Create and Curate

Four Things You Can Do Right Now To Improve Your Health

May 11, 2018

Four years ago I hosted “GOT WELLNESS?”; a wellness event for women at the Old Town Theater in Alexandria, Virginia. The event was born from what I saw as a need to provide women, typically the wellness decision makers for their homes, with vital information about improving their health, and the health of their families. 


I have long been encouraging my friends and family to take control of their health through knowledge of alternative health practices and the power at the end of their forks. Despite my passion about the topic, my practice and coaching others to wellness, I am not a doctor.  As such, I wasn't always able to get everyone to pay attention. So, I set about assembling a team with impeccable integrative-medical credentials to explain the importance of using EVERY available resource, from traditional medicines and medicinal lifestyle practices to modern medicine, as a way to achieve optimum wellness. 


I convinced the accomplished Integrative Doctor Marie Steinmetz to participate as the keynote speaker. Dr. Steinmetz’s Family Practice was well respected long before she became one of the first Integrative physicians in the D.C area to have graduated from the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. Her practice was built on integrative wellness and functional medicine; taking a whole patient approach to creating optimum health and wellness. The event sold out quickly, and it was clear that women wanted more information about the best choices for themselves and their families when it came to preventive wellness.


Be your own best health advocate through knowledge and the practice of creating your own wellness micro-climate.


The statistics are dire. Half of all adults in the US have one or more chronic diseases. Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, obesity, and cancer comprise six of the ten leading causes of death. These are modern diseases have flourished amidst sedentary lifestyles and the Standard American Diet (SAD).


The stakes have never been higher for being proactive and taking control of your health.


The good news is there are many things in our personal environments that are a good starting point for taking control of future wellness — little everyday things that can have a big impact over time, because they are cumulative. It is important to remember that there are very few neutral things in our environment; most things have a positive or negative effect on our bodies. The goal is to minimize the negative and maximize the positive, putting the health odds ever in your favor.


4 Things You Can Do Right Now To Improve Your Wellness Microclimate


Take Off Your Shoes When You Come Inside.

Fecal matter, fungal spores, human skin flakes, hair, animal dander, dust mites, pollen, pesticides, lead dust and insect fragments are a few of the harmful toxins that are currently present in your home. According to a research, about 40% of these contaminants are brought in your household from the outside. These get stuck on your pets, clothing, and especially shoes. Create a place to leave shoes at the door and have house shoes for family and friends.


2.   Toss The Teflon Cookware

Fluropolymers such as polytetrafluoroetheylene (PTFE) and substances containing polyfluoroalkyl and perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFAs) are commonly used to create conventional, non-stick cooking surfaces. These materials are toxic and highly resilient, with both the human body and also the wider environment. When exposed to heat, most non-stick cookware becomes a source of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), which is a long-chain chemical compound that has been linked to a frightening range of health problems including thyroid disease, infertility in women, organ damage and developmental and reproductive problems. Instead, purchase a safe non-stick pan like Greenpan, Mercola or Scanpan brands. 


3.   Ditch The Flouride Toothpaste And Mouthwash

Over 95% of the toothpaste sold in the U.S. contains fluoride; with many stores carrying few, if any, non-fluoridated brands. The use of fluoride in dental products, particularly during early childhood, presents health risks. This is why the FDA requires a poison warning on every tube of fluoride toothpaste now sold in the US.

Risks from ingesting fluoride toothpaste include permanent tooth discoloration (dental fluorosis), stomach ailments, acute toxicity, skin rashes (perioral dermatitis), and impairment in glucose metabolism. Fluoride is also a known neurotoxin and impairs thyroid function. Switch to an organic brand of toothpaste that uses minimal chemicals to get the job done. Tom’s Of Maine, Primal Life Organics and Earthpaste are all acceptable.


4.   Filter Your Water

“Clean” drinking water from your kitchen tap has come from an exterior water source that has been potentially subject to pesticides and industrial run-off.  It then travels through miles of pipeline, picking up contaminants along the way. It’s been disinfected with potential carcinogens like chlorine, ammonia and or chloramines; then “fortified” with fluoride. Drinking, showering and bathing every day with this chemical mix affects your health. The environmental organization The Environmental Working Group spent three years investigating America’s drinking water and the results were shocking. They found that roughly 85% of the population was using tap water laced with over 300 contaminants, many with unknown, long-term effects, and more than half of which aren’t even regulated by the EPA. The best option is buy a whole-house filtration system; but you can start with a counter-top filter drinking pitcher like Aquasana or Britta and start drinking safer water today.


These 4 actionable tips are easy, affordable, and will positively impact your health.


Visit me at The Culinary Cure to learn more about how you can “live like you mean it and age like you want to.”






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Do You Need a Kitchen Intervention?

April 12, 2018

Diets don’t work, willpower eludes you, and behavior patterns related to food do not support the life you want to live.


Sound familiar? You are not alone. The kitchen is the most important room in your home. You have to eat to live; and, in order to live well, you have to eat well. This should be a simple process learned as a child and practiced every single day until your last meal. Unfortunately, the landscape of nutrition has become increasingly complicated, and sorting through overwhelming volumes of conflicting information leaves most people confused. 


To make matters more challenging, the American medical system only provides minimal nutritional education in medical school. Most doctors still recommend outdated diets, or worse, use the food pyramid. New science is emerging about the importance of diet in preventing disease — especially the value of maintaining a healthy gut biome for optimum health.


The Standard American Diet (SAD) can be linked to diet-related diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, dental disease, strokes, neurological diseases, and many types of cancer. Diet-related diseases kill more people than murder, war, terrorism, accidents, and all other diseases combined. Scary stuff, but you do not have to be a statistic; you can decide right now to improve your health one bite at a time.


No one is forcing you to eat food that is full of chemicals, sugar, and genetically modified ingredients.


The journey to optimum health is like Dorothy following the yellow brick road — know the route and stick to it. The way to create health and happiness can be found by taking control of what happens in you own kitchen. 

I love demystifying how simple it can be to harness the cumulative power of little everyday habits to significantly improve health over time. When I complete a Kitchen Intervention, someone develops a new relationship with food that it is not difficult or expensive, is filled with delicious things to eat, and can be done immediately.  Click your heels, wake up in your kitchen, and get excited to reboot your life starting at the end of your fork.


What is wrong with your kitchen, and how can it become the starting point to help you live your best life?


Most people’s kitchens are overflowing with things they think they need, but actually don’t. When was the last time you used a waffle maker or panini press? Drawers and cabinets get cluttered with items that do not serve your wellness goals, turning healthy meal prep into a dreaded task. This is a fancy way of saying, there is probably too much sh*t in your kitchen. 


A Kitchen Intervention is a transformative process that addresses the root cause of diet-related health problems. The biology of your health begins in your kitchen.


Making lifestyle changes, even little bitty ones, can become an internal battle of epic proportions. The very habits you have created over decades literally hold you hostage to behaviors that keep you in a health rut, or worse, can lead to disease. Diets don’t work because they are not sustainable, and restricting caloric intake is unpleasant. When optimum health becomes the goal, sleep improves, the body assumes a healthy weight, stress becomes manageable, and we feel better.


What creates lasting change is developing new patterns of behavior and structuring your environment to put health supporting habits on auto-pilot.


By eliminating ingredients that trigger food cravings, create inflammation in the body and cause disease, the body can begin to recalibrate by signaling its own natural appetite-control systems. The body knows how to self-regulate, but artificial, processed, GMO, sugary foods interfere with the way our gut works, sending thousands of confusing messages throughout the body and wreaking havoc on our health.


You can create a health supporting micro-climate in your own kitchen to help prevent lifestyle diseases.


 A Kitchen Intervention is the starting point for understanding the cost-benefit analysis of the food you eat and the habits that run your life. Your health the single biggest asset you have. If you want to eliminate avoidable life-style diseases, have abundant health and energy, and put more life into your years…start in your kitchen.


Mini Kitchen Intervention

Toss the toxic teflon pan and invest in a green, non-stick pan. 

Get rid of plastic containers, save glass bottles and jars to reuse, invest in glass storage containers. Plastics are bad for you and the planet.

Double down on removing expired foods from your refrigerator, freezer and pantry. Toss what is expired - no exceptions.

Check the expiration date and sniff your spices. If the spice has no smell, it has no medicinal benefit. Toss and replace.

Use up your chemical cleaning sprays and replace with natural non-toxic ones.

Buy less, buy organic, and use all the fresh food you buy each week.


 A Kitchen Intervention is a simple solution to a complex problem. Health is big business, but your health is your business, so take control of your kitchen today.


More information about Kitchen Interventions and creating a healthy life can be found at The Culinary Cure

You can always reach out me at

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Tips to Help You Make Tough Decisions

March 11, 2018

Life is filled with decisions. From the minute you wake up until you finally slip into the abyss of sleep, your brain is helping you to make choices that propel you forward, keep you safe, and bring you pleasure. This all works well, until you are confronted with a tough decision. I’m not talking about a next hour decision, like “Should I have a latte or an iced coffee?” I am talking about one of those big life decisions that can alter the foreseeable future; a next decade decision like “Should I get a cat?”

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)


Our youngest daughter was recently confronted with a cat decision. It had been recommended, for various reasons, that she get a therapy pet. It was a big decision for us to agree to a grand-pet — we know how the pet story can end; kid gets a pet, all is fine, then the situation changes. It could be a great job some place with long hours, a new partner who is allergic to said pet, or the perfect apartment that doesn’t allow pets. It is always even odds that the grand-pet could end up living with us, so we had to be fully on board. 


Actually, a lot of things had to be right, before a cat could be introduced into our daughter’s life; the right living situation, roommates who were okay with a cat, a manageable schedule, and, most importantly, the right cat.

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)


Adopting a pet is a lot like dating. You need to be really clear about what you are looking for, meet the prospects, and not be swayed by a pretty face. Like dating, there are a lot of eligible pets available to be adopted into forever homes. Our daughter did her homework.  She was working with a reputable agency that matches kitties with good homes, she cleared things with her roommates, got the okay from her landlord, and consulted with us.  She was ready. 


Sometimes the fear of making the wrong choice or decision, completely derails our innate ability to know what is truly best for us. We become consumed with what if scenarios. Suddenly, up goes the stress level, down goes intuitive ability, and we become trapped in indecision. The longer it takes to make a decision, the more second guessing comes in to play.


Our daughter was across the country, excited to find her perfect feline soulmate, and completely paralyzed by the process. Every cat was adorable, needed a loving home, and seemed like it could be a good fit. We had to help her devise a plan for sorting through all the cuteness, beat decision fatigue, and find the “right” cat.


There are things that can make the decision-making process easier, less stressful and more expeditious. Great decisions are rarely made under pressure. Establishing your decision-making environment may be as important as the decision itself; so take the proper steps to make sure you create the best environment possible to give yourself the greatest opportunity to get the best outcome. 

(Photo by: Kristen Coffield)

Here are 5 things that can make the decision-making process more productive.


Be well rested. Important decisions deserve a relaxed and clear mind. Sometimes, you literally have to sleep on it.

Make important decisions early in the day. Make decisions early in the day before other activities demand your attention and focus.

Eat before deciding. Being hungry or thirsty (or “hangry”) will influence your ability to make a good decision. Be well fed and well hydrated before making decisions.

Don’t feel rushed or pressured by others. Never make a decision simply because you feel pressure to do so. That rarely ends well.

Give yourself a deadline for making a decision. It is important to give yourself a reasonable deadline for making important decisions. Too much time is as detrimental as feeling too rushed. Make a list of pros and cons, get advice from a trusted advisor, ask the right questions and go with your gut. 


By taking her time, not feeling rushed, making a list of each cat’s positive and negative traits, our daughter was able to make the right decision. “Mouse” is a little Russian Blue feline who has an easy going personality, lovely short fur, likes other cats and people, loves his new home and has stolen all of our hearts. This was a big decision and it has turned out really well for our daughter, Mouse and for us.


May all of your decisions be good ones.

Get more inspiration and motivation to live your best life at The Culinary Cure.

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