Saturday, April 6, 2013

GMO Labeling at Whole Foods Market - Delicious and Healthy Living

As a vendor at Whole Foods Markets, I received a letter from their corporate headquarters on their plans to label products containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's).  I have seen a number of posts on Facebook that indicate that people don't understand why it will take years (2018 to be exact) for this labeling to go into effect.  That is an excellent question that I also want to know the answer to.  This letter clarifies why this labeling will take so long.

The prevalence of Genetically Modified Organisms in our food supply is now SO high that it is very difficult for the many vendors who sell their products to Whole Foods Markets to source where the ingredients came from in the first place.  They have to make certain that even the fields where the ingredients are grown won't receive cross contamination from nearby GMO crops. 

Think about it for a moment.  If I make a jar of tapenade, the olives come from one place, capers from another and garlic from still another.  It can be tough to trace back to the farms and make absolutely certain that ALL of the ingredients in my product contain no GMO's.  Whole Foods Market is simply giving their vendors plenty of time to trace back ingredients and make decisions about whether or not to replace them or to go ahead and just label them as containing GMO's.  This makes a lot of work for the vendor who will have to print up new labels that comply with Whole Food's new standards.

For now, there are many products in Whole Foods that already are labeled as non-GMO.  Products will continue to be labeled as such between now and the 2018 deadline.  Keep looking at the labels and purchase products according to what you are comfortable with. 

If a label has no mention of GMO's it may contain them but does not mean it does.  Whole Foods Market has worked hard to keep products with what they call "dirty ingredients" off of their shelves since they opened.  Unfortunately, it has become more and more difficult to do so with GMO ingredients in so much of our food supply here in the United States.

Briefly, GMO's are lab created foods that use the DNA of living organisms that are often from two different species and then they splice them together. For instance, they crossed a cold water fish with a tomato to give it a longer growing season (as tomatoes naturally do not do well in cold weather).  These things would never occur naturally so why would we want to put them into our bodies? What do they do to us?  How could they do this without consulting the consumer of the tomato?  What if you are vegan or deathly allergic to fish?  Is the massive rise in food allergies due to these practices (more than 20 years of GMO's)?  Is that why bee populations dying off, from GMO tainted pollen?  What other crops are modified and with what?  These are only a few questions of the moral, ethical and health implications that we must ask ourselves when it comes to GMO's.

Thank you to Whole Foods Markets for standing up for our right to know what is in our food.  Please shop there and at other health food grocery stores for the best ingredients available from vendors that care about our health and well being.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year. New You - An Update

Ten days into 2013 and the sense of newness is going strong.  It is for me and I hope it is for you as well.  This is a time to reflect back on the last year and take stock of what's passed as you look towards the future and what may come.  Some years were so tough that I didn't want to look behind or ahead.  Lucky for me, this year was not one of them.  If this was a tough one for you, I hope you reconsider ignoring this time of transition.  No matter how low you go, there's always some way to go up.  Take time to find it and create a new year for you.

I can't help but notice that the last time I blogged was three days post juice fast in July!  I am happy to say that there was a good reason for that.  It was just then that my life as a private chef in Hollywood took off in a way that I could not have imagined.  A number of people asked me if I thought the juice fast had anything to do with the rise in my business.  I would have to say yes, I believe it did.  There is level of clarity that comes with cleansing and rejuvenating the body through juicing that I think creates an opening for the mind and spirit to soar to greater heights.  And so it was for me . . .

I was a few days into my juice fast when I met with NCIS actress, Cote De Pablo.  She said she knew I was the right chef for her when I showed up to our first meeting with a big container of juice in hand and shared my stories of eating to heal illnesses in my own body.  I began my work with her that week, sipping juice as I cooked her food.

A couple of weeks into working with Cote, she asked me to cook for a dinner party with a high profile guest.  By the end of the night, Martyn Lawrence Bullard of Million Dollar Decorators tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Darling, I just love your food, I wonder if you would like to come work for me?"  So, I did and word quickly spread of my delicious and healthy food as big name celebrities sampled it at dinner parties and as guests of my new found clients.

It is a dream come true to cook for these wonderful people but I have to say that the biggest thrill comes when I get to see how healthy and happy they have become by eating food that suits their systems.  When I tune into their shows or see them on a talk show, I look at their color, how much weight they have lost, their energy levels and overall health.  That's what it's all about.  Seeing their vitality increase.

So what's ahead for this year?  As I continue to cook for the best clients in the world and teach at Whole Foods Market, I am planning on a few new things too.  I have a new book I am writing (details to come), videos to shoot, food products to make and get to market, a supper club to start and a TV show I am working on getting produced.  I think I have my work cut out for me!

If you're feeling stuck and want to get the energy moving again for a great 2013, I suggest doing what I did on New Year's Eve.  I spent some time writing in my journal.  I wrote out thirteen goals I have for the year, twenty things I am grateful for and a request for help from the Universe for it to happen with ease.  I don't know what the future holds exactly but if it's anything like last year, I am in for a year that's better than I could possibly imagine.  It is my sincerest wish that you get to have the same.  Happy New Year!

For more information on living a Delicious and Healthy life, see my website at  To see my books, click here. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Three Days Post Juice Fast

Three days post fast and I believe more compliments have been tossed my direction regarding my glow and general energy than have come my way this year together.  It is a pleasure to receive the compliments for certain but more of a pleasure to feel this way.  I truly do feel amazing!

On the morning after, I made a two egg omelet with avocado and tomato with a side of arugula with olive oil and lemon juice.  It tasted so delicious and provided a ton of energy for the day.  For lunch I bought sashimi at Whole Foods and took it to work.  Super delicious with more energy giving benefits.

I had a half a cup of coffee with oatmeal yesterday morning and had my suspicions confirmed . . . coffee and me should not mix.  I have had issues with a cyst on my left breast for about fifteen years.  Caffeine exacerbates breast cysts, causing them to grow and become painful.  While on my fast, I experienced no breast pain.  Yesterday, I had a few sips of coffee and the shooting pains returned.  And how I LOVE coffee!!!  I don't drink much of it - just a few sips from a half a cup with almond milk in the morning and that's it.

So, I am going to have to break up with coffee.  Perhaps we will see each other once in a while but it will always be a painful goodbye.  Sorry coffee.  Hello Yerba Mate tea . . .

So, I did something stupid.  The day after I went off of the fast, I had dinner with a friend in the Los Angeles Farmer's Market at Monsieur Marcel.  They have une Salade Avec Poulet that is so divine I just had to have one.  Well, you can't have dinner there without wine . . .  I had two glasses of Marcel's Bordeaux and I know that was just plain dumb after clearing out my system but I did it anyway.  The next morning I had a raging hangover.  I mean it was epic.  It lasted all day long.  Lesson learned.

So, wine, I am not breaking up with you all together but we are going to have to see a whole lot less of each other.  I mean it has been a lot of fun and all.  You have really shown me a good time over the years but this abusive attitude the morning after when all the fun is over has got to stop.  Also, you make me gain weight because I have to eat lots of food when I hang out with you.  You just do.  You make me hungry for more tortilla chips and charcuterie and I have absolutely no will power when brie is on the table.  Wine, well, I hope you understand.  I love you but I love me more ;)

So now, I am still eating lots of salads and loving them.  I have had some chicken, fish and eggs but no red meat as of yet.  I have a lot more energy and feel like I could work out again.  I did not feel like working out at all during the fast.

Many people report tons of energy during a juice fast but  not me.  I talked to my doctor today.  He suggested I get tested for a vitamin D deficiency.  I told him I make sure to get at least twenty minutes of sun a day for that.  He says as you age it is not usually enough.  He told me about a website where I could become a part of a study call Grass Roots  I will be checking into that and getting on another omega 3 supplement.  I am also taking B complex with Macro Greens.  They have definitely helped with energy.  Additionally, I think it's time to get tested for diabetes.  Though I am super careful about sugar, it does run like wildfire through my father's side of the family so we will see.

Health and healing is a never ending journey for me.  I am ok with that.  I have dedicated my life to forward this movement since I was fifteen years old when I took my first psychology class.  I have been fascinated ever since.  I always say that if you're here to be a healer, you're going to be given things to heal.  My deepest wish is that my path helps you do the same.

For more on living a Delicious and Healthy Life, see my website      

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day Ten of The Juice and Veggie Fast!!!

I realize I did not post for day nine and it was THE BEST day!  I felt so much energy and clarity and was super happy and excited.  I started a new chef job that day that went very well so that had something to do with it but I largely attribute it to something, well, personal.

A dear friend reminded me of something I knew from my days in naturopathy school a dozen years ago but had conveniently forgotten - when you cleanse, you need to cleanse the whole system.  Juicing is not enough and that bowel cleansing was also called for.  I know this is a tricky subject but I have to share what happened.  So, here goes . . . 

Natural medicine teaches that all diseases start in the bowels.  The cleaner you keep your system and the more you keep it moving regularly, the better.  When I was in naturopathy school, we had to try the natural treatments that we were learning about so we could see how they worked in our own bodies.  I loves this approach as we know how well experience teaches us!  I read that bowel wash enemas of two cups of warm water in an enema bag helps to dramatically relieve sinus headaches. When I was in school, I used to get those headaches a lot so I tried this treatment and it worked!!!  It worked so well that I used that for years until I no longer got those headaches.

For this fast, my friend suggested a colonic to help move out the old waste.  I did not have any time in my schedule for that so instead, I did an enema of warm water at home.  I immediately felt GREAT!  I was lighter and had more energy and by the next morning, the muscle fatigue I got climbing the stairs and the headaches were gone!  I felt amazing! That was day nine.

This morning was a different story.  I didn't have the muscle fatigue but had a headache that I have had all day.  Darnit!  I do think the headache is more stress related from being very worried about my sick and elderly cat.  But that's another story  . . .

So, in the next couple of days, I will figure out how much this whole thing cost me and share the comparison to how much I was spending on food to see if my thoughts about juicing being more expensive than what I was already doing is a big myth or not.  I am interested to see that!

I am so glad I did this fast.  It taught me so much.  Going forward, I will be juicing more often and sharing it with others more.  I am looking forward to a full meal but am truly amazed that I was not dieing for one the whole time I was doing this.  In fact, I didn't want other things to eat (except tortilla chips the fourth day- oddly).  Joe said that what you crave during the fast is the worst thing for you.  Darn!  I eat those a whole lot.  Moderation . . .

Stay tuned!  There's more - like how I do when I return to animal proteins, nuts, seeds and sweet potatoes.

For more on living a Delicious and Healthy Life see


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day Seven Juice and Veggie Fast

Day seven and I have to say I'm feeling great.  It gets better each day.  I was a bit concerned yesterday since I had such a very low dip in energy that I suspected I may have a bigger issue going on.   I had experienced this feeling over the last five years from time to time that I only know to call exhaustion.  I noticed that not enough sleep and poorly eating would induce it.  By poor eating, I mean times where I would try gluten to see if it just might be ok.  It never was.

Yesterday I thought that I may  just have issues with sugar - I mean an actual condition - I have always had issues with sugar.  Diabetes runs like wildfire on my Father's side of the family.  That could be a possibility.  I also wondered if I may have hypo or hyper glycemic issues.  Yesterday, I took a B Complex vitamin as I mentioned and I ate a salad and an apple.  I felt much better after the salad.

I know you may be thinking, "Of course you felt better!  You actually ate something!"  I mean, I would think that if I were reading about someone's juice fast.  The thing is, most people report that they feel better than they ever have in their life by the fifth day.  Joe Cross told me about a friend of his who juiced before, during and after the LA Marathon and made her best time ever.  So, I know it can be incredibly empowering.

Another thought is . . . perhaps I am not built for juicing alone and it's just not the best course of action for my health.  I mean I don't know what vitamins or minerals I may be deficient in and that just may be a factor here.  One thing is good, I have decided to get my blood sugar tested out to see if I do have any issues.

The long and short of it is, I feel better today as I flow into tomorrow . . . day eight!  Wow!  I can't believe how fast this is going and how much I am really enjoying this and how strange it is that I don't want to eat anything other than fruits and vegetables.  That's a surprise!

For more information of living a Delicious And Healthy life, see my website at    

Friday, July 13, 2012

Days 5 and 6 of The Juice and Veggie Fast in Summary

I am hyper aware of every little thing going on in my body. I am checking for aches and pains and energy drains more than usual while juicing and vegging it up. I have been very aware of my body for many years now - I mean since I took my health into my hands nearly eighteen years ago. Your body will tell you so much. Learning to listen to it, then to follow it, is an ongoing lesson.

The last two days are better than certainly the first three were. I write this on day six. Now, to be clear, I am not just juicing these ten days. I decided to do a combination of fruit and veggie smoothies (made with water) and juices with a little help from a small salad or piece of fruit when energy dips low. I did this for two reasons, one is economic. As a small business owner and solo-preneur, business is up and down all the time. Right before our planned fast, I lost all three steady private chef clients for different reasons and thus my income. We know vegetables are more expensive than say, MacDonalds (and I can't tell you how sad and frustrated that makes me but that's another blog.) So, I wanted to cut down on costs and see how I do stacked up against my sisters and their experiences. I also wanted to show others how you can do a veggie fast on a shoestring budget. I want this to be accessible to as many people as possible (numbers provided at the end of the ten days). If I can do it, having lost my income, so can you!

The other reason I did the juice and veggie fast this way is I know my digestive system and crash diets and fasts. This is not my first one. It is my first one in a couple of years so I knew that I do best if I give my digestive tract something to break down. I am extremely sensitive and I know I have certain constraints. When ever I have done something radical like this, I have had lots of detox reactions. This time was no different. But, it is better than any other fast/diet I have ever tried (next to blood type dieting by Dr. Peter D'Adamo but that's a daily diet for life kind of thing).

So, as I listen to my body these last couple of days, I have been getting a little light headed and feel some exhaustion in my muscles especially as I climb stairs. Today, I decided to take a B Complex supplement to see if that helped and it did. I feel more energetic this afternoon. My memory is better. I am remembering to do things I am supposed to do and remembering things I memorize like numbers. I used to be near savant level with remembering numbers. Remembering my parents credit card number in college was especially dangerous! For them anyway . . .

My hips, neck and knees are creaky and a bit stiff. I notice them more in the morning as I get out of bed. The night sweats have diminished over the last six days and so have the hot flashes. One noticeable thing is I am more quick to tire out and have not felt like hiking. That's unlike me as I love to do it and Griffith Park is my back yard.

I realize this sounds like I am suffering but the truth is I am not. I am really enjoying the benefits of mental clarity, less hot flashes, weight loss (five pounds),no bloating, limited gas, and feeling great about what I am putting into my body. Unlike Joe Cross, I don't have any serious illnesses. I am not on any prescription medications, I am not obese and I have been eating intentionally for my health for the last two decades. I feel like, all in all, I am doing great for a sensitive girl who just wants natural hormone balancing. I press on. Day seven, here I come!

 For more on living a Delicious And Healthy Life, see

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day Four Juice Fast with A Recipe

Day four of this juice fast and I am feeling great! I felt a little sleepy this morning but that was the only complaint of the day. Now, its about 10:00pm and I have tons of energy. I'm surprised, quite pleasantly. Also, I just feel super happy. I mean if I'm going to have a mood swing, let it be on the happy end of things. So, to honor my happy mood, I give you my favorite juice recipe of the week. When I make up a juice, I don't think it through. Instead, I just intuit the juice and write it down so I don't forget it just in case its worth sharing. So far, all of them are worth it! This one tastes sweet and a little tangy and is so refreshing. So far, it is my favorite. So, here goes. 1 handful of cilantro 5 broccoli florets 3 kale leaves 2 celery stalks 1 gala apple 2 handsful of spinach 1 wedge of lemon 6 carrots Put all those yummy things in the juicer and drink up! Stay tuned for the next blog ... I know I can't wait to see how I do tomorrow.