3 Day Belly Fat Blast!

Do not, I repeat, do not attempt this stunt at home!  Guaranteed to blast 2 to 4 pounds of fat right off your belly & butt in just 3 short days! Here are my five easy steps for success on this belly fat blast:

1.  Get your butt (and belly fat) to Arizona:  plane, train, automobile... bus if you must. Walking and biking are fine options, as well, and will seriously ramp up the belly fat blast!

2.  Hike 8 miles down into the Supai Native American Reservation.  Once there, you will be hiking many more miles, every day, to see and do what you want to see and do.  35-40 miles in 3 days... see how this belly fat blast just happens!?

havasu falls 2

3.  Live on the food (and a lizard or two, see info below) you carry in your back pack... down those 8 HOT, dusty miles into the Grand Canyon.

Food Carried:

Amazing nutrition in a fruit, nut, and Superfood power bar.  I avoid packaged food but this one is great in a pinch.  www.herbdoc.com  Nope, no kick backs for me. Darn!

Several varieties of organic beef jerky available at the Potsdam Food Coop.

Bison bars from the health food store in Flagstaff, Arizona.  These bars were a great pick!

Organic cheese sticks (Someone knew I would need cheese.  Again, see below.) It is amazing how they survive, despite the heat.  They were a little floppy on day two but we did not die from food poisoning!

Organic carrots, apples, and nuts pack well.  Thanks again to the Flagstaff, AZ store!

alm pecans

Dessert in the canyon was 2 of these very tiny, raw food cookies:

4.  Share your meager food supplies with the Supai Native American Reservation dog you fall in love with.

pedra 2

Pedra is the blonde doggie I fell in love with. Her sweet 'lil kisses on my face were a welcome bit of love.  Her black and tan friend was collar-less, tag-less, and therefore name-less. She won my love as well.

Pedra's tag said: "Pedra. Love me, feed me, leave me free."  On the flip side the tag stated: "Prefers paleo diet with cheese and a side of lizard."  So, I did what any dog loving woman would do... shared my beef jerky, bison pemmican, and mozzarella cheese stick (I was so glad I bought those Organic Valley Mozz cheese stix! Pedra loved them.). Funny, she did not want a bite of my Superfood bar or a share of my almond and pecan stash.

I tried to capture a lizard for Pedra and her friend but damn those canyon lizards move fast! I left her to handle that part of her diet on her own. No, I did not eat any lizards.  Couldn't catch 'em!

Yes, I asked Pedra to come home with me but she said: "No thank you Paula.  I run free down here in the canyon."  Guess being a Northern NY "house pet" was not on Pedra's agenda for this life time!

5.  Bring your 12 and almost 15 year old sons with you.  I figured their growing, teen bodies needed the calories more than my 49 year old - no longer growing body needed the calories.  Just in case we did not carry enough in... I ate lightly and left the food for the boys.  Amazing how a mom will go without to ensure the comfort and survival of her offspring!

Success of this program is based upon:

  1. minimal food
  2. maximum movement
  3. sharing minimal food with awesome dogs
  4. bring hungry teen boys and leave the bulk of food for their consumption and survival
  5. grain free diet (keep in mind that live stock is fattened up for slaughter by grain feeding...)
  6. butter free diet (OK, one morning my boys had oatmeal at the Supai Reservation Cafe.  I confess, I ate a pat of Land O'Lakes butter. Had it been my NY State pasture raised butter, I would have eaten a 1/4 cup!)

I am home now... real butter is back in my diet!

This success story is based on a quote by a rather enlightened MD (I forget his name!):

          "We have moved from a culture where movement was mandatory and calories were hard to come by to a culture where calories are mandatory and movement is hard to come by."

Got any belly fat blast stories for me?  Perhaps long hikes in the ADK mountains with little food? A trek up the Appalachian Trail and running low on food before the next drop?  Maybe the Pacific Crest Trail caught you low on food? Drop me a comment and share your "do not stay at home" fat blast stunts!

Blessings, Paula

NYS Grass Fed Butter

Ok, so the butter was not fed the grass but the cows giving the cream were! cows


Cows, living life big, at the Kriemhild Farm, Hamilton, NY


As I have recommended using butter from grass fed cows and was only exposed to the Kerry Gold of Ireland... a conscientious Northern NY gal gently nudged me in the direction of this butter and NYS dairy.

Kriemhild Dairy Butter is available at the Potsdam Food Coop, Potsdam, NY and through Wholeshare ordering with Nature's Storehouse, Canton, NY.

Kriemhild Dairy's multi-generational family farms are nestled in the verdant hills of New York State steeped in the tradition of dairy farming and production. Over a century of dairy farming experience and local, small batch production are the hallmarks of Kriemhild Dairy Farms.


Butter Ingredients: Sweet Cream from grass fed cows

Handmade and packed in small batches. This butter has more sweet cream so the butter has a higher fat content, typically over 85%.

"Our sweet cream, European style Meadow Butter is churned slowly and finished at a low level of moisture resulting in a rich flavorful butter. The higher fat content (85%) is coveted by chefs for its unique cooking properties. The butter is made throughout the grass growing season while our cows are grazing on high quality pastures, consuming the most nutritious mix of grasses. Since our cows graze seasonally you’ll see a range of colors from a deep golden color in the spring to a pale yellow in the fall. We do not add any other ingredients other than sweet cream from our grass fed milk and salt (except for the unsalted of course!). There are no trans fats in our natural butter. In fact, since our butter is made with milk from grass fed cows, it has a higher level of omega 3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA's), the good fats our bodies need to digest nutrients."

There are no preservatives in this unsalted butter. Kriemhild Dairy Farms strongly recommends that customers only keep out (refrigerated) what will be used in 2-4 weeks and leave the rest frozen.

Product of New York State  (and that is a good thing!)

Seasonal Allergies: Gear Up Now!

nettles What would a healing post, from me, be without my favorite herb... stinging nettles!  It is my "go to" herb for all nourishing and healing needs.  Start with nettles + herbs specific for the health symptoms = healing equation!

Got allergies?  Gear up now to fortify your body before pollen season. (I know, it does seem like winter will never go away, here in Northern NY!  But, pollen season will happen!) This self-responsible, preventative health action will help to ease the seasonal allergy symptoms.  Breathe freely this spring, summer, and fall...

1.  Freeze dried stinging nettles:  Get to Nature's Storehouse, Canton, NY and purchase some freeze-dried stinging nettles.  Start taking them now to calm and heal your immune system and relieve the seasonal pollen allergies.  

freeze nettle

2.  Local, raw honey.  Start eating 1/2 to 1 teaspoon two times daily, now.  Local, raw honey will acclimate your body to the local allergens before they bloom and blossom. This local honey will help to relieve or even rid your seasonal pollen allergies.


3.  Herbal Formula:  Herbs Etc. is a great company.  I use many of their formulas in healing ways with friends, family, and clients.  They work!

Allertonic® Enhances healthy inflammatory responses of the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. Stabilizes mast cell walls and fixed antibodies found in the eyes and respiratory system, keeping the tissues calm. Normalizes secretion of the respiratory system, liquefies mucus, stimulates its removal from the lungs, and keeps pulmonary tissues hydrated.

Ingredients: Fresh Stinging Nettle herb, Licorice root, Eyebright herb, Horehound herb, Osha root, fresh Horsetail herb, fresh Mullein leaf, Elecampane root, and fresh Plantain leaf.

Suggested Use:

Acute: Take one soft gel or 40 drops with water every two to three hours until comfort is achieved or as directed by your health care professional. Noticeable comfort is attained within the first or second day. Switch to ongoing use.

Ongoing: Take one soft gel or 40 drops with water three times a day.

Proactive: Two months prior to seasonal challenges, take one soft gel or 40 drops with water twice a day.


4.  Yes, you can use all three of these natural, allergy relief "foods" as a preventative measure.  Start now, before the snow melts!

5.  Whole foods:  I would be seriously amiss as a whole food, holistic healer if I did not tell you that the foods you put into your body, every time you eat, affect the way you feel.  Eat crap, feel like crap!  If you over load your body with packaged, factory made foods, you overwhelm your immune system (actually, you overwhelm your whole body, every body cell!).  Your immune response to allergens in the seasonal air will be seriously heightened if your body is already overwhelmed by crap food.  Eat whole, love your body cells!

6.  Liver Nourishment:  As I write this post, I have a draft post on liver nourishment, ready to go.  Be looking for it.  Keeping the liver healthy will cut down on seasonal allergy symptoms.

7. Acupuncture: is an excellent healing tool in the seasonal allergy toolbox. Give Five Elements Living a call if allergy relief is in your plans!

PS:  I can order any product from Herbs Etc. for you.  Check Nature's Storehouse OR the Potsdam Food Coop for a similar product.  Compare the ingredients as many herbal companies make allergy relief herbal combinations.

Need Help? Not sure about herbal healing foods:  what to take, how to take it, when to take it, etc?  As a Certified Herbalist, I can help with this!  Give me a shout.

Healthy Kid's Birthday Parties

Healthy Kid's Birthday Parties

What?  Healthy birthday parties? Is that not an oxymoron?  (Remember, this is coming from the gal who eats birthday cake for brunch!    http://wholefoodhealer.com/2013/07/31/no-body-is-perfect-birthday-cake-for-brunch/     I will remind you it was a cell nourishing, whole food birthday cake.)

bday cake

Whole food chocolate cake made for Valentine's Day 2013

Yes, it is possible to throw a healthy kid's birthday party AND have the kids like the snacks and the celebratory cake AND have fun! Why would you want to do this?  See below.*

1.  Come and play, no gifts please.  The kids are allowed to play and be kids, no adult organized games required.  Go outside and play!  Our parents and grandparents had wisdom with that "get outside and play" command.

2.  Come back inside hungry?  That is a good thing!  Snacks that promote healthy cellular reproduction and growth in kids:

a.   fruit slices with yogurt spiced dip

b.   veggie sticks and yogurt herb dip

c.    whole grain pita or tortilla pizza (works well on a whole grain English muffin)

d.    tortilla chips (free of genetically altered corn, please) with 100% natural salsa and mozzarella cheese stix

3.   Bake a homemade, from "scratch" cake, cupcakes, or cookies out of 100% whole foods.  This eliminates refined, white flour and sugars, hydrogenated vegetable oils, corn syrups, and other non-food ingredients in bakery made cakes and pastries or the boxed cake mixes.

ters cake

Whole food carrot cake for my sister's 50th, August 2013

Ask me for my handout defining what whole grain flours really are.  It is not "unbleached"  or  "all purpose" flours. pyoumell@gmail.com

4.    100% all natural ice cream that does not have fillers, stabilizers, or gums.

*Why throw a healthy, whole food birthday party?

1.  Our bodies cellular health depends on whole foods.  It was all we could put into our bodies in the days before factory made food products.  When we put refined food products into our bodies we are seriously disturbing cellular health.  Over a lifetime, this creates degenerative diseases.  Why set a kid up for this when healthy, whole food alternatives are just as easy to offer?

2.  Creating lifetime habits of good health, whole food eating, and positive lifestyle habits begins at conception (really, it begins even before that.  That is another article on cellular regeneration vs. cellular degeneration over the generations of a family's history on this planet.)

3.  Teaching your kids that in promoting health we are preventing disease.  (This is the next book I am working on!)  An ounce of prevention IS worth a pound of cure.

These are my top three reasons that  I do not have this attitude:  "oh, a little bit won't hurt them."

Food products were never meant to enter the human digestive tract having their profound impacts on cellular health. Yup, I am a tough, health gal!   happy face sun


Jake's b-day cake, July 2013

Wondering how I got to this point?

I have raised my kids on whole foods.  As they get older, it is harder to keep them away from refined packaged food products as these products are everywhere and everyone is eating them.  Kids think they are invincible (my cells won't suffer the consequences...) AND they want to eat what others kids are eating.

Birthday parties have always been a nightmare for me as I know that I am taking my kids into a lair of packaged food products that are all laden with refined and unnatural ingredients.  Yes, I think about their cellular health over the long term! If I don't, who will?

I took them to one birthday party, about 3 years ago (yes, this visual is forever emblazoned in my memory!), and I will describe the visual of food products laid out on the breakfast bar island:

1.  Several bags of flavored Doritos, the worst, as flavored (sour cream & onion, etc.) means more synthetic ingredients

2.  Two large bowls (4 quart size or bigger) FULL of gummy worms, bears, and various other gummy critters.  And these were not the organic, fruit juice varieties one can purchase at the Potsdam Food Coop or Nature's Storehouse in Canton.

3.  Several 1/2 gallon, plastic jugs of various soda flavors.

4.  Bowls of potato chips, enough to supply several super bowl parties.

5.  A pinata full of corn syrup sweetened, artificially flavored & colored type candies (sour skittles, etc.).

6.  A large, commercial, sheet cake made of white flour, white sugar, corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, fillers, conditioners, and the standard Crisco decorating frosting.

7.  Two 1-gallon tubs of inexpensive ice cream, cheaper option for feeding 12 to 15 kids but loaded with more artificial ingredients than I cared to know about.

So, I stood there thinking, "oh my God!"  I do not want my kids eating this crap.  I work hard to feed them whole, local, seasonal foods from very conscientious local farmers.  Truthfully speaking (or writing, as this is what I am doing) from a health perspective, none of these "products" were ever meant to be in the human body.  If nature did not create it, don't eat it, is a good motto to live by.

Back to the birthday party scene... this was a true nightmare visual for me.  At the same time, the social interaction with other kids is so important.  I leave them there at the party, hoping my kids remember the rules:  one very small piece of cake, no ice cream, no soda, please show restraint with the mounds of candies and junk chips, and please let your manners shine!

So, fast forward 3 or so years later... hoping to help create a generation of healthy kids' parties is one of the reasons I teach the whole food baking classes for the Local Living Venture.  This particular cooking class is called Learn How to Bake (& Convert Your Favorite Recipes!) to Whole Foods.  

Sign up for the LLVs newsletter and you will get notices of the classes offered.  Then join us for the next whole food baking class. Your cells will thank you.

HOH Whole food treat's conversion chart

1 cup refined flour = 3/4 cup whole grain flour

1 cup refined, white sugar = 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup

1 cup refined sugar = 1 cup sucanat or rapadura unrefined cane juice sugar

1 cup vegetable oil = 1 cup butter from grass fed, pasture raised animals

1 commercial, grocery store egg = 1 egg from free range, natural fed chickens 

Free range means the chickens range freely out side, not just living "cage free" in a factory farm chicken barn. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/07/31/california-weighs-sweeping-laws-against-factory-farm-cruelty.aspx

Hint: If a recipe calls for 1 ½ cup sugar, I would immediately decrease the original recipe to ¾ cup sugar.  Then I would use ¾ cups Rapadura or Sucanat sugar  OR  1/3 to slightly less than ½ cups of local maple syrup or honey.  Honey, I find works best in things I am not cooking, peanut butter balls, etc.  It makes cookies, muffins, baked goods heavy and sort of sticky.

I find most treat recipes are way too sweet, masking the flavors of all the other yummy ingredients, such as the nuttiness of whole grain flours.  Also, the more simple sugars we ingest, even honey & maple syrup, the more blood sugar / insulin issues we create in our bodies.

Add extra spices and vanilla to make up for the reduced sweetness.  Your tongue will enjoy the extra flavor and not miss the excess “sweetness”!

Reducing sugar, sweeteners, in the recipe also reduces the impact on your body and the negative health consequences of constantly having high blood sugar and elevated insulin levels. (diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, feeding cancer cells, depressed immune system function, irritating your nervous system....)

Completely avoid hydrogenated oils & partially hydrogenated oils (shortenings and margarine).  These are trans fats and are highly toxic to the human body.  Their consumption is connected to many diseases.

Use eggs from naturally raised chickens, turkeys, ducks or geese.

Let your whole grain batter sit for 5-10 minutes as the flour absorbs moisture over time.  Check to see if the consistency seems right for the type of treat you are making and adjust accordingly.

Making treats from whole foods creates home baked goods that have nutritional value.  They are still treats to be enjoyed on special occasions, not daily, but you can feel good about the whole food value when you avoid the refined ingredients: white flour, white sugar, hydrogenated fats and all refined foods.

Remember, we were never meant to eat sweet treats on a daily basis.  200 years ago, were people eating cakes, pies, cookies, and donuts every day?  Not a chance. Read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books if you have any doubts.  They got one piece of candy for Christmas and made it last for weeks.  If we treated “treats” with this respect, our body would thank us.

Take your time and work into this by doing a ½ and ½ mix, then ¾ whole grain & ¼ refined, then finally move to 100% whole grain flours.  This eases you into the heavier texture of whole grain baking.  (These whole food treats WILL be heavier, denser and this is a direct reflection of them being heavy and dense in nutrition!)  In time, you will not notice and your body will be better nourished for it!

If you are an all or nothing person, like me, just make the switch to whole grains, cold turkey, and never look back!

Eat well & be healthy!!  Paula

Why I Love Yoga and Other Thoughts on Whole Food, Whole Health Healing

frost 3
Frost, my Siamese Mutt Cat, doing her version of Downward Facing Cat Pose. She IS a natural at Yoga!

I wrote this article for the Potsdam Food Coop's Fall newsletter.  I decided to re-post it here as many people commented on the words being meaningful to them.  Thanks for the kind words Potsdam Coop friends!

Frost doing the "downward facing cat"!

Why I Love Yoga…and other thoughts on local, whole foods!

And you are now thinking, what does yoga have to do with the food?  My answer is quite simple. When we create mindfulness through a regular yoga practice (or any other form of body awareness exercises: Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Tae Kwon Do), we consciously make healthier choices in all areas of our lives.  This means healthier food choices. 

Back to yoga.  Why I love yoga… because it works!  It works on many levels, see my above comment around food choices.  The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word yuj and means to yoke or bind. Yoga is often interpreted as a method of discipline that brings union (yoking or binding) to body, mind, and spirit. Yoga is the study of the Self.  Yoga gives us tools to improve our lives by stripping away the illusions that block us from connecting with our true self, with others, and with life itself.

Yoga is a whole food that nourishes body, mind, and soul.  Food is sacred to the body; it nourishes and sustains us.  Love is sacred to the mind and heart; nourishing the very part of us, our spirits, that gives to others and back to ourselves.  Yoga is the breath of the soul; keeping our life force strong and our 3 parts (body, mind, soul) in harmony and union.

Getting down to the brass tack: I am an exercise enthusiast.  Those who know me, know this well.  As long as I am not sitting still, I am happy.  The list of activities I have engaged in goes on and on and blurs together over the years and decades of my life. I love and have loved them all.

For many years I was into serious weight training and I felt that I was very strong.  When I started to do yoga, I was humbled.  I could not push up into a back bend.  My arms would just not do it.  After a few weeks I had the back bend thing down.  Years later, I now do reverse push ups.  Push ups from the back bend pose!  The strength I have gained is through my whole body (mind and soul!).

Over the years I realized my yoga strength ran deeper than that.  My choices around food and other lifestyle habits became more conscious in a health promoting way.  I paid attention to eating with awareness, chewing food well, eating only what I needed, and stopping before I was stuffed.  These habits around food and food choices slipped in the back door; all part of the study of self (ha ha, yoga!).  All those years of doing yoga transformed the way I interacted with myself and the world around me and I did not even perceive it happening.

Positive things I noticed around food: not needing to fill my plate to the brim or returning to the potluck table for another round of food, being satisfied with enough, passing on the desserts as sweet foods no longer dominated my taste buds, feeling abundance and satisfaction with light meals, and reveling in the flavors / colors / textures / and gift that each meal brings.

When we stop the constant chatter inside our heads and still our minds through mindfulness activities (yoga and other body awareness exercises), we tend to make choices that are in alignment with what is best for our health without feeling deprived.  This is because we have learned to live in the present moment and are aligned in body, mind, and spirit.  That is the awareness that Yoga brings to our being.

A cluttered "chattery" mind and a body that is not aligned in mind, body, and spirit tends to make decisions based upon impulse and cravings without regard to what is best for long term health.

When we quiet our minds, we use our emotions to our advantage.  When our minds are busy, our emotions use us.

Change is defined as the process of becoming different, substituting one thing for another, biological metamorphosis, personal development especially if seen as personally "life-changing". Consciousness is awareness of one's own existence and behaviors, inwardly attentive and mindful.  Conscious change involves will and deliberateness, altering self in an intentionally conceived manner.

When we discover that something we are doing in our lives no longer serves our higher purpose as a human, conscious change is how we evolve.  When we discover that the lifestyle and food choices we have made, consciously or not, are not reflections of our higher selves, we move to make change.  We realize our bodies are not vibrating at our highest level of health and we seek out ways to change this:  to heal current symptoms and weight issues and prevent lifelong degenerative diseases from interfering with our vibrant quality of life.

Remember that life is always for us!  Life force energy is always moving towards the positive, health and healing.  It is humans who tend to go against the grain of nature and turn this flow of energy against ourselves.  If you allow yourself to be in this flow, positive things will just happen.

Yoga, or any body awareness type exercise, aligns our bodies, our minds and our spirits so we make life giving choices.  Yoga helps us to become normalized in our eating, to reach a pattern of habits that are normal and healthy for us.  Yoga (or any body awareness exercise) help us to walk into the Potsdam Food Coop, Nature's Storehouse, our local farm stands or supermarkets, and we can make choices that feed and nourish every cell of our being.  We walk out with life giving, whole foods to nourish ourselves and our families.

Simply put into words by Donna Farhi, world renowned Yoga Teacher: (image compliments of Trillium Center for Yoga & Health, Potsdam, NY)

A book to inspire you to create conscious living in your life.

This means you no longer make choices based upon emotional triggers. You instead make choices based upon inner wisdom and peacefulness.





Update 7/31/2019 I created and teach my Sacred Circle Yoga Mentorship because I see what a daily Yoga practice does for one’s health.

Update 4/23/2018  Happy Earth Day!  This post has been used and published in several newsletters and journals in the 5 years since I wrote it. My wish is that the gift of Yoga, mindfulness, reaches out to help many heal emotional issues around food, food choices, and eating habits.  I have since created The School of Self Healing home study courses on weight loss, sugar addiction, and whole food eating that embody the mindful / yoga habits to support your feeling whole and happy in the healing choices you make. Much Love to All.

More Why I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Yoga Blog Posts, Yup, click on the "blue" back there. Enjoy reading as much as I enjoy sharing my Love of Yoga.

Update on 4/29/16 Great quotes from the book "The Little Red Book Of YOGA WISDOM" Thank you Shelby of Five Elements Living Retreat Center for always keeping my heart and soul open to inspiration.

  • Yoga is the martial art of the soul and the opponent is the strongest you have ever faced: Your Ego. - Unknown

  • Spiritual practices help us move from identifying with the ego to identifying with the soul. -Ram Dass

  • Yoga exists in the world because everything is linked (connected). -Desikashar