4 Superfood Boosters You Need Now

Superfood Boosters

By Be Well Health Coach Jackie Damboragian

If you don’t already know about these superfoods, my recommendation is to get them in your pantry ASAP!

These versatile foods are great added to smoothies or tossed into a salad. Here’s what you’re missing out if you don’t give them a try.

Bee Pollen

Bee pollen is considered an incredibly nourishing food because it’s so nutrient dense—it’s rich in B vitamins, protein, folic acid, and readily available amino acids. Bee pollen is energizing and immune boosting, and it can help to treat seasonal allergies when taken daily. It’s best to buy local bee pollen, which you can find at your farmers’ market. Bee pollen is delicious by the spoonful, added to smoothies, or used as a topping for yogurt.

Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are rich in plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, and fiber. They can aid in weight loss, improved digestion, and hair, skin, and nail health. It’s best to eat them ground in order to absorb their nutrients. Once they’re ground, which you can either purchase that way or do at home, keep them in the fridge to maintain their freshness. Ground flax seeds are a good smoothie booster and can be sprinkled over meals for added benefits. Two tablespoons a day of ground flax seeds can also help to reduce hot flashes in menopausal women.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a powerhouse food, originally used by Aztec warriors, who, as legend has it, would sustain all day with a single tablespoon! They are loaded with fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and protein. They can help with digestion, especially constipation. Due to their unique ability to swell once added to water, they can help you stay fuller longer—ultimately aiding in weight loss.

Check out this chia seed pudding recipewhich is great for breakfast or as a snack or healthy dessert.

Hemp Seeds

Well known as a great plant-based protein source, hemp seeds are also packed with healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Like flax and chia seeds, hemp seeds can help with digestion and aid in weight loss. Here’s a great smoothie with hemp seeds, and this lemon hemp kale salad is sure to please!

Posted by on May 27, 2016 | 0 Comments

5 Things Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You About Your Autoimmune Disease and How You Can Reverse It

Autoimmune Disease

If you’re one of the 50 million Americans who suffer from an autoimmune disease, I want to tell you, as a functional medicine physician who specializes in treating autoimmune patients and as someone who has battled an autoimmune disease myself, that the most important thing to know about autoimmune diseases is that they can be reversed.

Contrary to what most conventional doctors say, an autoimmune diagnosis does not mean resigning yourself to debilitating symptoms that get worse and worse over time, or settling for a lifetime of harsh medications.

Your autoimmune disease didn’t happen overnight. Sure, you may have a genetic predisposition toward autoimmunity. However, we now know about epigenetics and that our genes are not static; they can be turned on and off by environmental and lifestyle factors.  I work with my patients to find the root cause of their autoimmunity by uncovering the environmental and lifestyle factors that turned on these genes.  After treating thousands of patients with autoimmunity and other chronic health conditions, I have found that by addressing five common environmental and lifestyle factors we can restore the balance of the immune system and often reverse autoimmune disease.

Here are the five strategies I use personally, and with all of my patients, to address the root causes of autoimmune disease, restore balance to the immune system, and help get people off medications, get symptom free, and reverse their disease.

Heal Your Gut

Your gut is your gateway to health. It houses 80% of your immune system (source), and without a healthy gut it is nearly impossible to have a healthy immune system.

In fact, we now know that having a leaky gut is one of the primary causes, and probably even a prerequisite, for developing an autoimmune disease. If your gut has become leaky it means the tight junctions that usually hold the walls of your intestines together have become loose, allowing undigested food particles, microbes, toxins, and more to escape your gut and enter your bloodstream, causing a huge rise in inflammation that triggers or worsens any autoimmune condition.

Fortunately, the cells in your gut turn over very quickly, so you can heal your gut in as little as 30 days, by following functional medicine’s 4R Program:

  • Remove the Bad. Remove inflammatory foods, toxins, and stress that damage your gut, as well as gut infections from yeast, parasites, or bacteria.
  • Restore the Good. Replenish enzymes and acids necessary for proper digestion.
  • Reinoculate with Healthy Bacteria. Make sure you have plenty of friendly bacteria to support your immune system.
  • Repair the Gut. Provide the nutrients and amino acids needed to build a healthy gut lining.


Posted by on May 26, 2016 | 0 Comments

Seasonal Recipes That Will Make You Thrive

Seasonal Recipes

Coming out of 10 years of chronic illness has made me look at life in a different way. I’ve realized that things happen for us, not to us; something new comes into our lives or something happens to make us change. For me it was Lyme disease, PCOS, hypothyroidism, leaky gut, and so much more. When I had to cut out gluten, dairy, soy, sugar, and corn, I thought my life was ending but I learned that we can come out of any struggle in our life on the other side of it and prove to ourselves that we can not only survive, but thrive.

This salad makes me feel like I’m thriving. It’s packed with whole, fresh ingredients—lots of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. I love making this for my clients for dinner and then serving leftovers in lettuce wraps the next day!

Springtime Spinach Quinoa Salad (Serves 4)

  • ½ cup dry quinoa
  • 3 Tbsp. raw walnuts (chopped or whole)
  • 2 Tbsp. raw macadamia nuts (chopped or whole)
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 large English cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 Tbsp. avocado oil (or extra-virgin olive oil)
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 ½ tsp. fresh lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp. dried cherries or cranberries


Cook quinoa according to package directions. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350℉.

Place the raw nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10–12 minutes or until they are golden brown and fragrant. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, spinach, cucumber, and cabbage. In a small bowl, whisk the lemon juice, oil, crushed red pepper flakes, sea salt, and pepper. Drizzle the dressing over the quinoa mixture and toss to combine. Add the cilantro, lemon zest, and cherries; toss again and serve. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.

Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes in your life, and I’m living proof. When I had to cut out inflammatory foods, I was lost. I was chronically ill and had no idea how to create flavor with my food without feeling deprived. But I started adding in new foods and making small changes that made my taste buds jump for joy. That’s what this salad is all about. The toasted buckwheat and almond butter add the perfect touch of crunch and natural sweetness without needing a processed salad dressing. (more…)

Posted by on May 24, 2016 | 0 Comments

6 Tips for Your Healthiest Summer Skin Ever

Summer Skin

Keeping skin healthy and youthful looking is the desire that’s launched thousands of skin and so-called beauty products. But if you really want skin to glow this summer and beyond, skip the chemical-laden, endocrine-disrupting lotions and potions and instead focus on putting nature’s bounty to work for you.

Eating fresh, wholesome foods will not only help you get the radiant skin you’re after this summer, but also provide many other health benefits—you’d be crazy not to indulge! All those nutrient-rich foods will help enhance your skin’s appearance, boost its wrinkle-fighting ability, and protect against skin cancer. Summer is coming—here’s how to get your skin ready for it now:

1. Be A Summertime Green Machine

The more fresh (preferably organic) leafy greens you can incorporate into meals, the more resilient your skin will be. Go heavy on nutrient-dense leafy greens because they’re loaded with antioxidants, including lutein and zeaxanthin, which research indicates are beneficial not only for overall skin health but also for their protective effects against the sun’s damaging UV rays. Remember, however, that eating more anti-inflammatory greens supports skin health—it’s not a hall pass to roast yourself for hours in the sun without sunscreen.

So, how much leafy green goodness do you need? Just a 1 cup serving of spinach, Swiss chard, or kale a few times a week will do the trick. No veggie stand nearby? Then fill the antioxidant gap by adding a scoop of powdered greens to your morning smoothie or your water bottle to sip on throughout the day.

2. Feed Your Skin Good Fat

Another way to improve skin health and help make it more sunshine-ready is to ditch sugar and processed foods. Also, lighten up on coffee, which can leave skin looking dull and dehydrated. Instead, eat lots of fresh, whole produce to maximize nutrients at every meal—and be sure to make room for good fats.

A skin-savvy summer plate will include good fats to hydrate and nourish your skin (and the rest of you) with fatty acids, which help protect against sun damage and skin cancer. Delicious, skin-supporting options include:

  • Avocados: A tasty, creamy, and rich source of healthy fatty acids.
  • Chia Seeds: Tiny seeds, big benefits. Packed with inflammation-taming omega-3s, they help tame hunger, too.
  • Coconut Oil: A spoonful in your morning smoothie adds medium-chain fatty acids and saturated fats to help fuel the formation of new skin and prevent sun damage.
  • Olive Oil: A staple of the Mediterranean diet and a heart-healthy fat with anti-cancer effects.
  • Fatty Fish: Wild salmon and sardines come complete with omega-3 fatty acids to help keep inflammation in check and protect skin from damage and skin cancer. Not a regular fish eater? You can still reap many of its benefits by supplementing with krill oilwhich contains astaxanthin to support skin health and helps protect against the UV damage that leads to sagging and wrinkles.


Posted by on May 23, 2016 | 0 Comments

Mindset for Maintenance: Getting Clean and Staying There

A gentle cleanse, like the Be Well Cleanse, is based on whole food meals and detoxifying smoothies and herbal supplements, not starvation. Cleaning up your diet and removing inflammatory foods based on the Cleanse diet allows your body to focus on rejuvenation, instead of repair, and can increase your energy, leaving you feeling revitalized. Glowing skin, fabulous moods, happy thoughts, and clearer thinking are all common results from the many groups that I’ve led through the Be Well Cleanse. However, sustaining this eating style and level of well-being can be a challenge once your cleanse is over.

A shift in thinking and behavior post-Cleanse is necessary to maintain healthy habits and continue to feel your best. After asking dozens of our clients for their insight and advice, we have compiled our best recommendations and tips for you.

Ready to feel your best even after the cleanse? Here are 5 ways to shift your thinking to stay clean and feel great during the Cleanse phase and beyond:

1. Progress, not perfection:  Everyday life is stressful, and even my most well-intended clients find perfection difficult to attain. Who wants to be perfect, anyway? It’s often a set-up to NOT be perfect, and go off the rails. Don’t sweat it if you miss your morning smoothie, or your Monday run or barre class. Make it work as best you can and keep going. Make your next choice the right one.

2. Savor your food:This approach is tried and true, which is why I love it.  When you focus on the amazing produce and delicious whole foods options at your disposal, you won’t think twice about ditching parmesan cheese or other trigger foods that wreak havoc on your body. Go for variety, and be sure you love what you eat.

3. Baby steps…and sips: Hydration is key to long-term success both during the Cleanse and after for appetite control, brain functioning, energy, and overall health. But it can be daunting to get your daily dose if you think of it in terms of number of glasses, right?  Begin to drink water early in the day, and keep it steady until late afternoon, or very early evening, so that you’re not up all night.  On busy days, I keep my portable water bottle filled. When I’m at home, a good rule of thumb I follow is to drink one glass of water every hour. (more…)

Posted by on May 20, 2016 | 0 Comments

EWG’s Ken Cook Shares His Best Advice on Sun Safety

sun safety
The sun is finally start to shine bright, and you’re ready to lather yourself with clean, healthy sunscreen, but finding a safe and effective sunscreen isn’t the only key to sun safety. According to Ken Cook, President and Co-Founder of Environmental Working Group (EWG) and a leader in the environmental health movement, protecting yourself from skin cancer is more than just sunscreen; there’s an entire sun safety protocol to follow. Ken educated the Beautycounter community about his tips and tricks—and we’re sharing his words of wisdom with the Be Well community too.

The Facts

  • Skin cancer, often overlooked in our current “tanning culture,” is a real public health threat.
  • During their lifetimes, 40%-50% of Americans who live to 65 will be diagnosed with at least one of two skin cancer tumors.

How To Find Safer Sunscreen

  • Many sunscreens use chemical sunblockers like oxybenzone, which soaks through skin, can trigger allergic skin reactions, and may be a hormone disruptor. Look for mineral sunscreens, like our Protect All Over Sunscreen and Dew Skin tinted moisturizer, which use non-nano zinc oxide—an effective, natural, and safer mineral sunblocker.
  • Prioritize broad-spectrum sunscreens.
  • Find water-resistant brands.

What To Avoid

  • Ingredients like oxybenzone and vitamin A (retinyl palmitate)
  • Sunscreens with added insect repellent
  • Anything above SPF 50, which can give a false sense of security and has unclear added sun protection
  • Make sure you’re not using sunscreen as a way to prolong your hours in the sun.
  • Wear clothing with SPF, like rash guards, hats, and sunglasses.
  • Avoid getting a sunburn—especially children. It’s a significant risk factor in developing skin cancer later in life.
  • Read and share EWG’s recently released annual sun safety report.

Our goal is to give you the tools to make better decisions—regardless of whether or not your sun safety solutions include Beautycounter. Together, we can help to protect against skin cancer and create a healthier world for all of us.

Posted by on May 19, 2016 | 2 Comments

Get Glowing Skin with This Green Smoothie

Glowing Skin
What if you could drink your way to glowing skin? When it comes to your body, especially your skin, you are what you eat. Eating a diet full of phytonutrients, vitamin C, and healthy fats can give you that glow. One of the most delicious and nutritious ways to do that is to whip up this Healthy Glow Smoothie.

Healthy Glow Smoothie Recipe (Serves 1)


  • 1 serving of your favorite Be Well Sustain powder
  • 1 packet of Be Well Greens powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or non-dairy, non-soy milk)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup kale
  • 1⁄4 of a small avocado
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Be Well Probiotic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Matcha green tea powder
  • 4 ice cubes


Add ingredients to blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

For more ways to get healthy glowing skin, tune in to an exclusive workshop with Dr. Lipman and Gregg Renfrew, founder and CEO of Beautycounter, on Monday, May 23rd at 5:00pm (EST), discussing healthy skin from the inside out. Sign up to join us!

Posted by on May 17, 2016 | 1 Comments

The Allergy Solution: Unlock the Surprising Hidden Truth Behind Why You’re Sick and How to Get Well

The Allergy Solution
By Leo Galland M.D. and Jonathan Galland J.D.

Q: What have you discovered about the surprising hidden truths behind chronic symptoms?

A: You may not think of yourself as allergic.  Your nose may not run, and your skin doesn’t itch.  But you have common complaints that just won’t go away.  

Do you suffer from:

  • Weight gain?
  • Stomachaches?
  • Insomnia?
  • Headaches?
  • Fatigue?
  • Depression or anxiety?
  • Brain fog?

As the research, and my experience, shows,  allergy can be the culprit. I’ve seen chronic conditions that were previously diagnosed as autoimmune diseases,  psychiatric disorders, or many others, wind up being allergic in origin.

In The Allergy Solution, we reveal the proven role of allergy in causing weight gain, fatigue, headache, joint and muscle pain, a range of digestive symptoms from heartburn to diarrhea, mood problems, poor mental focus, and more. The Allergy Solution also contains a Step by Step method for determining if you have hidden allergies. And if you suffer from classic allergies like rhinitis, eczema or have asthma, our program address these issues from a nutritional and lifestyle perspective.

Q: Why are we seeing an epidemic of allergy today?

A: Allergic disorders have increased dramatically over the past few decades. Allergies were once rare. Today they affect over a billion people. There are four interacting factors:  environmental toxicity—indoors and outdoors—depletion of beneficial intestinal bacteria and fast food all contribute to allergies.

Environmental toxins damage your body’s surfaces, like the respiratory or intestinal lining or the skin. The damaged lining tissue becomes a site where allergy develops. Good nutrition can stop the cycle from snowballing. (more…)

Posted by on May 16, 2016 | 0 Comments

The Upgraded Avocado Toast

Avocado Toast

We’ve upgraded the ever-popular avocado toast with homemade gluten-free bread and a poached egg, on top, for added protein and nutrients.

We now know that the yolk contains most of the egg’s nutrients, so it’s about time we change your mind about egg yolks (if we haven’t already)! The yolk contains choline, which is essential for the functioning of all cells, especially brain cells. Egg yolks also contain antioxidants; B vitamins, including B12; vitamin A; iron; selenium; biotin; phosphorous, and other various trace nutrients. Egg whites, alone, lack many of the nutrients that are found in the yolk, a nutrition powerhouse.

We use one of our favorite homemade gluten-free bread recipes from Elana’s Pantry. You can also use a store-bought, gluten-free bread but make sure to check the ingredients to avoid too many additives.


  • 1 egg
  • ½ Hass avocado
  • 1 slice gluten-free bread
  • salt & pepper
  • chili flakes

Toast bread until dark and firm.
Scoop the avocado into a bowl and mash with a fork.
Spread mashed avocado on toast
Poach egg (or cook sunny-side up).
Place egg on avocado toast and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chili flakes.
Cut diagonally and allow yolk to ooze over and onto the plate.

Posted by on May 13, 2016 | 0 Comments

New Study Finds Clear Nutritional Advantage in Organic Foods

Organic Food

Largest Study of Its Kind

Analysing data from around the world, the team led by Newcastle University, reviewed 196 papers on milk and 67 papers on meat and found clear differences between organic and conventional milk and meat, especially in terms of fatty acid composition, and the concentrations of certain essential minerals and antioxidants.

Publishing their findings today in the British Journal of Nutrition, the team say the data show a switch to organic meat and milk would go some way towards increasing our intake of nutritionally important fatty acids.

Chris Seal, Professor of Food and Human Nutrition at Newcastle University explains: “Omega-3s are linked to reductions in cardiovascular disease, improved neurological development and function, and better immune function.

“Western European diets are recognised as being too low in these fatty acids and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recommends we should double our intake.

“But getting enough in our diet is difficult. Our study suggests that switching to organic would go some way towards improving intakes of these important nutrients.”

Western European Diets Are Too Low in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The systematic literature reviews analysed data from around the world and found that organic milk and meat have more desirable fat profiles than conventional milk and meat.

Most importantly, a switch from conventional to organic would raise omega-3 fat intake without increasing calories and undesirable saturated fat. For example, half a litre of organic full fat milk (or equivalent fat intakes from other dairy products like butter and cheese) provides an estimated 16% (39 mg) of the recommended, daily intake of very long-chain omega-3, while conventional milk provides 11% (25 mg).

Other positive changes in fat profiles included lower levels of myristic and palmitic acid in organic meat and a lower omega-6/omega-3 ratio in organic milk. Higher levels of fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin E and carotenoids and 40% more CLA in organic milk were also observed.

The study showed that the more desirable fat profiles in organic milk were closely linked to outdoor grazing and low concentrate feeding in dairy diets, as prescribed by organic farming standards.

The two new systematic literature reviews also describe recently published results from several mother and child cohort studies linking organic milk, dairy product and vegetable consumption to a reduced risk of certain diseases. This included reduced risks of eczema in babies. (more…)

Posted by on May 12, 2016 | 1 Comments