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!


DIY Epsom Salts

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!





Tummy Recovery Green Juice

To give your body a break and boost your recovery, a fasting day can make wonders alongside Homeopathy. Fresh juices are packed with dense nutrients that are easily absorbed, soothing your digestive system and helping your body to detoxify. Below, a couple of juicing ideas for you. Note that they are based on vegetables more than fruit. Although fruits are healthy, juicing fruits can overload your body with too much fructose, which is not desirable. As a general rule, use a green apple to sweeten your green juice, and cucumber and/or celery as a base. A bit f coconut water instead of the apple can also be a good way to add some sweet taste, in moderation.  

Green cabbage is well known for its digestive aid properties, and for an extra anti-inflammatory kick, you may add  an inch of  fresh ginger to your juice. Now get your juicer out and let’s press!

Tummy Recovery Juice

  • 1 cucumber
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 2 small apples, cored and seeded
  • 1 cup green cabbage
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled


Detox Juice

  • 1 green apple, cored and seeded
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 small lemon
  • 2 handfuls of greens
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 1 cup of water or coconut water* (*optional)


Happy Juicing!

Homeopathy Rescue for Overindulging

Well, Christmas is jut over, New Year’s eve few days ahead, Boxing Day for some of us today and in between very likely  that probably we ate and/or drink too much, right?

You might feel that your digestion is not handling the feast as well as you wish, or perhaps that second bottle of wine triggered a bit of a migraine, all together with lack of energy.

Hang in there fellas! A bit of homeopathy is always handy in this circumstances, and here I want to share with you a couple of remedies that I find the most useful in this situations. They are often part of most of Homeopathic First Aid Kits, and also easily available on stores that sell homeopathy: Nux Vomica and Pulsatilla.

Nux Vomica: is one of the major remedies for hangover and indigestion. It covers symptoms such headaches, aversion to light and noise, and digestive issues (full, bloated, pain) after overeating or overindulging spicy foods, alcohol, caffeine and tobacco, anything that can be stimulant. Another peculiar symptom of Nux vomica is the feeling that if you could only vomit you would be so much better.

Pulsatilla: for the digestive issues occurring after overindulging rich food, cakes, pastry and fatty meat (especially pork) Pulsatilla is indicated. Unlike Nux Vomica that feels full and bloated, wishing that could vomit, Pusatilla feels an “all-gone” sensation on the stomach. Pulsatilla is also prone to have loose yellow-greenish stools after overeating.

In addition to the homeopathic remedies suggested to relief the symptoms of overeating and overindulging, a light diet on the following day, perhaps based on green juices, smoothies and veggie soups is always welcome to support recovery.

Happy Recovery!

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!

How to Recognize Sugar in Food Labels

  • Anhydrous Dextrose
  • Barley Malt
  • Beet Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Buttered syrup
  • Cane Crystals
  • Cane Sugar
  • Caramel
  • Carbitol
  • Carob syrup
  • Concentrated Fruit Juice
  • Corn Sweetener
  • Corn Syrup
  • Corn Syrup Solids
  • Crystal Dextrose
  • Date sugar
  • Dextran
  • Dextrose
  • Diatase
  • Diastatic malt
  • Diglycerides
  • Disaccharides
  • Erythritol
  • Ethyl Maltol
  • Evaporated Cane Juice
  • Florida Crystals
  • Fructooligosaccharides
  • Fructose
  • Fructose Sweetener
  • Fruit Juice Concentrates
  • Galactose
  • Glucitol
  • Glucoamine
  • Glucose
  • Glucose Solids
  • Golden Sugar
  • Golden Syrup
  • Grape sugar
  • Hexitol
  • High-Fructose Corn Syrup
  • Honey
  • Inversol
  • Inverted Sugar
  • Isomalt
  • Lactose
  • Liquid Fructose
  • Malt Syrup
  • Malts Malted Barley
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Mannitol
  • Molasses
  • Maple Syrup
  • Molasses
  • Nectars
  • Pancake Syrup
  • Pentose
  • Raisin Syrup
  • Raw Sugar
  • Ribose Rice Syrup
  • Rice Malt
  • Rice Syrup
  • Solids
  • Sorbitol
  • Sorghum
  • Sucanat
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Turbinado Sugar
  • Sucanet
  • Sugar
  • Syrup
  • White Sugar
  • Xylitol
  • Yellow Sugar
  • Zylose

Some Bitter Facts and a Home Experiment

I have something to share today. The topic is not new, it has been on the news a lot lately and I have talked about this several times during the past years, but it still does not cease to shock me. That’s why I am here again to talk about sugar and its bitter facts, this time to share something more personal.

Today average Americans consume about 156 pounds of sugar a year, of which only about 29 pounds comes from table sugar; the rest comes from food. This amount is roughly about 200g a day. To compare, 100 years ago sugar consumption would come mostly from fruit, average of 15g daily only.

Few decades ago, fat got the blame for the increase of heart disease, and we entered the low fat era. 30 years later, rates of heart disease and metabolic syndrome increased at least 30%. What went wrong? Would be really the fats to blame? At the same time fat was reduced, sugar increase to level calories and add taste. Today we find sugar everywhere, hidden in food labels under 56 different names!

Currently 30% of Americans are obese; 42 million of kids around 5 years of age worldwide are obese. People who consumed 21 percent or more of their daily calories in the form of sugar are twice as likely to die from heart disease compared to those who got 7 percent or less or their daily calories from added sugar. Besides obesity and heart disease, high blood sugar can boost one’s risk of Alzheimer’s disease, which affects 5 million Americans currently.

Last week I watched That Sugar Film, a documentary by
Damon Gameau where he, that normally eats a healthy diet, includes for 6 weeks the average amount of sugar that Australians, like most of us around the world now, eat regularly. The interesting details it that he does not go for candy or other well known sugary foods, he will accomplish the average sugar consumption by only eating foods with hidden sugar.

sugar film

The movie inspired me to run a little experiment at home. Compared to the average, we have very little sugar at home. I don’t buy juice, cookies or soda regularly, we read food labels and we are not completely sugar free, we just try to be moderate about it. As for treats there are some good quality ice cream in the freezer and some plain dark chocolate in the pantry, that’s it. Sounds pretty sensible, don’t you think? Even thou, I decided to check how much sugar we are eating daily, specially coming from fructose.

Table sugar is made of molecules of glucose and fructose. While glucose can be used by any cell of the body and is stored as glycogen, fructose has to me metabolized by the liver and is stored in the body as fat. Therefore the excess of fructose is the one that poses consequences to our health, and it is what I decided to observe more closely at home.

We are a family of four here, my husband and I, and our two boys, 6 and almost 11 years old.  I labeled 4 mason jars with our names, put aside on the counter-top with a kitchen scale, a teaspoon and a cup to measure, and an empty mason jar to tare the scale when measuring.


In America, unlike other countries, there is no daily recommendation of sugar on food labels. However, WHO (World Health Organization) suggests that 10% or less of your daily calories should come from sugar, which is an average of 8 teaspoons of sugar per day for an adult. Each teaspoon of sugar has 4g of sugar, so let’s say we should not eat more than 32g of sugar per day (more specifically 7 tsp for women and 9 tsp for men). So how many teaspoons of sugar are you eating a day? Do you have an idea? I thought I had a better idea, but the little experiment here alarmed me right on the first day, especially for my youngest boy who is only 6 years old.

It is summer, kids are off school and we are taking it easy. Practical meals and in some weeks days an ice cream here and there instead of keeping them for the weekends.

So here it goes: my youngest had for breakfast a mashed banana with a half cup of oats and sprinkled cinnamon, and I baked some “pao de queijo” for them (Brazilian cheese buns made out cheese and tapioca flour). The eldest had a small cup of coconut water.

For lunch we had some tacos, grilled chicken, beans, lettuce, and peppers. In the afternoon the little one had a portion of ice cream (big tantrum for that, then I ask myself why I store that in the freezer…) and before his taekwondo class a pot of fruity yogurt that my husband bought to be an easy snack during these summer days. For dinner we had the same tacos as for lunch, they had few pieces of dark chocolate and some plain popcorn later in the night. That was it. How many teaspoons of sugar do you think they ate? My youngest had a staggering amount of 124g of sugar which corresponds to 31 teaspoons of sugar!!!! This is 3 times more than the recommended allowance for an adult!!! I am shocked, and I am sad, and that’s why I am here today to share this with you. If in my house, that has very little sugar compared to average, what is going on other families? It does concern me a lot for the sake of these kids.


Now, where do you think the sugar came from? The ice cream and chocolate were quite obvious, but it was just a little. The beans for lunch and dinner were added of a little bit of BBQ sauce; let’s say each of us had about 1/2 tablespoons of it. The yogurt had 32g of sugar in it!! So you see, just one yogurt might have the maximum amount of sugar recommend for an adult a day!! Beware people. Food marketing is deceiving, and many foods presented as healthy or organic might not be what they look. If you drink soda, a regular can of coca-cola has 39g of sugar and a regular can of Montaindew 46g!! So just a single can of soda is more than the daily recommended sugar intake for an adult.

You see, the trick is the hidden sugar; especially on food that you have no idea has sugar in it, like sauces and dressings, or in food disguised as healthy. Information and awareness is the key. Reading labels is important, or even better, avoiding labels. I will carry on the experiment at home and observe it closer, and of course implement some changes.

This is not about weight gain or loss, this is about health. Sugar consumption leads to obesity, high blood pressure (it is actually worse than salt!), high blood sugar, high cholesterol, it alters hundreds of genes in your brain interfering with brain function, including genes that control metabolism. but because sugar is not an acute toxin, it ;s chronic, the FDA does not do much about it, since it only regulates acute toxins. In a long run the effects are devastating, Sugar i also more addictive than cocaine, since sugar stimulates the same award centers in the brain as cocaine or heroin. You don;t need to be overweight to suffer from these effects, for example many people on healthy weight have high cholesterol.

If you feel inspired to make a change, the first step is awareness. Would you be curious to do the same at your house? I invite you to take this journey with me and share your thoughts and results.  See you later!