Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Understanding GMOs: Series Finale!

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After the last few weeks' worth of information, you're probably feeling overwhelmed. I'm here today to help! Let's get going...

Whoa... so where do I begin?
I propose you start with your gut and your liver! I promise you, taking care of your gut and liver will bring you relief, as well as a major improvements in your overall health!

Cool fact - did you know vital liver function can be maintained even if it is already 2/3 destroyed? Not that I want my liver to get that bad, but it is a pretty amazing fact! In Chinese Medicine, the liver was traditionally regarded as "The General" because of its role in orchestrating so many activities in the body.

For the purposes of this article (and taking into account that everyone is different and has different genetic predispositions and environmental factors to deal with), this is just an overview. I recommend speaking to your healthcare provider or someone you trust about going deeper to identify where the blocks and imbalances are specifically in your body, and the best way to approach your healing.

10 Ways To Heal Your Liver and Gut:

1. Avoid GMOs! Reduce the amount of new toxins entering your body.
*Limit or remove processed foods, which most likely contain GMOs, in addition to chemicals, artificial   sweeteners or preservatives.
*Eliminate common food allergens such as dairy, wheat, corn and soy.

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2. Eat Organic foods whenever possible.
*When you can't, opt for local produce and stick to the Environmental Working Group's "Clean Fifteen/Dirty Dozen" recommendations.
*Select from organic sources of eggs, cheese, milk, poultry, nuts and legumes, and choose foods that work well for YOUR body. Selecting organic ensures no chemicals or antibiotics have contaminated your food supply.

3. Consume foods known to support gut and liver function.
*Ginger - has anti-inflammatory properties and is known to support bile secretion
*Dandelion - supports bile production and release
*Milk Thistle - increases bile secretion and protects and increases glutathione levels (glutathione is used in metabolic reactions throughout the entire body)
*Bitter greens - arugula, watercress, beet greens, dandelion greens and parsley
*Broccoli and members of the cruciferous family - eat, juice or take broccoli-based supplements. This helps break down xenoestrogens (which we talked about last week)
*Beets, carrots and celery
*Antioxidant rich foods (Vitamin C, E, beta carotene, etc) like berries, greens and raw cacao powder. Especially concentrate on eating foods containing glutathione, a powerful antioxidant essential for neutralizing toxins between the different stages of detoxification. Glutathione is dependent on magnesium and potassium to function. The formation of this important amino acid is dependent on the methionine and some of the cations that GMOs have been shown to deplete. Foods rich in glutathione include meat, eggs, garlic, onions, red pepper and broccoli. Avoid wheat and dairy as they contain proteins known to reduce glutathione levels by blocking the intake of its key building blocks.
*Raw, fermented foods like sauerkraut, miso paste, kombucha and kefir.
*Make your own bone broth!

4. Try supplements.
*Consider taking a probiotic with at least 6 billion live cultures per unit. In the healing phase, taking enough capsules to reach 50-60 billion/day will be beneficial.
*Sip on Roasted Dandelion Root Tea.
*Depending on your personal needs, there are also a variety of commercial liver support products available. You will need to discuss what formulations YOUR body needs with a professional. When you know what is being depleted in your body, you have a decent idea of where to start.

5. Experiment with Essential Oils.
*Essential Oils have been used for centuries to support overall health and organ function. Fennel, sandalwood, celery seed, carrot seed and nutmeg - to name a few - all have liver healing or detoxifying benefits. You'll want to select from therapeutic grade essential oils, which are the highest quality grade of essential oil. I get mine at Young Living. In fact, they have a liver cleansing line that I am going to personally try next month, so if you want to try it with me, please reach out and let me know!
*FYI - Don't mess with synthetic oils or blends. Yes, the synthetics can work, but then you are introducing chemicals into your body when we are trying to flush them out! Be weary of labels claiming to be "certified pure" or "100% organic". The FDA only requires that 5% of the alleged oil be present to make that claim. If you ever see a warning on a label like "do not ingest" or "may cause burns", put it back on the shelf!

6. Hydrate!
*A good rule of thumb is to cut your body weight in half and drink that many ounces of clean, filtered water. If you don't hydrate, you can't flush out the toxins, causing them to be reabsorbed.
*Drinking hot water throughout the day is a great way to hydrate and flush your lymphatic system!

7. Practice the art of impeccable self-care!
*Ever heard of dry body brushing? It helps release toxins and improve circulation!
*Get a good night's sleep
*Dance! Get creative! Do something every single day that makes you laugh or smile!
*Spend time outside every day

8. Move that body!
*Just 30 minutes of movement daily is critical. Whether it is walking in a local park, yoga class, low-impact jogging or stretching, movement helps flush the toxins out and balances out your stress hormones.

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9. Take note of the chemicals in your personal care products!
*You can look up your items on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep website
*Common ingredients you want to avoid include sodium laurel sulfate and fragrances.

10. Nurture your emotional health.
*Negative emotions like anger and frustration are stored in the liver, wreaking havoc in the body.
*Anger, fear, resentment, self-contempt, feelings of inadequacy, etc. - they all need to be released! A critical process in truly healing both your liver and your gut is 1) opening yourself up to the release of negative emotions or blocks, 2) giving yourself permission to heal and open up to love, acceptance and confidence, and 3) finally releasing the emotions that no longer serve you.

If you'd like more information on gut health and healing, I recommend reading "Body Ecology" by Donna Gates or "The GAPS Diet" by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. I also love Dr. Douillard's "Perfect Health for Kids".

Well, my friends, I hope I leave you today with some inspiration on ways you can take back your health. It appears that in the battle against GMOs, our government is slow to act - too much red tape. But with YOU making intentional purchases when selecting food, along with the mounting pressures from foreign governments on ours as they ban GMOs and US exports, I'm convinced that change will come.

I wish you a lifetime of health and abundance!


8.      "Genetically Modified Organisms and the deterioration of health in the United States” N.L. Swanson, 4/24/2013, Seattle
9.      Samsel and S. Senef Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases.
13.  V. E. Prescott, et al, “Transgenic Expression of Bean r-Amylase Inhibitor in Peas Results in Altered Structure and Immunogenicity,” Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry (2005): 53
14.  “Essential Oils Integrative Medical Guide” D. Gary Young, ND. 2003

Shanna Wahlquist is a Certified Holistic Health Coach specializing in empowering women to adopt a sustainable and healthy lifestyle without dieting or feeling deprived, and supporting them in balancing their gut-mind-body relationship, which she believes is the foundation of every chronic disease and ailment.  She is the mother of two toddlers, ages 4 and 2.5 years old; her happy place is in the ocean surf, and her guilty pleasure is red wine – especially if it involves a limo with a group of friends! Shanna found her path to holistic healing after discovering the benefits of vegetable juicing in February 2012, a journey inspired by her desperation to discover the cause of the sudden onset of recurrent chronic respiratory illnesses suffered by her children. She used that experience as a launchpad for a career change and ended up discovering her true authentic self and life’s purpose. She’s always had a passion for science, food, healing and stewardship, and has created a business where she can enjoy them all simultaneously while making a difference in the lives of her family, friends, clients and community. You can find her on facebook at “NourishingMySoul”,  her blog at or her website,

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