple and effective to put in practice. Does it seems to simple? Be curious and try for a couple of days, let me know how you feel and if it makes a difference for you. It makes for me.

Next we will talk about getting ready for the party – What can you do to minimize overindulging?

Happy Holidays!

Epsom Salt Bath DIY: Transform your Bath time into an blissful experience

Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate) is a great tool to detoxification and relaxation that most of us would benefit regularly by soaking in a bath or even a simple warm foot soaking.

It got its name from a bitter saline spring in Epsom, Surrey in England, where the salt was produced from the springs that arise where the porous chalk of the North Downs meets non-porous London clay.

It is never enough to address the issue regarding how much chemicals and toxins, including heavy metals, cosmetics can carry, disrupting our health over time. By making your own personal products, you avoid lots of toxins commonly found in cosmetics and personal products commercially available that often impact your health and hormonal balance in a negative way.

Besides the detoxification properties of Epsom salts, there is the advantage of relaxation time in a warm bath, that easies the mind at the end of the day, added by the effects of essential oils with their incredible aroma.

Plain Epsom Salts are inexpensive and easily found in pharmacies, supermarkets and health stores and it can be used as it is to benefit your wellness. However, making your own infused Epsom Salts can be a low cost, easy and fun activity for you and the whole family – why not involve the kids? – that in addition brings you health benefits. It also makes a nice and thoughtful gift idea for the dear ones – why not?

You will need:

  • Large glass bowl
  • 3 cups of plain Epsom Salts
  • 10 drops of essential oil (I used lavender for mine)
  • 5 drops of food coloring (your preference)

Add the Epsom Salts to the empty bowl, adding the essential oil drops and coloring afterwards, mix well with a spoon until color is uniform and no lumps are present. Adjust more or less drops of oil or color according to your preference. Keep the content in a glass jar and use as needed. Dissolve 1 to 2 cups of Epsom Salts per full bath, and soak for at least 20 min. Alternatively, you can mix 2 cups of Epsom salts + 1 cup of baking soda instead of 3 cups of Epsom salts.

You might choose just an aroma you like or take in consideration some of the essential oils properties. Lavender is good for relaxation, and citrus such as lemon, grapefruit and orange are invigorating. Frankincense and peppermint are good to keep your focus sharp.

Bath bombs and scrubs are another great and easy DIY idea to make at home. Stay tuned, more recipes to follow soon!





New Year New You!

Every day is a gift, and as a new year begins, it brings along the inspiration for all of us to achieve the best in life, to take new steps and feel great! And what is more important that your health and wellness?

In our modern life, it is easy to accumulate toxins from everywhere: from environment to the foods we eat, and our body is constantly making efforts to keep the balance and heal. By making some lifestyle changes, you improve your body natural ability to detoxify, heal, and rebalance, naturally boosting your energy levels, reducing inflammation, balancing body weight, hormones and improving clarity of mind.

To start the new year on the right foot, we are offering 3 different detox programs, for all needs and tastes. All detox programs here are based on real foods and simple & natural lifestyle changes, in a holistic manner aiming body & mind balance. Following our three programs for January:

Juicing Detox: a 3-day deep cleanse based on fresh juices. When juicing, the fiber is removed from the fruits and vegetables, leaving only a nourishing fluid that is easily absorbed, delivering high amounts of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients to your cells while giving a rest to your digestion during this but deep cleanse days. Alternatively, you may include some soups or smoothies. Recipes will be given and general guidelines about juicing explained., starting on Tuesday Jan 10th at noon. Fee per person $30

Gentle Cleanse: this gentle cleanse combine western and eastern wisdom based on Ayurveda practice. The full program lasts one week, of which active cleanse has a duration of 3 days, based on a light diet consisting mostly of rice, lentils and spices (Khichari). The light meals are gentle to your digestion and rich in fiber, combined with specific spices that help your body to detoxify and rebalance. This program runs in partnership with me, Katia, as a homeopath & nutritionist and Nisha Bansal, Ayurveda practitioner.  Starting on Thursday Jan 12th at noon, closing on Thurs 19th at noon. Fee per person $50

21 Days Reset: based on simple, whole and real food, you will have a balanced diet designed, followed by progressive 3 days cycles eliminating some foods that are likely to interfere with your hormone balance and general wellness.  It allows plenty of time to your body adjust one step at the time, and is also a good length of time to establish a new habit that you might decide to incorporate totally or partially in your lifestyle for good. The full program lasts 4 weeks (first week of transition and 3 weeks of progressive cleanse). Starts on Tue 10th at 6pm and closing meeting on Tue Feb 7th at 6pm ( mid-meetings in between). Fee per person $80.

All programs include booklet printout with guidelines and some recipe ideas. and detoxification and relaxation techniques too.

Health in abundance! Happy New Year!

Meet Karen, healthier and full of energy!

Mother of twins, Karen was feeling not at her best health and wellness last summer. Despite her doubts if she could improve or not, she didn’t give up, and encouraged by her friends he decided to take action and seek for help.  Here Karen shares a little bit of her story with us

I am 5’2″ and at the beginning of the process my weight was nearly 152 lbs. Today, after 5 months, I maintain my weight at 130 lbs! Over  20 lbs gone!! Today I feel a lot more self confidence, in addition to feel energetic to carry on my daily tasks, which now also includes regular exercising and walks.

I loved to work with Katia because she teaches me how to make my own choices regarding food, accordingly to my own needs, taste and routine. Before, it was not clear to me how much I really needed of each food group, for example protein, fiber, carbs etc…. now I’ve learned! I eat a little bit of everything, and I also learned how to switch some ingredients for better Items that I didn’t use before, and now they are part of my pantry, like coconut oil, oats and almonds. I really love the way how Katia works!

Way to go Karen!!! Cheers to a life full of energy, health and wellness!