Blender trend: Aronia berries are beyond superfood

Link to National Aronia Council

Native to North America and also known as chokeberries, aronia berries are gaining popularity over acai and goji berries for super high concentrations of anthocyanins – or the dark blue almost black pigment that amps up the fruits antioxidant capability to the point of being medicinal.  We always joke that all the superfoods come from the Andes, so this is great news for American farmers who are cashing in on the Whole Foods revolution.  I promise you will see this superfruit everywhere in the next 5 years because of it’s pest resistance, sustainability, and demand commercially.  Blue-black is the new green and aronia berries are the new kale.

Research at the Department of Preclinical and Clinical Pharmacology and Biochemistry at Medical University in Varna, Bulgaria demonstrates pronounced anti-inflammatory effects, improved liver function, and gastrointestinal protection from aronia fruit juice in lab rats.  Antibiotic and anti-viral properties of aronia juice were also noted by the researchers.  In the presence of aronia juice, Staph aureus and E. coli would not reproduce in the petri dish as well as type A influenza virus.  The authors cite that aronia berries “normalize the carbohydrate metabolism in diabetic patients and in streptozotocin-diabetic rats, have an in vitro antimutagenic activity and exhibit a distinct immunomodulatory activity in human lymphocyte cultures and in patients with breast cancer, suppress the growth of human HT-29 colon cancer cells, inhibit the N-nitrosamine formation in rats and decrease the toxicity and cumulation of cadmium in liver and kidneys.”  

On a lighter note, other research indicates that ingesting aronia juice prior to exercise reduces cell damage (oxidative stress) by boosting the body’s natural antioxidant defenses.  Read more about aronia here and check out this resource for buying freeze-dried organic aronia as well as jelly, syrup, and other aronia berry food items.

Grains of truth: A rebuttal of “grain brain”

Click here to read the Brawn, Brains, and Grains of Truth article

Dr. David Katz, epidemiologist and founding director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center, writes a rebuttal in response to the Medscape Neurology interview given by David Perlmutter, MD on January 21, 2014 about that gluten being linked to dementia.  Dr. Katz is the author of the book, Disease Proof: The remarkable truth about what makes us well and Nutrition in Clinical Practice: A Comprehensive, Evidence-Based Manual for the Practitioner. The third edition of his textbook has 10,000 citations.  Read the rebuttal article here.  James Hamblin writes an exceptional exploration of both ends of the field in his article for the Atlantic magazine where he interviews both authors to get straight answers, read it here.

Powered by green smoothies

As seen in Outside online:

“Can a green smoothie transform your life? After watching 56 minutes of Powered by Green Smoothies, I had to say yes. In the new documentary by Sergei Boutenko, ten ultrarunners and CrossFitters kept their typical training and racing regimen unchanged but added a quart of green smoothies—packed with leafy greens and fruit—to their diet every day for six weeks. The result: Those who could follow the program experienced quicker recovery and significantly less soreness… [read more]

~ Rachael Schultz, Outside Magazine

Acupressure massage for eye strain video tutorial

The Academy of Oriental Medicine recently posted about the health benefits of goji berries, including improving age-related eye sight symptoms.  Grace Tan, PhD, MD (China), OMD (China), LAc from the AOMA specializes in eye disease, ENT (ear, nose, and throat), allergies, digestive disorders, female disorders, pain management, stress, insomnia, and cancer wrote this about eye massage:

“I also teach my patients how to do self-massage around the eyes. Eye massage is popular in China to prevent children from becoming near-sighted. For mild eye problems, these simple massage techniques can be of great benefit. In severe cases, eye massage is a useful supplement. Through the guidance of an acupuncturist who has been trained in this therapy, a patient can easily learn eye massage and do it at home for mild eye disease like dry eyes and eye strain.”

Cruciferous vegetables may decrease inflammation

Click here for this brussel sprout recipe

An article in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, published online March 17, concludes that the study participants who ate the most cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, broccoli, bok choy, brussels sprouts, kale, and cauliflower) had significantly less inflammation than those who ate the fewest.

Dr. Gong Yang from Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, and senior author of the study states, “In animal studies, high intake of cruciferous vegetables or certain key compounds within them has been found to lower inflammation.”  So Yang and his researchers tested the theory on humans and analyzed signs of inflammation in the blood of 1,005 middle-aged Chinese women who answered dietary questionnaires as part of the Shanghai Women’s Health Study.  The women were generally healthy, had an average age of 58, and were divided into five groups based on their daily intake of cruciferous vegetables.

The researchers measured levels of inflammatory markers in the women’s blood and found that levels were lowest among women with the highest intakes of cruciferous vegetables.  You can read more about the article from Reuters Health Information here.

High intake of cruciferous veggies, especially kale, is linked to hypothyroidism.  Remember to lightly steam your cruciferous veggies to deactivate the goitrogens.


Walk this way


Published on Feb 28, 2014


“There is compelling evidence that over the past 100 years the populations of industrialized countries have drifted away from the somatic heritage of their forbearers. We have adopted postural habits which are dramatically different from those used historically and still found in non-industrialized peoples today. Modern “adaptations”, such as tucking the pelvis and S-shaping the spine have had detrimental effects on the biomechanics of our gait and structure, generating an epidemic of foot, knee and back problems. Restoration of healthy and sustainable functioning requires a return to natural alignment, our Primal Architecture. The Gokhale Method is a systematic and effective program for attaining this.

Esther Gokhale (Go-clay) has been involved in integrative therapies all her life. As a young girl growing up in India, she helped her mother, a nurse, treat abandoned babies waiting to be adopted. This early interest in healing led her to study biochemistry at Harvard and Princeton and, later, acupuncture at the San Francisco School of Oriental Medicine where she became a licensed acupuncturist.

After experiencing crippling back pain during her first pregnancy and unsuccessful back surgery, Gokhale began her lifelong crusade to vanquish back pain. Her studies at the Aplomb Institute in Paris and years of research in Brazil, India, Portugal and elsewhere led her to develop the Gokhale Method®, a unique, systematic approach to help people find their bodies’ way back to pain-free living.

Gokhale has practiced acupuncture and taught posture, dance and yoga in her Palo Alto wellness center for over twenty years. Her Gokhale Method Foundations course is now taught by qualified teachers all over the world. Their offerings, her book, 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back, DVD, posture-friendly cushion, and chair are all available on her website at In May 2013, The New York Times featured Esther in an article giving her the title, “The Posture Guru of Silicon Valley”.”