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  • Eat grass-fed meats and wild fish [for high omega 3 which converts to DHA in the brain]
  • Eat seaweed 1 time/week [for iodine]
  • Eat 3 cups of greens per day
  • Eat 3 cups bright colors vegetables and fruits [for antioxidants (fruit is 1x/day)]
  • Eat 3 cups sulfur-rich vegetables per day [cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, turnip, rutabagas, kale, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, onions, leeks, garlic, shallot, collard greens]
  • Eliminate gluten and dairy, possibly eggs

– From Dr. Terry Wahls, The Wahls Protocol

It will cost more to eat this way. You will pay the price now for food that restores your health and vitality, or you pay later for doctor’s visits, prescription drugs, surgeries, missed work.”

From Dr. Terry Wahls, The Wahls Protocol

Gluten and Casein (milk protein) and leaky gut: “do not get digested properly and turn into substance with similar chemical structures to opiates, such as morphine and heroin.”

– Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Dr. McBride


I had the good fortune to try a new herb this week, dried Codonopsis root. It has an affect  similar to the herb ginseng, but it is less hot and less strong. It’s considered better than ginseng for women and during hot weather, too, when you don’t want quite so hot and strong an effect (Imbalancing with herbs can be a bad idea. Hot + hot = too hot)

History of Dried Codonopsis Root:
You may not have heard of this herbal medicine – I never had before I attended herbal medicine school in Boulder. The official name is Codonopsis pilosula or Dang Shen in Chinese herbal medicine.* (Beware, there seem to be multiple herbs with a similar-sounding Chinese name.) This herb grows in northeastern China, and is part of the Traditional Chinese medicine (called TCM).

Herbal Properties of Dried Codonopsis Root:
It is supposed to have these properties: It’s warming, slightly stimulating, increases energy similar (but weaker) than coffee, and “helps the body adapt to stress.”* This is called an adaptogenic herb. It’s taken for weak digestion, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing issues (asthma, mucus), general fatigue, and more. It has a shorter affect on the body than ginseng.

Chinese nursing moms take it to increase milk supply, as well as help their own health be stronger. This may be true, as lab tests showed that it increased red blood cells.

How to Prepare:
Because it is a root herb (i.e. hard) it is prepared through a decoction method, which means slow simmering instead of a tea method (called infusions). This root is not as hard as others; it can be squished a little. It feels spongy, and looks brown.

Seven to twenty grams of the root herb is added to 2 cups of water in a pot. Then the mixture is brought just below a simmer, and kept there for 40 minutes. After that, strain out the solids, and drink the liquid. The dose is half a cup per day.

When simmering, Codonopsis smells like warm bark and sweet, similar to another herb called Astragalus root.

Taste Test: What is Codonopsis Like?
The first taste is very sweet with a mild lemon flavor or sourness to the end note. It’s sweetness reminds me of Eastern spices like cinnamon.

Bodily Affects of Codonopsis:
After having some, I didn’t feel like my energy was being pushed, like I would with coffee and caffeine. (On coffee, I sometimes feel like my heart is outside my chest, in front of it, pounding there.) I just woke up a bit more, and got my work done in a gentle way. Before that I was falling asleep, probably because I also needed some more food just before lunchtime.

I stopped drinking it by 1:30pm in the afternoon. Some adaptogens can cause insomnia later in the evening, especially if taken too close to bedtime, or even afternoon, sometimes. I was able to fall asleep, and stay asleep, with no problems.

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* Andrew Chevallier, Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, DK Press, 2000

Black Bean Brownie Recipe – Why Add Black Beans to Dessert Brownie? The beans in the recipe add fiber, which can slow down the absorption of white sugar and white flour in the recipe box. Slower sugar absorption slows the body’s reaction to sugar, which causes the release of insulin. This yo-yo of raised and lowered blood sugar can lead over time to insulin resistance and diabetes. And it is now thought that the body deposits cholesterol in the arteries to protect it from insulin, NOT from the eating of cholesterol.

This recipe came from my friend Mary. It can be made with wheat or made into gluten-free brownies if you use a gluten-free brownie mix.


  • 1 can 15 oz black beans
  • water
  • Brownie Mix (Mary suggests Trader Joe’s gluten free brownie mix- 18-20 oz)
  • 1 egg (optional)


Heat the oven to the temperature listed on the brownie box. Choose the right pan size and type (metal or glass). Grease pan if required, but only halfway up. You actually want the brownies to be able to cling to the sides about halfway up the pan.

Drain and rinse one 15 oz can of black beans. Return drained black beans to can and add new water to cover. Then blend to a puree.

Combine bean puree and one box of brownie mix in a mixing bowl. Add 1 large egg if you would like a softer spongier consistency. Mix well and bake according to box directions.

*Note: You may need to cook the brownies longer than usual, because of the increased water, from the beans. Cook until the edges start to pull away from the sides, and the middle is no longer liquid. You can test them by dipping a toothpick into the brownie, and pulling it out. Normally you want to see no crumbs on the toothpick. In this case, you want to pull them out a little before its all the way done, so it doesn’t end up overdry. The brownie will continue to cook after its removed from the oven.

Cool on a wire rack. Cut from the pan.

Taste The Results~
The resulting brownies tasted just like normal brownies, but with a nice moistness, and earthiness that was satisfying. You won’t get quite the blood sugar spike from eating them, either. The color looked just a little darker than normal chocolate brownies. Enjoy!

Great News! My Transform Health blog is now publishing through the Apple News app, which is available on iPhone, iPad, and Mac computers! This blog specializes in educating the public about functional nutrition, alternative & herbal medicine, common nutritional deficiencies, the Paleo Diet, special digestive diets like GAPS & SCD, and using holistic health knowledge to combat the spread  of common diseases, and incidence of chronic diseases.

Here’s the link to Transform Health on Apple News app– Please spread the word to your health-minded (health-obsessed?) friends:

Here’s the link to Apple News app on the website.

Why is this health education work important? Here’s a quote from Dr. Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain:

We spend nearly 20 percent of our gross domestic product on health care [in the US]… although we are presently ranked first in the world in health-care spending, we are ranked thirty-seventh in overall health-system performance, according to the World Health Organization. [bold added]

And another quote, from the same source:

We live in an exciting time in medicine…But we also live in a time when the number of people dying from chronic disease (including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria), maternal and perinatal  conditions, and nutritional deficiencies combined.

The Transform Health blog is written by me, Diana Sproul, a health coach based in northern Colorado, who helps clients nationally. Besides free health articles and recipes on the Paleo, GAPS and SCD diets; articles comparing the nutrition between wild and farmed salmon, and info about the importance of the Omega 3 to 6 balance (nutrition geeks – you know who you are!), I have these free resources:

  1. free videos on YouTube  (channel link) and (channel link),
  2. a free monthly newsletter (subscribe here),
  3. an online course, “Raising Your Immunity Through Nutrition and Herbalism.” (Free course coupon here)  (read more about)
  4. a Transform Health Pinterest page with recipes, health videos (including her own), and a lot of nutrition, alternative medicine and holistic health info. Also includes recipes for these diets: Paleo, SCD, & GAPS.
  5. The Transform Health Facebook page (includes local events)
  6. The Transform Health Google+ page
  7. E-books on (link) (1 is about baby sign language)

I hope you’ll join me online, or through our newsletter, and that you benefit greatly from reading my health and nutrition articles on the Apple News app! Self-education is the best path to preventative health and a healthy lifestyle.

Can I help you on your journey toward better health?
 Just Contact me at this  link. I would be happy to talk with you further.

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Chronic inflammation is involved in many different chronic conditions and diseases. Learn strategies and methods for lowering inflammation in the human body through the use of herbal medicine, healthy foods, nutrition, and better lifestyle habits. These anti-inflammatory tips may be helpful for a variety of chronic conditions and illnesses, without actually treating the condition itself.

WARNING: If you would like to start taking fish oil, and you are already on heart medication, blood pressure medication, or blood thinning medication, it’s VERY important to talk with your doctor FIRST, as fish oil has blood thinning properties.

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Try this new concept in fast food casual restaurants from Las Vegas: fresh sushi! Who would’ve thought it?!  Dishes are served as bowls over rice, or as a Japanese-style burrito, wrapped in seaweed rolls.

Customers order at a counter, similar to Subway, Chipotle, and Garbanzos.

The menu is organized like this: first you choose whether you’d like a burrito (with a wrapper of soy paper, wheat tortilla, or seaweed) or a bowl with brown or white rice, or vegetables. Next you choose your raw sushi meat or cooked chicken, and vegetable toppings. There’s a variety of sauces as well like chipotle mayo, nacho cheese, poke sauce, kimchi aioli (hot cabbage & garlic mayo), sweet chili, ponzu (sweet), creamy cilantro and more.

You can make your own combination from scratch, which would be very helpful for anyone with food issues, or you can chew some of the pre-designed favorites. There are about 10 designed meals.

Look at the choices of sides just above– there’s guacamole, avocado, red onion, green onion, spinach, fresh or pickled jalapeños, cabbage, kimchi (Korean spicy cabbage), cucumber, corn and a lot more.

The food prices start around $7.50 for an adult bowl or burrito meal, with some of the pre-designed meals around $10.50.

The food was really good – fresh and healthy. It was really easy for me to eat, in spite of having multiple food allergies. People who eat Paleo can opt for the vegetable bowl, or a no-rice burrito. Vegetarians can do egg over brown rice or an all-vegetable option. People who can’t handle raw fish can do cooked chicken with nacho sauce over rice or vegetables.

Meat choices included yellow tail, salmon, spicy tuna (ground fine), crab, chicken, omelette or tofu.

This concept came from a professional chef, John Chien Lee, who worked his way up to executive chef at Social House in Las Vegas, but then decided open his own restaurant. This fast food sushi option is just the latest. He has three locations in Las Vegas, and I dined at the 2600 West Sahara Avenue location. The main website is

So next time you’re doing a convention in Las Vegas or visiting for some sun, check out this delicious fast food restaurant.

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Have you visited this fast food restaurant? Let me know in the comments below.

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