Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Truth About Your Food

While I'm on the topic of the Ecopolitan, I should mention there are some excellent resources on the website that you can access to learn more about health and nutrition.

#1. Dr. T in 3 videos. These are videos on various topics related to health and nutrition covered by Dr. Tel-Oren in 3 minutes. They are a great intro-- especially if you have little time to spare.

#2. "Should We Cook Our Food?" lecture. Self explanatory.

#3. "The Truth About Your Food " lecture series. Six 2-hour lectures on these topics: Processed Food, Protein, Fat, Sugar, The Foods You Should Eat, and Supplements. These are EXCELLENT. They definitely warrant listening to a second, third, or fourth time. Some of the information given may surprise, shaken, or shock you!
Happy learning!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Ecopolitan + Green Smoothie Recipe

Hi everyone! Just thought I'd let you know what's occupying my time lately. Since I got back from foraging, I have been staying at the Ecopolitan restaurant in the Twin Cities, where I am receiving treatment from the doctor who owns it, Dr. Adiel Tel-Oren. He is an M.D., a retired chiropractor, a nutritionist, and a professor at the University of Natural Medicine in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with a number of other degrees and certifications. If you're wondering about his name... it is Israeli. He also has clinics in Israel, Italy, and California-- He gets around!

So, while I have been here, I have been receiving various therapies and eating 3 meals a day at the Ecopolitan organic, vegan, raw food restaurant. You can read more about it here: Since I'm in the recovery process, my choices are limited to green smoothies and salads, but they are incredibly good! Since I also have discovered I have a number of food sensitivities (46, in fact), I can't really order straight off the menu. So, I get to do the "Custom Salad" and "Custom Smoothie." My smoothies are always Green Smoothies.

What is a Green Smoothie, you ask? Well, basicly, it's just a fruit smoothie with a handful or two of leafy greens. Options include kale, arugula, spinach, lettuce, parsley, cilantro, mustard greens... really whatever you have. Freshly foraged greens are even better! Frozen fruit helps make the smoothie cool and refreshing-- a good reason for picking berries in the summer and freezing them for fresh tasting smoothies through the winter months ahead. Here's an especially delicious smoothie I had the other day:

Frosty Kiwi-Pear-Cilantro Green Smoothie:

2 frozen pears
2 fresh kiwis
1 handful (or 2 if you're brave!) fresh cilantro

Blend, add water to thin if necessary, and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More Foraging Pictures!

This is a picture of two different edible flowers. The purple one is called "vetch," and the white is "bladdercampion." These will be making an appearance on top of salads in the future...

Here we had a basket of freshly picked catnip. We are cleaning off dead leaves and putting the catnip in a large jar with water to make sun tea (steeped out in the sun a few hours). You can then drink it, or use it as insect repellant!

A tree full of wild plums! They were rather tart, but the ones on the ground were nicely ripened. We found some larger ones later, at what is apparently the local bear's favorite dining place.

Plums and wild grapes... in a whimsical basket, of course!

Chokecherries. Yes, they are very sour, like unsweetened cranberries. People usually use chokecherries to make jams and jellies, syrups and desserts. However, we learned to love them plain and raw!

Foraging baskets full of food! The greens are stinging nettle and comfrey. They ended up in a carrot juice coctail later on. Those are the larger, sweeter plums. Delicious!
Plums and grapes and an apple. Yum.

These are Elderberries. They were sweeter than the chokecherries. Really, quite tasty. The Herbalism students were going to use them to make some kind of healing salve. They are also good as a tea.
Baskets and baskets of Elderberries.

Wild hazelnuts as found on the tree.

When you take the green part off, they look like regular hazelnuts. We cracked them open with stones.


A refreshing swim in the river to end a great weekend.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back from Foraging!

... And look what we found!

What a weekend it was! We drove the Eco-Van (see last post) from the Twin Cities to the place where we went foraging-- just outside Menomenee, WI. We started out by meeting our fellow foragers who drove separately... up in a tree house! We went on several "Herb Walks" through the course of the weekend, and learned about wild greens, flowers, fruits, and berries that we could nibble on throughout our stay. We even learned to identify wild catnip, which could be used to keep mosquitoes away! Some of the fruits we found are pictured above: wild plums, wild grapes, even wild apples which were fairly sweet. We also found and ate chokecherries, elderberries, red clover, mallow, lamb's quarter, stinging nettles, and a number of other greens and flowers. Getting some sun was part of our experience, and "therapy," as vitamin D is going to be more and more difficult to get as the next few weeks pass. Each day ended with a campfire and some time in the infrared sauna. It was a very educational and rejeuvenating weekend. :) Would you like to see some more pictures??

Friday, September 11, 2009

Foraging Adventure

This afternoon, I will be headed out on a whirlwind Eco-Foraging weekend in River Falls, Wisconsin!

It's been quite a while since I've been out camping in the woods, so this is a welcome opportunity. Spending time out in nature is truly therapeutic-- fresh air, music of the song birds, and wild, truly organic, edible greens and berries... and who knows what else? I'm really excited to learn more about what there is to eat in the great outdoors~ really, in God's great garden!

This adventure is one of the events offered through the Ecopolitan Restaurant, in Minneapolis, MN. They are a 100% organic, vegan, raw food, gourmet restaurant. The Ecopolitan building also offers services such as health consultations and treatment (nutritional, functional, and environmental medicine), lectures on health and nutrition, infrared sauna, oxygen therapy, et cetera. You can check out their website here:

So, I will be traveling via an "Eco-Van" with a group of fellow foragers to hike, camp, forage for wild edibles, learn about herbs from an herbalist, and maybe even go tubing down a river!

I'll let you know how it goes!

Picture courtesy of

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Most Common Cause of Fatigue that is Missed or Misdiagnosed by Doctors

Dr. Mercola, of recently had an article about adrenal fatigue, highlighting concepts from Dr. Wilson's book. You can read it here:

Most Common Cause of Fatigue that is Missed or Misdiagnosed by Doctors

Shared via AddThis

"Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome"

A very good resource for those who think they may be suffering from adrenal fatigue is Dr. James L. Wilson's book Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome.

Dr. Wilson explains the causes behind adrenal fatigue, a list of signs and symptoms, how it can lead to other diseases and health conditions, and even a questionnaire to help you determine whether you are indeed a candidate for adrenal fatigue. Most importantly, he includes a complete program to help you recover from adrenal fatigue through lifestyle, diet, and supplementation.

He has an excellent website:, where he presents a lot of the information from his book. This even includes the "Burn out" questionnaire:

Monday, September 7, 2009

50 Contributors to Adrenal Fatigue

  1. Caffeine
  2. Sugar
  3. Alcohol
  4. Eating “on the run”
  5. Food allergies
  6. High-carb diet (lots of grains & sugars)
  7. Nutrient deficiencies
  8. Overeating, even healthy food
  9. Pesticides and herbicides on produce
  10. Processed foods/junk food
  11. Skipping meals
  12. Change in living situation
  13. White flour
  14. Born with weak adrenals due to adrenal fatigue of mother
  15. Malalignment of the spine
  16. Chemical toxicity
  17. Over-the-counter and prescribed medications
  18. Heavy metal toxicity
  19. Electromagnetic pollution
  20. Parasite infestation
  21. Chronic pain
  22. Physical trauma/injury
  23. Type A personality
  24. Anger
  25. Depression
  26. Resentment
  27. Worry/Anxiety
  28. Emotional trauma
  29. Fear
  30. Guilt
  31. Low self-esteem
  32. Negative thoughts
  33. Unresolved conflict
  34. Relationship issues
  35. Wrestling with major issues: moral, theological, spiritual
  36. Mental strain/overwork
  37. Major life events, positive or negative
  38. Serious illness
  39. Illness of loved ones
  40. Death of a loved one
  41. Financial difficulties
  42. Job change/loss
  43. High conflict situations
  44. Late nights
  45. Lack of sleep
  46. Overexertion in exercise
  47. Smoking/secondhand smoke
  48. Loud, pounding music
  49. Media: News, Violent movies
The things that contribute to adrenal fatigue are all elements that put stress on a person physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. You can probably think of even more. A certain amount of stress is normal and in many ways beneficial. However, when one has stress coming from all different sources, assailing at the same time, it is more than the body can be expected to handle. At that point, the body is thrown out of equilibrium, and must do everything it possibly can to regain balance. That requires a lot of energy, and leads to high levels of inflammation, toxicity, fatigue, and ultimately, disease. The good news? Adrenal fatigue is highly preventable and treatable. Watch for an upcoming post on behaviors that prevent or reverse adrenal fatigue!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Delicious Pumpkin Smoothie

So, I really wasn't ready to think about fall just yet... But since I'm on this 4-day rotation diet, and therefore limited to what I am allowed to eat each day, I resorted to using some canned pumpkin yesterday evening to make a rather filling smoothie for dinner. It turned out quite delicious, so I thought I'd share the recipe. I adjusted ingredients "to taste," but here's the general recipe:

Creamy Pumpkin Smoothie

1/2 cup canned organic pumpkin
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup ice cubes
1 Tbsp of honey or maple syrup (I used 1 packet of Sweet Leaf stevia)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp maca powder, optional (used to build the adrenal glands)

Combine ingredients in a blender and BLEND. Add additional water to thin as necessary, and adjust the other ingredients "to taste." Try cinnamon, cloves, ginger, or pumpkin pie spice, if you like. (Serves one)


Friday, September 4, 2009

"Burn Out": Signs & Symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue, A through Z

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it gives a good idea of what signs and symptoms may indicate weak adrenal glands. This health condition in its milder state is also commonly referred to as "Burn out." I have listed sources/resources at the end.

Allergies (food or environmental)
Anxiety attacks
Arthritic-like pains
Auto-Immune disease
Back/neck pain
Best sleep from 7-9 in the morning
Brain fog
Chronic Fatigue diagnosis
Cognitive difficulties
Concentration difficulties
Craving salty, fatty, and high protein food such as meat and cheese
Crying spells
Digestive problems
Dry skin and hair
Eyes are dry
Fatigue, worsened by physical exertion or stress
Fibromyalgia diagnosis
Hair loss
Hormonal problems
Hypersensitivity to noise
Immune system is weak
Inability to handle stress
Lightheaded when rising from lying down
Memory problems
Need for caffeine to get going
Salt cravings
Sensitivities to odors (cleaning products, perfumes, hairsprays)
Sighing frequently
Tired for no reason
Un-refreshing sleep
Varicose Veins
Vision problems
Weight gain (especially around the waist)
Zeal is lacking

Sources/Recommended Reading:
Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome by James L. Wilson
How to Overcome Tired, Irritable, and Depressed Feelings, by Dr. Thomas A. Owen

This Chronic Fatigue/Fibromyalgia Symptom Checklist is also helpful:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blog Etymology

While this Blog is still at its very beginnings, it seems like a good idea to point out the "why and wherefore" behind its name, "Wholesome Wisdom." The American Heritage College Dictionary defines these words as follows:

whole·some (ˈhōl-səm) adj. -som·er, -som·est. 1. Conducive to sound health or well-being; salutary. 2. Promoting mental, moral, or social health. 3. Enjoying or marked by physical, mental, or moral soundness; healthy.

wis·dom (ˈwiz-dəm) n. 1. Understanding of what is true, right, or lasting; insight. 2. Common sense; good judgment. 3.a. The sum of scholarly learning through the ages; knowledge. b. Wise teaching of the ancient sages. 4. A wise outlook, plan, or course of action. 5. Wisdom of Solomon.

It is my hope that this blog will exemplify all these different aspects of both "wholesome" and "wisdom," promoting what is:
  • Conducive to sound health and well-being, whether mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual
  • Morally sound
  • True, right, and lasting
  • Common sense/good judment
  • Wisdom from the past, combined with knowledge from the present
  • Part of a plan of action for achieving or maintaining well-being
  • Wisdom, including that of Solomon, recorded in the Holy Bible.
I'm totally open to suggestions or assistance in attaining that objective, whether that be through topic suggestions, additional helpful resources, or even comments or corrections on posts. Thanks for your support! :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Adrenal Fatigue: The STRESS Connection

How does stress contribute to adrenal fatigue?

Basically, an ongoing high level of stress overstimulates the adrenal glands to the point that they just can't handle any more. Our bodies are designed to handle a certain amount of short-term stress: for example, an injury, an argument, a surprise encounter with a wild animal. However, today's society provides ongoing stress from all different sources: the daily news, long work weeks, heavy traffic, lack of sleep, malalignment of the spine, food- and/or environmental allergies, highly processed foods including white flour and white sugar, caffeine, toxic chemicals added to our food and water, building materials, polluted air, electromagnetic pollution, the list goes on and on. Add the death of a loved one, problems at work or school, problems at home, problems at church... and you have a recipe for disaster. Although you may not consider all of these things to be "stress" per se, they are all hard on the body.

College alone can do it for some people. In fact, that is what got me interested in this whole topic. When I first returned home after graduating from college, I had an overwhelming sense of fatigue along with aches and pains. I was first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue. Later on, after I'd started dealing with ulcerative colitis (inflammation and ulceration of the colon), it was discovered that I had low adrenal function, and that that was likely the primary problem. For me, this was probably caused by a combination of the following: a Type A personality, spinal issues, lack of sleep, processed [read: cafeteria] food, parasite "souvenirs" from trips to China and Brazil, taking too many credits and trying to accomplish too many things... you name it. I'm sure no one else has ever had any of these things going on? ;)

So, when the body is under tremendous stress, it keeps producing the stress hormones epinephrine (adrenaline), norepinephrine (noradrenalin), cortisol, and a couple of others. Cortisol also just happens to be the body's most powerful anti-inflammatory hormone. After a while, the adrenal glands are just plain worn out, and can't keep up with the demands that continued stress places on the body.
When that happens, the body cries out for help via a number of different, seemingly unrelated, symptoms.
Stay tuned for a full list of symptoms...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009



It's September 1st! I suppose that means the end of summer... but I'm not quite ready to give up on warm sunny days and maybe even some swimming in the lake just yet. Not having to head "Back 2 School" as they say, I'm still thinking about things like foraging for wild berries. :) The last few weeks, I've made almost daily trips to a couple spots not far from our house to pick wild blackberries. Somehow, it's just thrilling to be able to go outside and come back with a container full of free (organically and locally grown!) food.

There's always a lot of talk in the health world about what they call "Superfoods": goji berries, acai, cacao... The question is: why are these superfoods always from other countries? It's great that the blueberries are gettings some credit, but what about blackberries?

Some of the Health Benefits of Blackberries include:

  • A high level of anti-oxidants which protect against cancer and chronic disease
  • Reduction of inflammation
  • Anti-Bacterial activity
  • A good source of Vitamin K, which aids in blood clotting and in the absorption of Calcium
Besides... they're DELICIOUS!
If you don't have access to wild blackberries near you, they are often available at Farmer's Markets and of course in the supermarket.
Some of the ways I recommend using them are:
  • Smooshing them into a sort of "jam." Spread some sourdough toast with nut butter, top with blackberries, and finish with a drizzle of honey over the top (a good way to avoid sugar)
  • As a topping for plain yogurt with a drizzle of honey
  • In a fruit salad with other berries (raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, even cherries)
  • As a topping for homemade frozen yogurt or ice cream
  • In a smoothie with coconut milk or yogurt, sweetened with maple syrup
  • As a sauce for pancakes (either blended raw with a squeeze of lemon juice or cooked on the stove)
  • Blended into a sauce for a fruit salad of peaches, cherries, and plums.
What a wonderful way to end a summer!