The Summer Kale Salad Recipe To Make Right Now

Kale Salad Recipe
Photo by Patryce Bak

By Be Well Health Coach Katrine van Wyk

I developed this recipe for the rooftop baby shower for my son. I knew it was going to be a big crowd on a hot day, so I went for something refreshing, healthy and satisfying. I don’t know about you, but I always get peckish at a party and hardly ever find a good-for-me option I can munch on. This is it.

Ingredients – Vegan, Paleo, GF

Serves 2

  • 1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed, chopped into bite-size pieces
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sprinkle of Himalayan sea salt
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 peach, pit removed, sliced
  • ½ jicama, cut in small cubes
  • ⅓ cup toasted hazelnuts


  1. Add the kale to a bowl and pour over it the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt.
  2. Roll up your sleeves and massage the kale with your hands until it softens and gets a bright, dark green.
  3. Add the avocado and massage that in, too.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients, finishing with a sprinkle of the hazelnuts

Jicama Booster

Jicama is one of sweet potato’s relatives. It has a bright white flesh and brown skin. Eaten raw, it’s crispy and refreshing and perfect in slaws, salads, or just sliced. It also has a high water content, making it perfect for juicing. Nutritionally, it contains plenty of fiber and vitamin C yet is low in calories.

This recipe is from Best Green Eats Ever by Katrine van Wyk.

Posted by on Jul 07, 2015 | 0 Comments

The Secret Vitamin For Heart And Bone Health

Vitamin K2

A few very well publicized studies showed that calcium supplements may be bad for one’s heart. This has lead scores of consumers to abandon their calcium supplements out of fear that they are damaging their cardiovascular systems.

There are two important truths to this scenario: First, this decision is not necessarily protecting one’s heart – rather, it is putting their bone health at risk. Second, people can confidently continue to take their calcium supplements provided they are consuming enough Vitamin K2 and magnesium daily.

Bone health, similar to cardiovascular disease, are not problems reserved for aging populations. Like the heart and the blood vessels, the health of our bones is something we usually do not think about until a problem arises—such as a hip fracture—and just like the cardiovascular system, it may be too late to make any real impact.

The one thing most people will do to support their bone health is take Vit D and calcium supplement, which is a sensible thing to do as our bodies cannot produce calcium on its own, and Vit D and calcium play a major role in many of the body’s systems. But too much calcium in the body left unattended can have a negative effect, such as depositing in the arteries and blood vessels causing calcification or kidney stones to name just a few. This calcification contributes to atherosclerosis – hardening of arteries which can lead to blockages, heart attacks and strokes.

Fortunately there is a solution to this problem – vit K2.This became the motivation for my new book, “Vitamin K2: The Missing Nutrient for Heart and Bone Health,” because I feel it is imporatnt that patients and health care professionals understand how Vitamin K2 can help us achieve optimal cardiovasculatr and bone health, and that there is robust scientific evidence supporting it. (more…)

Posted by on Jul 06, 2015 | 0 Comments

What Is Bentonite Clay And How To Reap The Benefits

Bentonite Clay
By Be Well Health Coach Katrine van Wyk

Bentonite Clay is an ancient natural remedy. It is actually a mineral rich volcanic ash! It can be used both internally to help heal and detox, and externally to rejuvenate the skin, draw out impurities and help clear up acne and other skin conditions.

Did you know that many of the toxins in our body are positively charged toxins? Bentonite clay uses a negative ionic charge to attract, capture and absorb these toxins! Pretty cool stuff.

How To Use:

Internally: Drink 1 tbsp bentonite clay diluted in 8 ounces of water once a day to aid detoxing.

Externally: Mix the clay with water or Apple Cider Vinegar and apply as a face mask for 20 minutes. You can also use it in a bath and footsoak! I recommend trying the brand Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay.

Posted by on Jul 03, 2015 | 6 Comments

How Food Additives Are Landing On Our Plates

Food Additives

Do you know that food companies can decide for themselves which additives are safe?

It’s time to look into how new ingredients get from the food industry’s lab to your dinner table. Thousands of these additives now exist in our food supply.

Additives are added to our food to improve their texture, taste, appearance or extend their shelf life. The approval of these additives have to go through the FDA which regulates 80% of our nation’s food supply. According to the FDA, “there are thousands of ingredients used to make foods. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) maintains a list of over 3000 ingredients in its data base.”

But a legal loophole exists, where ingredients that are labeled GRAS (generally recognized as safe) get a free pass through the regulatory system. It means that companies can determine on their own that what they’re adding to our food is safe. It expedites the process. Then it is up to the company to inform the FDA if they want to.

Think about that for a minute. Think about it in relation to the tobacco industry or the auto industry or any other industry. What if the car companies had the ability to determine that their products were safe without oversight?

How in the world did we let this happen?


Posted by on Jul 02, 2015 | 0 Comments

Healthy Strawberry Shortcakes Recipe That Is Firework Worthy

Strawberry Shortcake

Can a 4th of July dessert really help you feel fuller longer and prevent you from going back to the picnic table for seconds? This one can. Powered by healthy fats and a good amount of protein, this strawberry shortcake can even be a breakfast meal. Almond flour packs the same nutrition as whole almonds. Almonds are high in vitamin E, help control blood sugar, have a healthy amount of unsaturated fats, contain proteins that help support brain health, and, of the many things they do, almonds are loaded with minerals that help support bone health. So in honor of Independence Day, let’s go red, white, blue and almond with this fresh take on strawberry shortcakes.

Strawberry Shortcakes
Yield: 6

Shortcakes Ingredients

• 1/4 cup grass fed butter, room temperature
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 tablespoon maple syrup
• 2 eggs
• 2 cups almond flour
• 1/2 cup arrowroot
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• pinch sea salt


• Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
• In a mixer whip together butter, vanilla extract and maple syrup until light and fluffy.
• Beat in 1 egg at a time.
• Add the almond flour, arrowroot, baking soda and sea salt. Mix until well combined.
• Refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes.
• Scoop mixture into 6 balls. Shape into biscuit shape about 1 inch thick and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
• Bake for 15 minutes or until shortcakes are golden brown.
• Let cool. (more…)

Posted by on Jun 30, 2015 | 0 Comments

10 Hidden Sources of Endocrine Disruptors – And How to Avoid Them

Personal Care Products

One sobering fact of modern life: endocrine (hormone) disruptors are everywhere. Occasional contact wouldn’t be a major concern but the trouble is, most of us come into contact with them multiple times in a day. Many of these toxins either block or promote estrogen and other hormones, so either way, they throw off your hormonal balance. They can affect the way these hormones function in your body, causing numerous problems that many people mistakenly attribute to stress, aging or just normal aches and pains.

How big a role do toxins play in our everyday ills? It’s hard to find good information about how exactly these chemicals affect us because most of the current research has focused only on individual toxins. The problem is, we’re being exposed to thousands of toxins, not just one, and we don’t know for certain how they interact or what their long-term impact is on our endocrine systems. Even if no one knows for sure, we can make some educated guesses.

As a physician, I can tell you that I am seeing more and more young women with breast cancer—a disease that used to be almost completely confined to women over fifty. My theory is that because these young women have gotten such massive exposure to endocrine disruptors – starting in the womb – they are now struggling with hormone-related problems that used to take decades to develop.

I don’t want to stress you out or frighten you unduly, but I do want to focus on what you can do to protect yourself from the common chemicals and toxins known specifically as “endocrine disruptors.” Here’s where they hide – and what to do about them:

1. Personal Care Products

Cosmetics, moisturizers, shampoos, and conditioners often contain ingredients that disrupt your hormonal balance. To reduce exposure, switch to cleaner, greener personal products, and reduce use in general. Consider wearing less makeup or going without on weekends. Try shampooing less often or cutting your brew to half-strength by adding water to the shampoo bottle – or take it a step further by joining the “no-‘poo” (as in no-shampoo) movement.

2. Drinking Water

Atrazine, arsenic, and perchlorate are three endocrine disruptors that pervade many communities’ drinking water supplies. Reduce contaminants by filtering drinking water with a high-quality filtration system, like those from Aquasana. Also, add water filters to all of your home faucets, including the bath and shower – you absorb disruptive chemicals through your skin (as well as by drinking them) so it’s better not to bathe in them!

3. Canned Foods

Many food cans are lined with BPA, a common endocrine disruptor. To side-step BPA, steer clear of canned foods or, if you must buy them, look for cans marked “BPA-free.”  The Environmental Working Group recently released a report on BPA in canned food, listing which brands are the best and worst players.

4. Conventionally Farmed Fruits and Vegetables

Pesticides, herbicides, and industrial runoff turn even healthy produce into endocrine disruptors. Access cleaner food by shopping for local and organic produce at your nearest farmer’s market.

5. Conventionally Farmed Meat, Poultry, and Dairy Products

These commercial foods contain disruptive antibiotics, hormones, and industrial chemicals. To reduce exposure, look for organic, grass-fed, and free range products from small or local farms that are committed to raising animals using methods that are healthier for both the animals and the humans who consume them. (more…)

Posted by on Jun 29, 2015 | 1 Comments

6 Simple Ways to Create a Healthier Lifestyle

For many of the patients that I see, getting healthy feels like a chore or drudgery. They may need to change their diet because their blood pressure is too high or they are overweight, but they are dreading making changes.

Instead of thinking about getting healthy as a chore, I invite you to think of it as an exploration. You can absolutely have fun while getting healthy!

Here are some ideas:

If you are a chef or love to cook:

Take on the challenge to cook delicious healthy recipes.

If you are a restaurant-goer:

Make a goal to find the 5 best grass-fed beef dishes or gluten-free pastas in your city.

If you are seeking more sensuality in your life:

Take a pole-dancing class and overcome inhibitions while getting in shape.

If you are an adventurer:

Plan a big hiking trip that will require you to get in shape for the expedition.

For the romantic:

Hop on a bike and take a ride at sunset.

For the music-lover:

Put your earbuds in and take a walk around your favorite part of the city.

Have fun while getting healthy. This is what truly leads to joyful, sustainable change. The best part is, that your friends and loved ones will also want to join you for the ride!

Posted by on Jun 26, 2015 | 0 Comments

The Upside of Downtime

Reprinted with permission from Experience Life Magazine.
Written by Heather Rogers

The scientific case for doing nothing more often — and its surprising rewards.

In the mid-1980s, physician and author Victoria Sweet, MD, was doing her internal-medicine residency at San Francisco’s Kaiser hospital. She worked 110 hours a week, getting time off only every fourth night, after a 34-hour shift. It was then that Sweet discovered the necessity of a little idleness.

A committed nonsmoker, she started taking “cigarette breaks.” Instead of lighting up, she’d go out, sit with the sun on her face, and breathe.

Sweet went on to incorporate such timeouts into her medical practice. After a patient’s exam, she would retreat to her office for a few minutes and do nothing, allowing the patient’s words and her own thoughts to float in her mind. She’d jot down notes, then go back to the exam room with fresh ideas about a diagnosis and treatment.

“You can’t think without space,” says Sweet, now an associate clinical professor of medicine at the University of California–San Francisco and author of God’s Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine.

“If you’re always doing something,” she says, “there’s no way to get anything new into your mind; there’s no way to reach new conclusions.”

Still, taking a few minutes to stare out the window and daydream can seem an impossible indulgence — or a total waste of time. Our society prizes busyness. We’re encouraged to be “on” as often as we can.

Indeed, a 2014 study by University of Virginia and Harvard psychologists found that 83 percent of participants said they spent zero time “relaxing or thinking,” although 95 percent had pursued some kind of leisure activity.

All that busyness can exhaust the nervous system. And neuroscientists are discovering it can kill our ability to be productive and creative, hobbling us at work and in our personal lives. We’re learning that empty time isn’t so wasteful after all, even if it’s just a few moments here and there.

Here’s more on how and why to carve out some do-nothing space for yourself. (more…)

Posted by on Jun 25, 2015 | 0 Comments

Be Well Kitchen: Amie’s Detoxifying Arugula Salad with Pears and Lemon Basil Drizzle

Detoxifying Salad

This is a great salad to enjoy this spring. Arugula is a cruciferous veggie (part of the broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprout family) and is one of the best detoxing veggies you can eat!

Gluten, Dairy, Soy, Grain, Sugar-Free

Serves 4

  • 4 cups packed baby organic arugula (such as Earthbound Farm)
  • 2 pears, thinly sliced or diced
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped raw walnuts
  • 2 tsp. dried cranberries or dried cherries
  • Pinch fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh basil
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine arugula, pears, walnuts, cranberries and lemon zest.

In a small bowl, whisk oil, lemon, garlic, basil, sea salt and pepper. Season to taste. Drizzle over arugula mixture and toss to combine. Serve.

Posted by on Jun 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

4 Good Reasons To Be Very Wary Of Statins


Statins are prescribed to nearly one-fourth of all American adults based on the outdated notion that lowering cholesterol levels is the way to prevent cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, for the overwhelming majority of statin users, the drugs don’t even cut heart disease risk—but instead can actually boost risk for a variety of other diseases, many of which will then need additional drugs to “control,” bringing with them their own set of risks and side-effects. To say the least, statins are anything but a cure.

So what to do when your doc wants to put you on a statin? If your numbers are borderline or you don’t have any major cardiac risk factors, your first response should be “not so fast, partner.” Unless you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, have had a heart attack or stroke, or have a family history of early heart attack or death, you probably don’t need a statin at all. So, don’t let the doc put you on one simply to cover their arse, ‘cus statins won’t cover yours.

Always remember, you are the client, the boss, the owner of your body and although your doctor’s heart might be in the right place, don’t immediately sign on for a drug that may be an unnecessary, ineffective and potentially dangerous treatment for a problem you don’t have – and here’s why:

Statins Make You Feel Old and Tired Before Your Time

Muscle pain, inability to concentrate, memory problems, and general brain fog are common side effects, which many doctors will brush off as ‘normal’ consequences of statin use. Easy for them to say! If the muscular and cognitive issues weren’t enough, statins also increase diabetes risk, so any of these three chronic problems that we commonly attribute to aging—aches and pains, mental decline and diabetes— may actually be the statins doing a number on you! What other ‘normal’ side-effects might you be expected to tolerate? How about:

  • Reduced energy
  • Lack of interest in activity
  • Increased fatigue after exercise
  • Erectile dysfunction and reduced ability to achieve orgasm
  • Memory loss and/or confusion, Alzheimer’s-like symptoms
  • Liver dysfunction
  • Digestive problems: nausea, gas, diarrhea, constipation
  • Rash or flushing
  • Hunger
  • Increased risk of cataracts


Posted by on Jun 22, 2015 | 4 Comments